Lochranza village and castle
|Lochranza shown within North Ayrshire|
|OS grid reference|
|• Edinburgh||96 miles|
|• London||443 miles|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Post town||ISLE OF ARRAN|
Lochranza is the most northernly sited 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 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.
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, and a once-daily service to Tarbert on Loch Fyne during the winter. 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|
- "Lochranza". Ainmean-Àite na h-Alba ~ Gaelic Place-names of Scotland. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
- "Committee reports and agendas". North Ayrshire Council. 2003. Retrieved 24 July 2007.
- "Kilbride". UK & Ireland Genealogy. 2002 [quoting gazetteer of 1882]. Archived from the original on 6 November 2010. Retrieved 24 July 2007.
- "Port Details - Lochranza". Caledonian MacBrayne. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
- "Hutton's Unconformity - Lochranza, Isle of Arran, UK - Places of Geologic Significance on Waymarking.com". Retrieved 20 October 2008.
- Garner, C.; Wright, P. (July 1999). "Lochranza Castle". Retrieved 24 July 2007.
- "Distillery: "the true spirit of nature"". Isle of Arran Distillers. Archived from the original on 24 June 2007. Retrieved 24 July 2007.
- "Lochranza Hotel". Retrieved 23 November 2012.
- Peters, Derek (June 2003). "Opening Lochranza Pier". Retrieved 24 July 2007.
- "Lochranza - Mysterious Britain & Ireland". Mysterious Britain & Ireland. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
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