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Tuesday, 14 February 2017

An Arran Food and Drink Trail

Arran isn't just a holiday island and one of its local industries that has grown steadily in recent decades has been the island's food and drink production. I have written the following trail, which starts and finishes at Lochranza, which will take you right round the island, seeing award-winning products in the making and enjoying sampling the delicious results.

A Taste of Arran Trail
Arran’s Food and Drink Producers

A Taste of Arran is a co-operative of island food producers. It includes Arran Dairies which produces handmade award-winning icecream from dairy herds which graze on the island’s lush pastures.
The Food & Drink Trail can be followed using island buses. The trail is based on a clockwise circuit of Arran, starting at Lochranza.

Stop 1. Home Farm, Cladach, Brodick
This small area of shops is to be found about a mile before you reach Brodick. Free car parking is available. To the left of the road find the following local food producers:
·       Creelers Smokehouse & Restaurant
Scottish smoked salmon is produced here in artisan smokehouses using Arran Scots Pine and old whisky barrels. Smoked seafood is available to buy.

·       The Island Cheese Company
Today’s cheese shop and factory used to be the dairy of Brodick Castle’s Home Farm. Cheese is made here using traditional methods. It does not contain artificial flavours, colours or preservatives.
 Across the road to the right you will find:
·       The Arran Brewery
A range of award-winning ales is available for purchase in the brewery shop.

Stop 2. The seafront in Brodick
·       Wooleys of Arran
Wooleys are renowned for their traditionally-baked oatcakes using antique Scotch ovens. Find their shop across the road from the small Co-op and putting green.

·       James of Arran
Heading along the promenade towards the pier look out for the shop of James of Arran where luxurious handmade chocolates are produced.

Stop 3. Arran Fine Foods
Look out for the car park of the Arran Fine Foods factory shop near a bridge as you leave Lamlash heading south. Most famous for its mustards, the company also produce chutneys, jams and other preserves using Arran ingredients.

Stop 4. Kilmory. Arran Creamery Cheese Shop
Whilst not a member of the Taste of Arran Co-operative this island dairy produces award-winning hand-crafted Arran Dunlop cheese. The factory is open to visitors.

Stop 5. Blackwaterfoot
Here you will find the shops of:
·       The award-winning Arran Butcher who produces a wide range of meats and pies, haggis and black pudding.
·       An artisan baker specialising in sourdough loaves made with organic flours. His bakery is beside the Best Western Kinloch Hotel.
Blackwaterfoot is also home to the Bellevue Creamery where the milk of Arran cows is used to create award-winning cheeses including Arran Blue, Arran Camembert and Arran Brie.
Stop 6. The Arran Distillery
Finish the Arran Food & Drink trail at the Arran Distillery, Lochranza, where you can take a whisky tour, eat local produce in the Casks cafe or purchase it from the distillery shop.
The Arran Distillery uses traditional methods of distilling using wooden washbacks and copper stills. Plans for a second Arran whisky distillery at Lagg are currently underway.

More Taste of Arran produce:
·       Arran butter tablet, a traditional sugary confection made by the Arran Tablet Company
·       Herbs grown by Robins Herbs at Whiting Bay
Find local produce in these general stores:
·       The Bay Stores, Whiting Bay
·       Pirnmill Village Stores
·       The Co-op, Brodick (there is a local food freezer cabinet near the fruit and vegetables)

Find mouthwatering recipes using Arran produce at: