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Visiting the Isle of Arran

If in Scotland, then visiting the Isle of Arran situated on the west coast, is a must. Home to some great adventure travel activities.

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Arran Pictures

We wanted to get out of Edinburgh for a weekend of adventure travels and since we still have a number of Isle’s off Scotland’s coastline to visit we decided on visiting the Isle of Arran.

We also heard there was excellent mountain biking on Arran so strapped the bikes to the back of the car, grabbed the maps, downed a tasty curry for dinner in Ardrossan and were off.

Arran Pictures

We had decided that apart from all the mountain biking we were actually going to try and take it easy after an exhausting long weekend in Paris the weekend before so had chosen to stay in our first ever Bed and Breakfast!

We were definitely not disappointed. Even after arriving at 11pm the retired couple who were diligently waiting for us to show up offered us tea and home baked cakes. For two sweet-toothed travellers this was the life. The other bonus was knowing that each morning there would be a giant cooked breakfast waiting for us to fuel our legs for the days cycling.

Each morning as the sun rose across the open sea we gorged ourselves on the big brekky. We were treated to stunning vistas from the kitchen table before wandering two minutes down to the rocky shoreline.

Isle of Arran

For two days we exhausted ourselves on the mountain bike and tourist trails all over Arran. Unfortunately our slightly out of date maps meant that it was not always fun and games.

Sometimes the trails would end suddenly and being the stubborn male that I am I trusted my natural compass to lead us to salvation. Unfortunately we would often end up bush-bashing with our bikes slung across our backs as we made our way up what I assumed to just be an overgrown path. Much to Adela’s dismay I was wrong and we had to spend the next 20 minutes going back down again.

Mountain Biking Arran

Bit of the ‘Old Silent Game’ came in to play as we both slowly licked our wounds. Mine from reading the map wrong and Adela literally licking her wounds from all the scratches she ended up getting from falling in the blackberry bushes!

There is so much to see and do on the Isle of Arran. We acted like idiots over the ruins of the “Giants Graves” and “oohed” at Glenashdale Falls. And most of the time there was not another soul in sight.

Giants Graves Arran

Being blessed with those long summer evenings stretching the available light past 10pm you can spend endless hours cruising the 90 km coastal road (not just by bike). Just make sure you stop to enjoy the secluded beaches. We witnessed birds swooping down to catch their dinner fresh from the sea.

While seals frolicked in the shallows off the shoreline at Kildonan in front of the ruins of one of the many castles.

Lochranza Castle Arran

Before hopping back aboard the Isle of Arran ferry be sure to check out Brodick Castle and the world-famous gardens. Nestled on the shore with a backdrop of the country estate there is plenty of adventure travel activities to spend hours here.

Or just sit back on the grass and relax.

Brodick Castle Isle of Arran

Any other tips for visiting the Isle of Arran?

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures

    March 23, 2012 at 11:35 PM

    You had the whole place to yourselves, amazing!

    • Cole

      March 24, 2012 at 10:38 AM

      Felt like there was no one around for miles!

  2. Spencer

    March 28, 2012 at 4:31 AM

    What a fantastic place! I love all that natural beauty. I’ll bet the air is really fresh too.

    • Cole

      March 28, 2012 at 3:17 PM

      Have you ever been to Scotland Spencer? You should definitely go and visit Arran!

  3. bronwen burmester

    March 29, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    Another spot in Scotland I want to visit!! With an updated map.

    • Cole

      March 30, 2012 at 9:28 AM

      Haha yea an updated map would be good Mum!

  4. wftristan

    January 24, 2013 at 7:39 AM

    Looks great – I really have the urge to go and live somewhere like this !

    • Cole Burmester

      January 24, 2013 at 9:11 AM

      That would be awesome. Somewhere remote with no one else around and adventures galore. Brilliant! With WiFi of course haha.

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Adventure Travel

Popular vs. Underrated Destinations:How To Avoid The Crowd?

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The biggest dilemma you have to face as an enthusiastic holidaymaker is whether to embrace popular destinations or to find lesser known regions for your vacations. Popular destinations have the advantage that they are experienced with tourists. You can be sure that you will find someone speaking your language and that hotel receptions will be open 24/7. But they are likely to be crowded to the point where it can be impossible to find a free spot on the beach or to walk down that famous avenue you’ve read about in your guidebook. Underrated destinations, in comparison, offer freedom of movement and peacefulness that you associate with a quiet pace of life. But they may not have all the necessary facilities to welcome tourists. You may struggle to find someone who speaks your language or even to get a decent hotel room, let alone direct flights to get there. In short, what’s the best answer to this dilemma?

Popular destinations with a twist

When you pick a destination that is familiar to the tourist industry, it’s both a blessing and a curse, as the available facilities and attractions are likely to attract hundreds if not thousands of same-minded tourists. However, these destinations are popular for a reason, so it would be a pity to avoid visiting marvels of the world just because you want to stay away from the crowd. Dubai, for example, receives every year a growing number of tourists, with estimations for 2020 to top 20 million. Needless to say, you’ll need to find things to do in Dubai that avoid the main entrance to their attraction area. But, looking for concierge services in famous cities like Dubai, Paris or Hong Kong can get you access to a privileged network to avoid tourists.

Visiting Dubai without the tourists

The perfect mix: Destinations that are about to get trendy

There are some destinations that are getting the necessary infrastructure to welcome tourists without having yet become popular. They are destinations in the making, areas that are about to go big and that you can visit while they’re not yet famous. The rising stars of the holiday industry are places such as José Ignacio in Uruguay – where you can meet the likes of Shakira among other celebrities – and Sofia in Bulgaria, which is Europe’s cheapest city destination. In those places, you can enjoy quality visits, beautiful landscapes, and architectures, without forgetting the exquisite hotel services too.

Beautiful and underrated destinations offer peace

Finally, there are places that simply don’t attract tourists for a reason or another. They are not specifically growing in popularity, but they remain hidden gems across the world. You will need to plan your holiday in advance, as some of these areas provide minimal comfort, such as the Basque Country which is a humble and quirky location. The Canary Islands, while being a highly popular spot in summer, is almost deserted in spring. There, you don’t need to worry about holiday attractions.

The charm of the forgotten destinations

In short, picking the best destinations for you demands a little bit of logistics juggle at first. Nobody likes a crowded place, so you can avoid other tourists either by choosing a different tile in a popular area or by working directly with a privileged service. If you are not keen on a famous destination, visit rising holiday stars or forgotten jewels. You’ll have fewer tourists but still a lot of fun!

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Adventure Travel

Five Of The Best Ways To Soak Up Scotland

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Rugged scenery, historic landmarks and a rich heritage – Scotland is a fantastic place to explore. With walking routes dotted between quaint cosy pubs, cities full with culture, and miles of beaches and scenic drives, there’s really no excuse not to embrace the tartan. Here are some of the best ways you can explore and soak up Scotland’s rich heritage.

Tour famous film locations

Scotland’s landscape is stunning, so no wonder its dramatic scenery has been captured on the big screen. Explore the picturesque film locations, such as Glen Coe for James Bond’s Skyfall moments. Visit Gairloch for the Billy Connolly classic, What We Did On Our Holiday where you can see views of the Isle of Skye from the expansive Red Point beach. Explore the Glenfinnan Viaduct in Lochaber for the iconic arched bridge that the Hogwarts Express chugs down in Harry potter.

By rail

Take the leisurely route around Scotland and travel by train. It’s a much needed break from walking routes, with stunning views from the window that look out across the ever-changing landscape. Scotland’s rail routes connect its seven cities with stops in many towns and villages across country, so you’ll find it easy to delve into the West Highlands from Glasgow, traveling through the scenic Fort William, or roll past the battlefields of Robert the Bruce through Dumfries.

Walk, trek, stroll

Discover all the wonderful wildlife and nature on foot. Trek through the rugged countryside for unbelievable sights of the towering mountains, shimmering lochs, golden beaches and lush farmland. Find Lochan Urr in Glen Etive for a spot of paradise, stroll along Applecross Bay, or scale new heights for stunning views of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. For longer routes head to Fort William and Glen Coe for miles of green countryside.

Castle to castle

You’ll find castles on top of, near enough, every rolling hill in Scotland. From pretty fairy tale castles to robust medieval fortresses, you can visit the most spectacular buildings all around Scotland. Enjoy strolling around the floral gardens looking up at the enchanting French design of Dunrobin Castle, on the northern coast near Dornoch. Explore Culzean Castle for dramatic scenes, or, Kilchurn near Dalmally in Argyll to gaze over the Loch Awe. Visit the royal stronghold, Fyvie Castle near Turriff for rich decor and 13th century furnishings. For something completely different, head to Kelburn Castle in Ayrshire for a colourful mural of unusual cartoons.

Cruise the Scottish waters

Take a look at Scotland from a different point of view by travelling Scotland’s shores on a boat cruise around the islands. Visit the Isle of Skye, Stornoway, Port Ellen, Montrose and the picturesque Holy Loch Port. For something even more adventurous, canoe in the lochs and rivers around Fort William.

Sound good? There’s so much to see in Scotland that you’re bound to be mesmerised!

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Adventure Travel

Top things to do in Cleveland

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Cleveland, Ohio may not be a well-known city like the Big Apple or the sunny beach cities of California, yet there is still much to do in this small but very vibrant city. If you have been planning on heading out to this wonderful city, then you’re in luck as there are numerous activities, attraction, and reservations that will be sure to educate as well as entertain the family.

Here is a small list of places and activities for the family and visitors to enjoy.

Why We Rock: Top Things to do in Cleveland

 

# 1 Hard Rock Rocksino

The Hard Rock Rocksino offers people a Las Vegas-esque kind of vibe and feel for the citizens and tourist of Ohio. If you love games, racing, elegant cuisine and just an overall fantastic night out on the town, the Hard Rock Rocksino is the place for you.

 

# 2 Outdoor Activities

If you are someone who isn’t too much into the nightlife and the whole city feel then Ohio still has you covered. Ohio indeed is one of the most aesthetically pleasing states to see and visit. Boasting and offering its residents and visitors sights and environments such as the Cuyahoga River in Lake Erie where people can go kayaking to The Townpath Trail where people can go jogging, hiking or horseback riding.

If you are an outdoor’ kind of person than this is the place for you. Beautiful atmosphere, surrounded by nature and overall a sight that is awe-inspiring to look at – what more could an outdoors person as for?

 

# 3 Education – Family friendly Orientated Places

Now, ask yourself what type of family trip it would be if you just visit and didn’t walk away learning something new and different? Well, in Ohio there are a plethora of places where you can take the family for an educational trip for the day.

There is the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo which boasts a wide array of animals from all around the world. There really is nothing more splendid for kids to see the animals that they love to imitate in person.

If the Zoo were fascinating and intriguing then the next destination, Greater Cleveland Aquarium would be sure to be as equally entertaining as the Zoo. When Visiting the Greater Cleveland Aquarium enter into an under that is akin to the Atlantis. Experience the aquatic lifeforms in such proximity.

Lastly, Ohio offers its residents and visitors many museums. There is the International Women’s Air and Space Museum which educates the populace about the story of aviation and how much women had their part in history. And let’s not forget the famous Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Final Thoughts

If you are deciding to visit this fantastic state, then be prepared for a wonderful visit and many cultural aspects that will be learned and offered. Make this trip a trip to remember with these places in mind.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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