Seal Shore campsite

+ what’s nearby

Information

Kildonan

Isle of Arran

KA27 8SE

Tel: 01770 820320

enquiries@campingarran.com

Website

A quiet family site personally run by owner Maurice Deighton and daughter Teresa. Winner AA small campsite of the year.

Own private beach with views to Pladda island with its lighthouse, the volcanic plug of granite that is Ailsa Craig and beyond to the coast of Northern Ireland.

In 2015, the Campsite was voted in the top 100 (top 5 in Scotland) Campsites in Great Britain by both Practical Caravan Magazine and Practical Motorhome Magazine.

 

 

 

Facilities2
Facilities

Tents, Motorhomes & Two Camping Pods

  • 13 electricity hook-up pitches – 3 non electric pitches.
  • Wi Fi
  • Chemical disposal toilet facilities
  • Day room with TV
  • Undercover barbecue area
  • Picnic area
  • On-site shop
  • 2 shower & toilet blocks which include Disabled facilities, Baby changer, Hand driers, Hair driers & Shaving points
  • Laundry room with Washing machine & Tumble drier
  • Bar & restaurant close by
  • Phone charging (for a donation to charity)
  • Fridge / Freezer Room
  • Store your frozen goods safely.
  • Microwave and kettle available.
  • Ironing facilities available from reception.
  • Private Beach
Getting there

How to get to Arran + Campsite

There are three ferries from the mainland to Arran;

Ardrossan to Brodick (55 minutes) Summer and winter timetables apply. This ferry accommodates vehicles and foot passengers. Booking ahead for vehicles is advisable.  Space on the car deck for bicycles is limited.

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Claonaig to Lochranza (30 minutes) No advance booking is necessary. This service runs from March – October. Please check timetable for exact dates. This ferry accommodates vehicles and foot passengers. No advanced bookings. Just turn up and wait. Space on the car deck for bicycles is limited.

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Tarbert (Loch Fyne) to Lochranza (85 minutes) No advance booking is necessary. This service runs from October – March. Please check timetable for exact dates. This ferry accommodates vehicles and foot passengers. No advanced bookings. Just turn up and wait. Space on the car deck for bicycles is limited.

Seal Shore is situated to the south of the island along the A841, about 22 miles from Brodick. The road is a busy main route but easy to drive along. You will pass Lamlash Bay, which looks out to Holy Isle an ancient spiritual island dating back to the 6th century.

Just passed the village of Dippen, you will turn left onto a B road, taking you to the campsite. You will pass the ruins of Kildonan Castle, built in the 13th century, it stands on the cliffs and was built to defend against enemies attacking through the Firth.

 

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What's nearby

Arran sits just off the west coast of Scotland and is the 7th largest Scottish island. It is inhabited by around 5000 people. It is a mountainous island with a rich geological history. Its highest peak is called Goat fell, at 874 metres, it is one of four Corbetts on the island. We didn’t get a chance to climb it in 2015, which was when we last visited Arran but we were determined to reach its summit this time. You can find out more in our ‘Read about our trip’ section below.

Arran has numerous prehistoric remains with settlers first arriving on Arran around 8,000 years ago. There are historical connections with Ireland from the 6th century. It was also claimed by Norway during the Viking era.

We would recommend that you check out The Chaotic Scot, a fellow blogger who has a lot of information about Scottish islands, including Arran.

Here are some local and slightly further away highlights: –

Seal Shore Campsite’s private beach. Is literally at the bottom of the campsite and although its not a vision of golden sands, it does has sandy area, intriguing rocks and incredible views. 

Kildonan Hotel. A stone through away from the campsite. A great range of food and drink as well as live entertainment.

A short walk, further on from the campsites private beach is Silver Sands, Kildonan Beach. Described as the best beach is Arran.

A little further on from Silver Sands, about 0.5 miles from the campsite is Kildonan Castle. A ruined castle that’s name is derived from the name of a former resident, Saint Donan, who is said to be buried on the island. It was built in the 13th century by the MacDonalds, the Lords of the Isles. Wikipedia

If you are feeling adventurous, Flying Fever Paragliding flight school is also about 0.5 mile from the campsite.

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Moving further afield, about 3.6 miles from the campsite is the Giants’ Graves. Overlooking Whiting Bay The Giants’ Graves are the remains of two Neolithic chambered tombs. Follow the coastal route until you reach Largymore, the follow a marked steep path until you reach the Graves. Nearby Whiting Bay the 3rd largest town on Arran, is a good stop for some refreshments.

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Lamlash is about 9 miles from the campsite and is worth a stop. Here you will find: –

  • Octopus Centre. Scotland’s first Marine Protected Area (MPA) visitor centre, providing a unique opportunity to connect to our local seas, through interactive displays, including picture books and videos. Taking centre stage is the catch and release marine tank, filled with creatures from Arran’s seas.
  • A trip to The Holy Isle. A sacred site dedicated to peace and well being, there is a Centre for World Peace and Health at the north of the island where an ongoing course and retreat programme takes place. Overnight guests are welcome to stay at the centre, which has guest house facilities. There is a closed Buddhist retreat at the south of the island.

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Brodick is the main town on the Isle of Arran and has a lot to offer. It was our ferry port when we arrived on Arran and will require a car or bus journey from the campsite. Here are some of Brodick’s highlights: –

  • Brodick Castle, Garden and Country Park. Gardens, woodland, waterfalls and a castle.
  • Goat Fell. At 874m (2,867ft), Goat Fell is a favourite destination for hill walkers and climbers.
  • Isle of Arran Heritage Museum. Archaeology, geology & anthropology exhibits at a vintage farm with gardens & a cafe.
  • Arran Aromatics. In 1989, Janet and Iain Russell started handcrafting luxurious fragrant soaps. Keen to gift visitors to the island an unforgettable memento of their stay, the collection soon evolved into bath, body, home fragrance and perfumery products; each aromatic blend named after an island location.
  • Crofters’ Music Bar Bistro. Previously known and established as Fiddlers’ by Arran local Dónal Boyle, Crofters’ has developed into a vibrant and friendly bistro which showcases the talent of local musicians and provides a platform for world class visiting artists from all over Scotland and internationally.
  • Isle of Arran Brewery. Traditional beer-making with a guided tour available. This gives you the opportunity to see the way in which Arran Premium Ales are brewed, followed by the complimentary tasting.
  • Arran Cheese Shop. Next to Arran Aromatics, with a nice selection of cheeses and friendly staff.

 

Read about our trip

This would be our second visit to the beautiful Island of Isle of Arran. Our last visit in 2015, thanks to a Groupon deal and we always planned to return. This time, we were going to camp for a couple of nights and had arranged to meet up with members of our family, who were also keen to visit Arran and camp.

There are three ferry routes from the Scottish mainland and we opted for the Ardrossan to Brodick route as Ardrossan is closest to our home. The ferry journey itself is a great experience, as you as soon surrounded by breath-taking views as you leave the Scottish mainland.

Brodick is a lively town with plenty to keep you occupied. As the ferry gets closer, your eyes will be drawn to the unmistakable peak of Goatfell, the highest point on the Isle of Arran at 874 metres.

We were keen to disembark, head straight to the campsite and pitch up. So as soon as we were docked and able to move, we were on our way.

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Seal Shore campsite was bathed in sunshine when we arrived, adding to the holiday atmosphere. The site has a magnificent view out over the Firth of Clyde with Pladda Lighthouse close by and the island of Ailsa Craig, it’s blue hone granite has long been quarried to make curling stones and was looking as stunning as always. There are good facilities and Bar & restaurant just around the corner. What more do you need!

We were the first to arrive and were able to book 3 pitches next to each other. One for my son and his girlfriend, one for us and one for my dad and partner. My son was borrowing our 3-man tent, which hadn’t seen the light of day since 2014 so fingers crossed that it was ok!

Soon, our tent paraphernalia was sorted and our attention turned to pitching the 3-man tent, before my son arrived. This created a mixture of nostalgia and wonderment as to how we had actually used this tent when we had started our camping journey. Nostalgia for the simple format of somewhere to sleep, bringing basic equipment to cook with and something to sit on. Wonderment that we had been able to camp with such basic equipment!

Finally, the rest of the gang arrived and we spent the next 2 days drinking, eating and talking – perfect.

Well nearly perfect!

Following a night of catching up and more drinking, I didn’t get a great sleep. My left elbow, in particular, was becoming extremely painful and I could feel a large amount of swelling around the joint. So, I did what I tend to do when faced with pain in the wee small hours, I went for a walk. Walking out the campsite at 4.30 am, with the sun already up, it felt special and even with my current discomfort, I knew I would always remember this quiet early morning walk along the shore of the Firth of Clyde.

On return to my tent, I showed Aileen my elbow, which was now bright red, hot and swollen. So off I went to Arran’s War Memorial Hospital in Lamlash, about 9 miles away. It turned out to be badly infected and I was given antibiotics.

By the time I returned to the campsite, everyone was awake and having breakfast. Lewis, my son, informed me that he had spent the majority of the night repositioning himself in his tent, due to the fact that I had pitched his tent on a slope. Somehow, I suspected that our bright and breezy mood from our first day was evaporating fast!

Aileen and I were the only one’s up for a climb to the top of Goat fell. So off we set, 24 hrs after my antibiotics had commenced. The start point is from the Cladach Visitor Centre and we followed the track to the right. There is good signage as you start to ascent through the woodland.

Eventually, the path leaves the forest behind with stunning views beginning to appear. Each time you turn around, there’s something new to catch your eye and get your camera out for.

The final part of the ascent is the steepest part of the walk and requires more concentration as you regularly zig and zag, stepping over or around huge boulders. The hot sunny weather was a double-edged sword as it sapped your energy and we had to regularly stop to take a drink. Our poor wee dog, Sam, soldiered on and considering he was now 11 years old; he was well up for it.

The summit wasn’t too busy, so we were able to get some good photos and a 360 video of our views. Thanks to the clear blue sky, we could see the whole Island, the Scottish mainland and in the distance the Isle of Jura, where we visited in 2016.

We found a sheltered area to sit, ate our lunch and appreciated how lucky we are. It’s good to take stock of your life and never be complacent.

Contemplations over and it was time to head back to the campsite and see what the rest of the gang were up to.

As it turned out, the rest of the gang were also having a great time. Off exploring the Island as, mentioned in the what’s nearby section, Arran has a lot to offer.

The following day, my dad, my son and respective partners packed up and headed home, leaving Aileen and I on our lonesome and with another night at the campsite ahead. We were quite happy to chill and take in the views and the campsite was perfect for doing both. As it turned out, there was a storm forecast for the day that we were leaving, so fingers crossed that we would be able to get the tent packed away and have a safe journey home.

Thankfully, the storm arrived much later than predicted and we made it home. Our return home would be brief though as the following day, we were heading down south to West Runton, North Norfolk, England. About 386 miles away but that’s another story.  

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