Blog

We try to post regularly about all that is happening at Runach Arainn as we develop the site, continue with renovations to the Old Manse and start to layout the forest garden. We also try to post about the major events that are coming up on the Isle of Arran - the Mountain Festival, Open Studios etc.

We also have a page on Facebook where we make regular posts about activity on the site. Please check in to see what's new - Runach Arainn Facebook

Scottish Outdoor Leisure Awards Finalist
- posted 17th October 2017

We are delighted to announce we are a finalist in the Scottish Outdoor Leisure Awards in the Glamping category. Many thanks to everyone who voted for us and fingers crossed for the Awards evening at the end of the month to see who wins.
#SOLA2017  #SOLAwards

Cycling on Arran
- posted 21st August 2017

Arran is famous for its road cycling – with some keen enthusiasts circumnavigating Arran’s circular 60+ mile coastal road in a day! But Arran is also great for off road biking – with routes through forests, beautiful woodland and coastal paths.
 
The recent Grinduro cycling event used both on and off road routes to create challenge and a brilliant event – the first Grinduro ever outside the USA. (Grinduro - Scotland)
 
Cycling on Arran suits all abilities and bike hire is available if you don’t want bring your own. There are many routes including family friendly off road tracks. For more information and routes, go to Arran Bike Club.
 
So what are you waiting for - go on give it a go.

Wildlife - Scotland’s Big 5 all on Arran
- posted 18th June 2017

Arran has all of Scotland’s Big 5 – the favourite wildlife in Scotland which include red squirrels, otters, golden eagles, red deer and harbour seals. You can see all these relatively easily on Arran:
Red squirrels are all over the island in the woodlands and can be seen at Brodick Castle where there is a webcam with a screen in the café.
Otters are shy but often seen on the southern beaches, especially at Kildonan.
Golden Eagles nest in the north and can be seen from the Distillery.
Red Deer are in all the woods in the south, on the mountains in the north and commonly on the golf course in Lochranza.
Seals are all around the coast, often sunbathing on the rocks! Blackwaterfoot and Kildonan are good spots to see them.
For more information on Scotland’s Big 5 go to:Discover and Spot The Big 5 - Scotland's Most Amazing Animals or Scotland's Big 5 Celebrations

Lagg Wood
- posted 30th May 2017

There is something magical about a beautiful wood and Lagg Wood will not disappoint. Filled with wild garlic, bluebells and bright new green leaves, it is most stunning in May. From our glamping site, you can get to the wood from the Village Hall direction or after enjoying a stroll along the beach, do a loop and head up passed the cairn along the tree lined track to meander along the pathways through the wood. And at the end, there is the Velo café at the Lagg Hotel or the café in the Village Hall if you are feeling peckish!

Springtime Flowers
- posted 27th April

Arran is especially beautiful in Spring when the hedgerows, fields and woodlands are filled with wildflowers. The bluebells are stunning in the woods at this time of year, with some on site (shown above) and a huge display in Lagg Wood which is less than 10 minutes walk away. You will also find wild garlic scenting the air - with its aromatic leaves and white flowers - along with red campion and yellow primroses decorating the hedgerows. All a lovely excuse for a stroll.

New Café Nearby
- posted 26th March 2017

A new café has opened in the neighbouring village of Lagg (only 10 mins walk from our site). Velo Café @ Lagg is road cycling themed café and has some great cycle decorations, a lovely warm fire, relaxed atmosphere and tasty food. Well worth a visit!
 
Currently open 9am-3pm daily – with extended opening hours over the summer. #velocafe

Looking for a Greener Holiday?
- posted 26th February

Want your holiday to be more ‘eco’? Look no further than glamping on Arran. With solar lighting, wood fired cooking, luxury compost loos, an orchard setting with a permaculture forest garden, wild flowers and woods, fabulous local food available and a beach and forest walks on your doorstep - it is easy to have a great holiday and be easy on the Earth.

Are you a Hygge seeker?
- posted 30th January 2017

Hygge - the Danish concept of wellbeing - is all about atmosphere and experience - cosiness, togetherness, shelter, being in the moment (not on the phone) and a few sweet foodie pleasures! What's not to like? On Arran you can share a cosy yurt with those you love, cook on a wood fire, relax, snuggle up and enjoy a bit of hygge time!

Winter Wood Stores
- posted 10th November 2016

Getting towards winter now and the site is getting quieter (though we still have guests arriving most weekends in this month) - so time to get the winter wood stores ready. This summer we've adopted a new approach to stacking wood in circular piles to finish off the seasoning process (see the picture above). We were inspired by the book 'Norwegian Wood - Chopping Stacking and Drying Wood the Scandinavian Way' by Lars Mytting. The stacks have proved both successful and a talking point - but hard work. However, you can never have too much firewood!

Late Summer/Autumn Walks
- posted 12th September 2016

Summer is coming to a close and it has been a good first season for our yurts. Our guests all seemed to enjoy their time on the island. However, the days are still warm, and when the wind and rain stay away, it is great to get out walking in the hills. We had a fabulous walk at the weekend from Dyemill up to Loch Urie above Lamlash Bay. The views looking back over Holy Isle were spectacular.

Den Building
- posted 3rd August 2016

Our eldest and her boyfriend are back from university and have been looking for something constructive to do - so we set them to work den building. The den is in the heart of the glamping orchard and is available for guests to play in.
 
Alternatively, if you think you could do better you can have a go yourself when you come to stay - just ask and we'll provide you with the necessary bits and pieces.

Awarded 5 Stars by The AA Glamping Scheme
- posted 29th May 2016

We are delighted that The AA have launched a new scheme to inspect and rate glamping sites, and we are even more delighted that they have awarded us 5 pennants (5 stars) with a quality rating of 91% (gold standard). Thanks to Kevin at The AA for coming to visit and inspect our site. This is what The AA said about our site;
 
"Runach Arainn lives up to its name with two truly superb Scottish made 20ft-diameter Yurts hidden away in a quiet, beautiful part of the Isle of Arran, just a 15 minute walk from a lovely, quiet beach on the southern shore of the island.
 
It is no wonder that they continue to be singled out for praise by the media catching on to the rapidly growing craving for real quality glamping. For example, the Telegraph newspaper cited Runach Arainn Yurts as one of ten reasons to visit Scotland in 2016. This really is a successful delivery of glamping with truly high quality and spacious Yurts, furnishings and fittings providing the rustic romance of camping and the modern amenity block adding the necessary level of creature comfort that is an essential component of a truly exceptional glamping experience.
 
The two Yurts sit within an orchard that the owners have created behind the old church manse they have restored and occupied since purchasing it. The Yurts have been very sensitively included within the landscape and plantings round the Yurts and the wider site will blend them in further. With chickens, geese and ducks also sharing the site and with nature just over the fence this is a true rural idyll. That said, for those that want to eat out, the Lagg Hotel and Restaurant is only a 10-minute walk away.
 
Plans are well underway to add a third Yurt and this will also have its own private bathroom within the amenity block."

Wildlife and Mountain Walks on Arran
- posted 16th May 2016

Arran has magnificent mountains and secretive wildlife. If you want a hand finding the best of both, Lucy Wallace has spent years perfecting mountain walks and wildlife watching excursions on Arran. Along with Scotland’s Big Five – red deer, golden eagles, otters, seals and red squirrels, Lucy can guide you to fossil footprints, geological marvels and Neolithic monuments, not to mention guiding you up some of the scarier mountain peaks & ridges!
 
To find out more go to:Lucy Wallace - Wildlife Walks

Brodick Castle In Bloom
- posted 25th April 2016

Spring is when the rhododendrons at the castle on Arran come in to flower and they look amazing. The result of keen Victorian plant hunters, they exhibit a huge variety of types & colours and have award winning blooms. For more information on Brodick Castle go to: Brodick Castle.

First Campfire of the Year
- posted 30th March 2016

With the arrival of lighter and warmer evenings its time to get out the campfire blankets and clean out the fire pit.
 
Last week we had family staying with us in one of the yurts and as the weather was good we all got to sit round the campfire one evening toasting marshmallows. During the dark winter months its easy to forget just how great Arran can be, but it doesn't many evenings sat round a campfire to remind you what a special place it is.

Rare Arran Whitebeams now planted on site
- posted 29th February 2016

We were lucky enough to get 3 rare Arran Whitebeams from Henry Murdo at arrantrees.co.uk and these are now safely planted on the edge of our orchard field.
 
Arran Trees says about the these little guys – ‘The Arran whitebeam, of the Rosaceae family, is one of 3 whitebeam species endemic to the Isle of Arran. The species is close to extinction in the wild, surviving in a handful of isolated glens, with only a few hundred individuals left. Indeed, by number, it is amongst the most endangered tree species in the world. Sorbus arranensis is a hybrid of the more common rock whitebeam (Sorbus rupicola) and rowan (Sorbus aucuparia). It is a small tree reaching heights of 7-10 m. Its grey-white down covered leaves appear in Spring followed by cream coloured flowers in late May to early June then scarlet berries from September to October.
 
So it should be pretty and it is great to help preserve these rare Arran gems!

Listed In Top 10 Best Remote Campsites
- posted 7th February 2016

Our site has been listed as one of the top 10 remote glamping sites in the UK. We don’t think we are that remote but we’re not arguing with the accolade! For details of this and the others on the list go to: Top Ten Remote Campsites.

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch Event
- posted 25th January 2016

We are joining in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch on the weekend of 30th/31st January. Running since 1979, this RSPB survey helps monitor bird numbers and gives happy amateurs like us the chance to join in and help! Last year more than 8.5 million birds were counted by more than half a million people. Good going! For more information on this event go to: RSPB Birdwatch.

Snow Topped Mountains
- 14th January 2016

A stunning day of sun and snowy mountains on Arran. Goatfell and the mountains alongside looked beautiful from the Forestry Commission Viewpoint Carpark up the hill outside Brodick.

First Stag of 2016!
- 12th January 2016

A trip to Lamlash across the Ross Road was brightened today by a sighting of a Red Deer stag galloping across a field. Fabulously camouflaged in a dark red-brown coat the same colour as the bracken in winter, he galloped like a horse, strong and majestic. Great from a distance but I’m not sure I would want to get too close!

Mountain Festival Returns To Arran
- 8th January 2016

The Isle of Arran Mountain Festival is back again this year. It is running from 13th to 16th May. This is a great chance to join in with like minded people and get out amongst the hills and mountains of Arran. In the safe hands of experienced leaders you can enjoy the A'Chir ridge, the Witch's Step and of course Goat Fell. For more details and booking information see The Arran Mountain Festival.

Barn Owls on the Ross Road
- 5th January 2016

The Ross Road is always a great place for bird watching - Buzzards seem as common a pigeons - but you may get lucky and spot a hobby or a hen harrier. Night time brings a different collection of birdlife onto the wing - frequently when driving back from Brodick we're treated to the wonderful sight of barn owls swooping across the adjoining fields. They are a truly fabulous bird. Image provided by www.bocn.org

Star Gazing
- 18th December 2015

Arran is a great place for star gazing. Whenever we get clear skies (not many recently!) we get wonderful views of stars, planets and the arc of the Milky Way. The lack of street lights provides great dark skies that make the stars so clear and vivid. Before moving to Arran we'd never seen the proper arc of the Milky Way cutting across the night sky - but every time its visible it still fills us with a sense of wonder. The picture above was taken with a basic digital SLR but still manages to capture Orion.

Manse Renovations Nearing Completion
- 20th November 2015

The Old Manse had been empty for about 5 years when we bought it in 2013 and was in a pretty poor state. We have had to have it re-wired and re-plumbed and the major structural problems sorted. The picture is from 2013 when we had the cement render reomved from the building - it was trapping damp in the stone walls. However, last year we still had water penetrating the western gable. Over the summer we put three coats of limewash on the wall and this winter, despite the rains, the drips have gone. It is amazing how much knowledge has been lost about historical building techniques and the importance using the right materials - see The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings.