|Loch Raonasa |
Lochranza shown within North Ayrshire
|OS grid reference|
|- Edinburgh||96 miles|
|- London||443 miles|
|Council area||North Ayrshire|
|Lieutenancy area||Ayrshire and Arran|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|UK Parliament||North Ayrshire and Arran|
|Scottish Parliament||Cunninghame North|
Lochranza is the most northernly sited of Arran's villages and is located in the north-western corner of the island. The village is set on the shore of Loch Ranza, a small sea loch. Ferries run from here to Claonaig on the mainland. The village is flanked to the north east by the landmark hill Torr Meadhonach.
The area around Lochranza castle is a favoured spot to observe red deer, as the village is home to a healthy red deer population and, on the northern shore, grey seals are found year-round. Otters and golden eagles are also spotted in the area.
A new pier was constructed in 2003, allowing larger vessels easier access with the possibility to disembark passengers for a short tour of the village. Regular vessels which use the pier include the paddle steamer Waverley and the "Lord of the Glens", a small cruise ship.
Lochranza is the site of the Arran Distillery, built in 1995 and producing the Arran Single Malt. The distillery is one of the major industries of the island. The bar of the Lochranza Hotel, to the north of the distillery, has one of the largest collections of scotch whisky available by the measure in the country: over 350 different scotches are available.
Lochranza Castle is a fine ruin of a 16th-century L-plan castle, across the road from the Lochranza youth hostel. There is also a field study centre, where schools from all over the UK come to study the locality's interesting geology and the nearby Hutton's Unconformity to the north of Newton Point, where the "father of modern geology" James Hutton found his first example of an angular unconformity during a visit in 1787.
Lochranza is reputed to have the least hours of sunshine of any village in the United Kingdom, since it lies in a north-facing glen on an island with a particularly high level of rainfall. The streets do not have any street lights so it can be dark in the winter months.
Despite this, the village is celebrated in verse:
|“||On fair Lochranza streamed the early day,
Thin wreaths of cottage smoke are upward curl'd
From the lone hamlet, which her inland bay
And circling mountains sever from the world
—Sir Walter Scott, The Lord of the Isle
- Ainmean-Àite na h-Alba ~ Gaelic Place-names of Scotland
- "Committee reports and agendas". North Ayrshire Council. 2003. Retrieved 2007-07-24.
- "Kilbride". UK & Ireland Genealogy. 2002, quoting gazetteer of 1882. Retrieved 2007-07-24.
- Caledonian MacBrayne
- Peters, Derek (June 2003). "Opening Lochranza Pier". Retrieved 2007-07-24.
- "Distillery: "the true spirit of nature"". Isle of Arran Distillers. Archived from the original on 2007-06-24. Retrieved 2007-07-24.
- "Lochranza Hotel". Retrieved 2012-11-23.
- Garner, C.; Wright, P. (July 1999). "Lochranza Castle". Retrieved 2007-07-24.
- "Hutton's Unconformity - Lochranza, Isle of Arran, UK - Places of Geologic Significance on Waymarking.com". Retrieved 2008-10-20.
- Aerial photograph of the bay
- Youth Hostel
- Lochranza in 1882
- Who owns Lochranza?
- Photo of the bay
- Castle c.1890