Darlene Foster's Blog

The Incredible Isle of Arran

Posted on: September 3, 2021

I finally got away for a few days! I was fortunate to visit the Isle of Arran, in Scotland. The island is a magical place with lovely beaches, manor houses, castles, old churches, standing stones, charming coffee shops, art galleries and lots of sheep. There is a story around every corner. I went to meet writer friends, do some writing and chill. I did all of that and more. I expected rain and got sunshine. Here are a few pictures to give you an idea of how wonderful Arran Island is.

The fabulous view every morning
The two hundred year old manor house I stayed in.
With many perfect places to write
Early morning beach walk
Castle Lochranza. Note the heather on the hills.
So many sheep. I love them!
So cuddly. I just wanted to hug them.
Old farm house on the moor
Machrie stone circle, the site of an ancient burial
You can’t be in Scotland and not search out some standing stones.
I was astounded when I came across these ancient standing stones
You know I had to touch them. Alas, I did not find myself in another century being rescued by a dashing Scot in a kilt.
Holy Isle in the background. An ancient spiritual heritage as far back as the 6th century. It is now a Buddist retreat.
There was cake, lots of cake!
And a very special dog. ❤

It was a wonderful getaway, just what I needed. I returned home inspired.

Now I’m getting ready to go back to Canada, to see my family after two long years.

Note: Most of the pictures are mine but a couple may or may not have been taken by a writer friend who knows I like sheep.

116 Responses to "The Incredible Isle of Arran"

What a magical getaway! I love the history, the water, the animals and the serenity of such a place – thanks for taking us along!

It was amazing. I would gladly return as there was so much more to see and do.

Fantastic! It looks like a lovely place. I don’t think I would get much writing done.

It was tempting to spend all my time exploring but I did manage to do some writing as it was very peaceful.

I was just looking at a few of your other posts. Medicine Hat is a great place to come from! We live in Regina, so go through it on our way to Calgary or BC. and have spent a few days there.

It is a good place to come from. I’m pleased you found my blog.

That was my thought as well! I’d be too busy looking at the scenery to write.

What an incredibly beautiful place!

It was amazing and we really lucked out with the weather.

Good weather does tend to make a big difference! (In all my pre-trip fantasizing, the sun is always shining in a bright blue sky.)

Nothing wrong with this trip. Love the stones and the dog!

It was the perfect getaway. Seeing the standing stones was a special treat.

How wonderful! Congratulations to this very beautiful vacancy, Darlene! Scotland always is worth a visit. Have you seen any ghosts, in this old manor? 😉 Best wishes, Michael

Thanks so much, Michael. I didn’t see any ghosts but I’m sure there are some. I can always make some up!! n Thanks for reblogging. xo

Thank you for sharing these great experiences, Darlene. Oh, maybe the ghosts will visit you some time later. Lol Have a beautiful weekend! xx Michael

What a beautiful place for a retreat! Like others, I’m surprised you managed any writing amidst all those distractions 😊🐑

I did find some quiet corners in which to write. I must admit I didn’t write as much as I planned to but I collected some great ideas.

Whoa, what an amazing place, especially to write. And such a cute doggo too. I’m envious of your trip now. Thanks for sharing!

It was the perfect place to write. Having a dog around was special as I missed mine.

Beautiful site to see..thanks for sharing this info and photos. Take care Anita

Thanks, Anita. Pleased you enjoyed the post.

Thanks for the tour. Scotland is on my bucket list.

You will just love it when you get there. XO

Thanks, Darlene. I feel an ancestral memory pulling me there. Every time I hear bagpipes I get the chills.

Thank you so much for sharing…I love sheep too, Darlene it looks like such a beautiful place it looks so peaceful. 🙂 x

Another sheep lover. We didn’t have them on our farm/cattle ranch, so for me, they are something different. They look so cuddly. It was very peaceful.

Yes, sheep are so cuddly my sister had sheep a few years ago but she doesn’t farm any longer now 🙂 x

Looks like the ideal spot for some writing inspiration.

It was ideal and I found inspiration, even though I was somewhat distracted by all the sights.

Lovely pictures. Thank you for sharing. The Isle looks idyllic!

What a wonderful adventure. Expecting rain and getting sunshine, time to write, time for friends to meet, beach walks, great views, chocolate cake = perfect!

It was as perfect as it could be. I so needed this adventure.

It looks like a wonderful place, and inspirational for writing!

It was perfect. Surprisingly it felt similar to some of the Westcoast islands.

Wonder if another Amanda book will be set there? 🙂

❤️❤️ lovely post, Darlene, that sums up the trip perfectly 😁

Glad you like it! Great memories. Hope we can do it again one day. xo

Was Arran warned. Having seen who the other participants were I’m not sure somewhere so quaint is set up to cope with the outpouring of goodwill and enthusiasm! Great weather mind. When it’s that benign Scotland is delightful and you can almost rationalise why the kilt was invented there. Other times it does seem to be an example of collective patriarchal madness.

No worries, Arran Island survived the Fearsome Foursome! I do like a man in a kilt, not that I saw any this time around.

As long as he’s not garotting a gnu… sorry asphyxiating the bagpipes… if there’s a worse misnomer than calling those dirge-bags a musical instrument I don’t know what it is.

Absolutely wonderful and peaceful. I do love the place you stayed, so tempting to just stay. Arran is a beautiful and enticing island. I have visited and was also most enchanted.


I can see why you loved it too.

Bucketfuls of inspiration, such a beautiful place!

Looks fabulous. Great skies.

We were so lucky with the weather. But I would have loved it even in rain.

Such a beautiful place Darlene and you are looking so relaxed. I am glad the sun was shining for you 😀
My husband is Scottish and we visit family in Edinburgh regularly, but we are yet to explore further.

I would love to visit some of the other Scottish Isles as well. But this was the perfect one to start with. I’ve not been to Edinburgh, yet.

Looks lovely. I’ve never been there.

There is something about an island. Well, you know all about that.

It really is an enchanted island, isn’t it 🙂 Great post, Darlene.

Thanks so much, Mary. Was so great to spend time with you there. Glad you liked the post.

Beautiful! I was almost able to breathe with ease again after viewing these photos. Peaceful and inspiring.

It was just what I needed. Glad you enjoyed the photos.

omg — how lovely in every way — but now I can’t stop wanting a slice of that cake 🙂

The cake was very good! A wonderful week away.

Hi Darlene, I saw some of your pictures on Instagram. What a wonderful place to visit and what a splendid idea for a holiday; a writing retreat.

It fell into place perfectly, although travelling now is a hassle with tests to take and forms to fill out etc. Glad I bit the bullet and went anyway.

It seems like such a long time ago that you were able to travel anywhere. So refreshing to see new scenery and architecture. I will probably never visit the Isle of Arran, but I am curious about the Isle of Skye because it is the middle name of my only grand-daughter.

Thanks for the travelogue! 🙂

All the Scottish Islands are enchanting. I was so lucky to visit Arran and would love to visit others. Skye is such a lovely name.

How wonderful to have spent time off the Isle of Arran. I love Scotland, the call of the bagpipes, the sounds of the Gaelic language, the weaving, the poetry – but most of all the welcome that visitors receive.

There is something about Scotland that makes you feel at home. I was treated very well while there. I am so glad I had this opportunity.

Darlene, I’m so happy you had a wonderful time in Arran. I visited there many years ago and fell instantly in love with the island, its peace, beauty and its friendly people! You are brimming with joy and contentment. It’s great you had a chance to meet fellow writers as well! Have a most wonderful time being back in Canada with your family – it’s been (is) a most difficult, stressful and uncertain time of separation. xx

Thanks, Annika. I am so looking forward to my trip back home. It’s been two years since I’ve seen my family.

Oh, looks fabulous Darlene. Looks like you had a fabulous trip. I’m going up to Scotland soon to see my family. This coming Friday is my last week at work! Officially now retired and ready for a new life! Lots of work to do for our move abroad. More about that soon. x

Thanks, Marje. A move abroad!! I can´t wait to hear more. It is a lot of work but always worth it. Congrats on your retirement.

Thanks hubby and I taking early retirement. Very excited for new adventures and writing times. x

Dear Darlene
We love Arran as well very much, the landscape, the whisky and everything 🙂 🙂
Great to remind us that we have to go there again soon.
All the best and thanks for sharing
The Fab Four of Cley
🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

I believe it is one of those places that once you have been there, you will always want to return. 😎

It’s on my bucket list. I would be inspired there too.

The magic seems to rub off.

Absolutely wonderful Darlene and I am sure you went home completely refreshed.. how exciting to be heading to Canada to see your family.. hugsx

I did return refreshed. Now on to the next adventure.

I could happily make a home there! Beautiful photos, Darlene. I bet your family is thrilled that you’re coming home 🙂

Yes, you could. It had the same island feel the Gulf Islands have. I am so excited about seeing the family!

Darlene, this looks and sounds like a dream vacation! I’m so glad it was good weather for you. I could happily move right over. Enjoy your trip back home to Canada. I know you’ll have lots of fun and lots to write about.

Oh, I can’t wait to go there, Darlene. We have Scotland on the list for 2023, I think. I need an Amanda book to prepare. 🙂 And you made me laugh that you didn’t get to time travel when touching the stone. Lol. Beautiful post.

Scotland is such an amazing place. You will love it. Glad I made you laugh.

Beautiful photos. It must have been wonderful to get away to such a peaceful place. Quite a change from the high season madness here! We’ve been in confinement the last 10 days as Tony has had a nasty bout of Covid and still isn’t over it. I had to go for a PCR today and will get the results tomorrow – almost certain it’ll come out positive as I think I’ve caught it from him, so we’ll be in for another 10 days!

I´m so sorry to hear that your family has been affected by the virus. I hope yours, if you have it, is mild and recovery is quick. It is still out there. I´m glad you enjoyed the photos. It was a great getaway.

Thanks, Darlene. The virus was absolutely ghastly, so I can’t imagine what it’s like if you haven’t been vaccinated. Tony was very poorly indeed but is recovering slowly. Yesterday I ventured out briefly for a couple of things for the first time in a month, and felt ok, but we’re still a bit weak. Hope you’re all safe and well.

I am so sorry to hear this, Ruth. But glad you are both feeling better.

What a fabulous trip you had, Darlene and thanks for sharing your wonderful photos. ❤

It was such a great trip. Glad you enjoyed the photos. xo

Wow, how jealous am I. What a place to write. I bet you got lots of writing done there 🙂 x

It was the best. I could have written more but was a bit distracted by the scenery, food and the dog. But some progress was done.

That’s what counts. 🙂

I adored these photos, Darlene – I love travelling in the UK, and have been to the Isle of Skye and the Orkneys. Arran looks heavenly. I’m glad you had such a great time. Toni x

Lucky you. This is my first visit to a Scottish island and now I want to see more of them.

Glad you were able to get away for a while. Sounds like you had a wonderful time.

Just what I needed. Thanks, Tori.

Beautiful, Darlene! So glad you had such a great time. Arran looks just as wonderful as I imagined. Thank you for sharing!

You would just love it there. Xo

So stunning. It looks so beautiful!! Thanks for sharing!! it looks like an amazing place!!

You would love it there. Great creative vibes.

Your pictures shared that!!

This is beautiful, Darlene – if views like this don’t inspire you, I don’t know what would. So glad the weather turned out well for you.

lovely place and that doggie soo cute

What an amazing retreat, Darlene. I am sorry to hear you weren’t swept in to the past and rescued! Enjoy your visit home.

I know. It would have been fun. Maybe next time.

How lovely to get away and to visit such a scenic place like the Isle of Arran. Your pictures are beautiful and looks like you had fabulous weather. Those standing stones look pretty neat.

It was such a treat to visit this amazing island. We were very lucky with the weather and those standing stones were magical. Thanks for visiting my blog.

Fabulous! Did you and the other writers have a daily schedule of writing and or sharing what you wrote? Chris

We didn´t share what we wrote but we took turns presenting a 90-minute workshop each day which included some writing which we shared. It was quite informal and therapeutic.

I’ve never been to scotland! It sounds lovely! Glad you enjoyed your vacation last year!

It was a wonderful place! They call it Little Scotland as it has a bit of everything the mainland has. Thanks!

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