Panoramic of Lochranza Bay, May 2008
|OS grid reference|
|• Edinburgh||96 mi (154 km)|
|• London||443 mi (713 km)|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Post town||ISLE OF ARRAN|
Lochranza is the northernmost of Arran's villages and is located in the northwestern 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 northeast by the landmark hill Torr Meadhonach.
Lochranza has 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 fewest hours of sunshine of any village in the United Kingdom, and is the most shaded village in the entire world according to world climate experts, 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.
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.
Formerly a herring fishing port, the village economy is now geared more towards tourism after the reopening of the pier in 2003. Lochranza Castle is a fine ruin of a 16th-century L-plan castle, across the road from the Lochranza youth hostel.
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 Scotch whiskies are available.
Caledonian MacBrayne operate a regular ferry service to Claonaig on Kintyre between March and October, There are seven daily crossings to Claonaig which operates to roughly 90 minute frequency, and a once-daily service to Tarbert on Loch Fyne during the winter departing at 1345 daily from October to March, The usual vessel on this route is the MV Catriona, which replaced the MV Loch Tarbert in September 2016.
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.
|Preceding station||Ferry||Following station|
It is said that a local midwife once had an encounter with the Queen of the Fairies at Lochranza.
The village is also 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
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- "Lochranza Hotel". Retrieved 23 November 2012.
- "Lochranza". Golf on Arran. Retrieved 15 June 2022.
- Peters, Derek (June 2003). "Opening Lochranza Pier". Archived from the original on 8 August 2007. Retrieved 24 July 2007.
- "Arran bus timetable" (PDF). Stagecoach. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
- "Lochranza - Mysterious Britain & Ireland". Mysterious Britain & Ireland. Archived from the original on 28 July 2014. Retrieved 29 July 2014.