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

We are an official Permaculture Demonstration Site
- posted 17th March 2021

After a long training and assessment process over the course of last year, we are very pleased to have become a ScotLAND site – one of the Permaculture Association’s demonstration sites across the UK. (LAND sites are permaculture Learning And Network Demonstration sites - and ScotLAND sites are the ones in Scotland).
Our whole site is designed around these sustainable principles, combining organic growing, wildlife and regenerative agriculture values to provide a beautiful space, full of trees, flowers, wildlife and food.
There’s lots of information here or explore with a tour.

Sustainable Business Award Shortlisted
- posted 20th February 2021

We are delighted to have been shortlisted for the prestigious CIS Excellence Awards Sustainable Business Award. Carried over from 2020 the result should be out later this summer – we are keeping our green fingers and toes crossed.

Green energy use saving carbon
- posted 30th January 2021

Here we try to be green through & through and our energy use reflects this belief in sustainable living for ourselves and sustainable tourism for our glamping site.
Our energy use decisions on site fit into this green value set:

  • off grid solar systems provide lighting and phone charging to our yurts
  • log burners and outdoor fire pits provide heat and cooking inside and our for yurt guests
  • where needed (such as for heaters in the private bathrooms) our electricity use is all green

By using green electricity you're lowering your personal carbon emissions by 1,888 kg of CO2e per year (Bulb figures) so across the site and our home we hope our choices help ensure a cleaner environment and safer future for everyone.

AA COVID Confident
- posted 7th July 2020

We have been assessed by the AA in relation to our readiness to receive guests during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.
The AA have reviewed the steps we have taken to ensure guest safety, our facilities, and the overall site layout and given us the 'AA COVID Confident' certification. Along with our 'Coronavirus Booking Guarantee' (see above) we believe that guests can now book with confidence and look forward to a safe, enjoyable and well needed break on Arran.

New Distillery at Lagg
- posted 30th November 2019

We are delighted that the new distillery at Lagg just 20 minutes walk from us has opened this year. With stunning views over the south of the island across the sea to Ailsa Craig and the Mull of Kintyre along with two cafes – even if the whisky tour is not your thing you will not be disappointed.
It is open all year – for more details on tours and opening times go to: Lagg Distillery

Eas Mor Woodland Walks
- posted 20th October 2019

There has been working going on down at Eas Mor with more walkways, bridges and signs going up to make this nature trail site an even better day out. Wander up to the waterfall, rest awhile in the grass roof library, or just enjoy strolling through stunning woodland with streams, tree ferns, mosses and of course handy picnic benches for a snack stop.
For more details go to:Eas Mor Ecology

Saving water, energy and waste – with compost toilets
- posted 22nd August 2019

Our bathrooms have compost toilets – the posh kind from Sweden. We use these because they have huge environmental advantages and are also quite fun to use (sometimes).
The environmental benefits of compost loos include:

  • Saving water: they save on average 35 litres of clean water every day for every guest on site, even compared to a water saving conventional loo (this rises to over 70 litres per day per guest compared to loos without water saving measures in place).
  • Saving energy: conventional loos create sewage which needs extensive treatment before it is clean and safe to re-enter the water system. This takes energy, manpower and land to manage the process.
  • Saving waste: instead of flushing the waste away (and wasting it), here with the compost loos, the subsequent composting process turns the human waste into fertiliser to feed the soil for growing food crops (fruit trees & bushes here). Conventional loos waste all this nutritional value so plants need petrochemical feed input – with more carbon footprint & waste
So here you can pee & poop with sustainable pride.

New Outdoor Cooking Tripods
- posted 21st June 2019

We have new tripods for outdoor cooking which can be used with BBQ coals or over a wood fire in your own fire-pit alongside your yurt. The great design allows the cooking surface to be moved to the right height so your kebabs, sausages, or whatever takes you fancy gets cooked perfectly. We have trialled them (great excuse) and they are brilliant.
Time to sit around the fire, enjoy the smell of outdoor cooking and relax - drink in hand. Oh and don’t forget the marshmallows.

Getting Ready For Summer
- posted 30th May 2019

Along with being eco friendly here, we also love fair trade.
This summer our yurts are decorated with fabulous bunting from Oxfam’s fair trade products range. All made with recycled materials (including some sari pompoms), these great decorations make the yurts look extra jolly for summer.
For more details on Oxfam’s great fair trade products go to: Oxfam

Forest Gardening and Climate Change
- posted 19th March 2019

Our forest garden is now 2 years old and just starting to take shape. This short film by one of the UK’s best known forest gardeners, Martin Crawford, explains beautifully the role forest gardening can play in helping us create a sustainable future.
Just plant a tree. Get started..
We can all make a difference, even when worries about the future of our planet - for ourselves and our children - are so grave. Small steps, new directions and group effort - together we can make big change. Here at Runach Arainn we are developing a forest garden, growing food in a layered forest structure. Low maintenance, high productivity and great for stemming climate change – these spaces sequester carbon in the soil and trees and lower your carbon food footprint. And they are beautiful spaces that are great for wildlife too. We'd be happy to give you a tour during your stay.
For a more ‘ganster gardener’ approach this TED talk is also brilliant. We Loved it - 'gardening is the most therapeutic and defiant act you can do, especially in the inner city. Plus you get strawberries' and ‘if kids grow kale, kids eat kale’. If you have a few minutes, Ron Finley is truly inspirational.
Ron Finley TED Talk

Our Tea Garden Is Coming
- posted 30th November 2018

The tea plants have arrived and we have prepared the bed ready to make our very own little tea garden in the spring. Tea (Camellia Sinensis ) is an evergreen, glossy, dark-green leaved member of the camellia family which surprisingly grows well in Scotland. In fact there are already a number of Scottish, commercial tea producers who sell luxury brand tea to the likes of Fortnum and Mason! We plan to have a small tea garden for demonstrations, tastings and a small crop. The plants will over winter under cover and then be planted out in the spring. The tea garden will add to the other food crops grown on site – along with a bit of an adventure into growing something completely different.
For more information on some of the current tea producing activity in Scotland go to Tea Gardens of Scotland or Wee Tea Company

Permaculture Forest Garden
- posted 14th November 2018

Here at Runach Arainn, alongside the yurt field, we are developing a Permaculture Forest Garden. Basically a mini food forest, this is a beautiful food growing space with permanent plants in many layers and shapes to provide an easy to keep (always handy!), beautiful and amazingly productive food growing area. Now in its fourth year, our fruit trees are getting bigger and the lower layers are being filled with soft fruits, herbs and other food plants. Crops this year have included apples, medlars, plums, elder berries, rhubarb, black currants, gooseberries, jostaberries, quinces, wild garlic and herbs. Visitors here are very welcome to a tour.
For more information on permaculture and forest gardening go to Forest Gardening or Permaculture

New Silver Garden
- posted 3rd October 2018

Brodick Castle has unveiled its new silver garden trail – mirrored sculptures around the garden which reflect the beautiful plants and also is a nod to the historic silver collection in the castle itself. Well worth a wander around to discover these hidden treasures.
For more details go to Brodick Castle and Garden

Walking on Arran
- posted 23rd September 2018

Arran boasts an amazing range of walks from tough mountain scrambles to strolls along beautiful beaches. Shorter walks include Glenashdale Falls in Whiting Bay, the Kings Cave walk near Blackwaterfoot, Torylinn beach and Lagg Wood in the south just near us and the neolithic Standing Stones at Machrie. All around Arran there are beautiful beach strolls to be enjoyed (along with some great cafes for a break!). If you fancy something more challenging there is the mountain range on the north with Goatfell and other stunning mountains and glens to explore.
For more details go to Walkhighlands - Arran

Love Campfire Cooking
- posted 28th August 2018

There are very few experiences that compare with cooking over and open fire as the sun goes down and the bats start to flit amongst the trees. We all love...

  • The smell of the smoke.
  • The crackle of the fire.
  • The delicious taste of the sizzling food.
  • The quiet of the peaceful surroundings.
  • The warmth on your skin from the fire.
  • The simple joy of slowing the pace of life down.

New Willow Den
- posted 16th July 2018

We have a new willow den for lots of play and creativity outdoors in our yurt orchard and meadow. The willows we have been growing since last year are now strong and making a fabulous den. With logs to sit and chatter around in amongst the meadow flowers and butterflies, this is a delightful quiet spot.
Along with the wildlife rubbing trail around the fruit trees and the den building in the meadow, there's loads for kids to do in this car free, natural space.

Star Gazing
- posted 7th June 2018

Love star gazing? The stars on the Isle of Arran look amazing on a clear night, with the Milky Way visible and often a glimpse of shooting stars and the international space station. Gaze from your comfy double bed through the yurt central window or wander outside to enjoy the cosmos.
This amazing image was taken by Tristan Cameron-Harper who visited our yurts in the spring. You can read his blog at North Blog - Runach Arainn Yurts By Night

Fabulous Spring Flowers at Brodick Castle
- posted 1st May 2018

Enjoy a leisurely wander around Brodick Castle gardens and take in the beauty of this famous plant collection from around the world. In Victorian times the Hamilton family sent for plants from around the globe to adorn their gardens and these are now flourishing under the care of the National Trust for Scotland for everyone to enjoy. Spring is a great time to see rhododendrons in many colours (Brodick has a prize winning collection), syringas, camellias and magnolias.
For information on opening times go to Brodick Castle Garden and Country Park

New Wildlife Rubbing Trail
- posted 20th April 2018

We are delighted to have installed a new wildlife rubbing trail around the yurt field. Local Arran wildlife including the Red Deer, Otter, Red Squirrel, Golden Eagle and Hare are shown on these lovely circular rubbing discs – just use crayons and paper to produce the image (like brass rubbing) Paper and crayons are provided for some wildlife outdoor fun.

Site Wide Free Wifi - new for this year
- posted 17th March 2018

We have just installed site wide wifi for guests to enjoy during their stay. This is a free service for guests on site – making life easier to check messages, keep up with friends and plan your holiday.

Green Tourism Gold Award
- posted 14th February 2018

We are delighted to have been awarded the Green Tourism Gold Award for our site – celebrating our environmentally friendly features throughout the site and in the business management.
In the yurts there are log burners, solar lighting, quirky upcycled furniture and many other eco features including the yurts themselves! The bathrooms all have luxury composting toilets, eco products and green energy used throughout. The site itself is set around a woodland, permaculture forest garden and orchard, with fruit, flowers and abundant wildlife.
Here you can be confident of an eco holiday without sparing the luxury!zing-animals
To find out more go to Green Tourism Award

Winner AA Glamping Site of The Year 2017-18
- posted 1st January 2018

We are pleased to announce that we have been awarded the 'AA Glamping Site of the Year for 2017-18'. We were both very surprised and delighted with the award.
The AA said "Runach Arainn, Gaelic for ‘Secret Arran’, lives up to its name – three superb Scottish-made, 20ft-diameter yurts hidden away in a quiet and beautiful part of the Isle of Arran, just a 15-minute walk from a lovely beach on the southern shore of this magical island. Access is via a quiet lane, which is a riot of wild flowers and flowering hawthorn in spring, providing the perfect introduction to Runach Arainn. It’s a successful delivery of glamping style. The very high quality and spacious yurts have furnishings and fittings that create the rustic romance of camping, while the private bathrooms add creature comfort that is an essential component of a truly exceptional glamping experience. Fire pits and outdoor cooking facilities enhance rustic charm and appeal of the place. The yurts sit within a developing forest garden that the owners have created, and the purchase of neighbouring woodland has further expanded and improved this true rural idyll. With chickens, geese, ducks and now bee hives in the new wooded area, this is a true return to nature that’s very much in tune with yurt living."
See the AA announcement at Glamping Site of the Year 2018

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 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

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.