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Monday, 9 March 2015

Tips for Easter Holiday Planning

At this time of year the weather plays cat and mouse with us- we leap out of bed to a sunny morning, get the paint pots out and then........it rains! 

With Easter being early this year I have two recommendations for you if you’re planning to camp. The first is to bring your thermal base layers and the second is to bring your wellies. It’s not that Arran’s muddy- it isn’t, it’s a rocky island, but it is like a giant fountain. After rain, burns burst out all over the place. It’s also like a giant sponge with mossy, boggy areas that hold a lot of water. It’s not a problem if you’ve got your wellies on.

If you’re coming to Arran for the first time, please be prepared to step ashore into a different world that isn’t ruled by the clock. You’ll notice the difference in flexible and unhurried Arran Time when you get here.

You’ll also notice you’re not on the mainland as soon as you start driving off the ferry.
This is what you WON’T find when driving on Arran:

·         Traffic lights (unless temporary for repairs)
·         Roundabouts
·         Pavements (except in some villages)
·         Road lighting (except in some villages)
·         Rush hour (though little traffic queues head out of Brodick following a ferry coming in)
·         Road rage (except when someone hasn’t adjusted to Arran Time)

These are some of Arran’s road-user groups: 

·         Red deer
·         Hill sheep
·         Otters
·         Red Squirrels
·         Badgers
·         Cyclists
·         Walkers
·         Children playing

Please look out for the safety of all of them when you are driving. From the ferry you have two route options: going clockwise or going anti-clockwise. Once you’ve set off consider whether the driver behind wants to go a little bit faster than you, in which case pull over and let them pass when it’s safe to do so. The island perimeter road comprises 55 beautiful but rugged miles with an advisory speed limit of 30 mph for most of it (see March 2012 blog for touring round the island). You can also choose to park up your vehicle for the duration of your holiday and use the island buses instead – a week’s Arran bus pass was only £19 last year. This option liberates you from worrying about finding a parking place as parking on Arran is limited. Another helpful service that means that you don’t have to use your vehicle is both the Brodick Co-op and Pirnmill Stores will deliver your groceries to you if you spend more than £25.

In winter here we batten down the hatches and hope the roofs stay on. With spring in the air we feel like bears coming out of hibernation, happy to feel bright sunshine beaming right down onto the grass again. Time to get on with that painting!
 Mossy woods

They thought I was the farmer! They are now looking disappointed as I didn't have a sack full of feed with me.

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