The area described consists of three anchorages (with moorings available).....
.... on the Isle of Arran. Both Brodick, being the main ferry terminal for the Isle of Arran, and Lamlash being larger village can offer shore-side facilities for visitors to the East side of the island. Loch Ranza at the Northern end of the island is a popular stopping place enroute the Crinan Canal
Brodick is completely exposed to the East, therefore only suitable for use when the wind is in the West. Lamlash is sheltered from the East by Holy Island, but a quick glance at the photo gallery will show that this shelter is somewhat tenuous for small boats, the Lamlash anchorage being more suitable for a fleet of battleships.
Nevertheless both Eastern locations offer a number visitors mooring buoys, and even in easterlies the small craft skipper will find some shelter in the lee of Holy Island, the Lamlash anchorage not being far from Brodick.
All three locations can be subject to violent squalls from the surrounding mountains.
Lamlash Harbour can be entered via the North channel or the South channel.
The North channel is entered between a red can buoy (Fl.R.6s) and Holy Island. The buoy guards a shoal patch patch with around 2 m depth, so can be safely ignored by small craft in quiet conditions.
Tidal flows in and out of the North channel are not dramatic, 0.5 kn to 1kn.
The south channel likewise is guarded by a red can buoy, Fullarton Rock (Fl(2)R.12s) and this should be on your port side as you enter with Holy Island to starboard.. Again tidal flows are not fierce, 1.5 kn maximum.
Brodick is an open bay, with the village and the Ro Ro terminal on the South side and a Brodick Castle on the north-west side. Most small craft can make for the north-west corner, keeping out of the way of the ferries.
None of the visitors moorings around Arran have pick up ropes and buoys....
.... you will have to thread a rope through the shackle on the top of the buoy as you pick it up prior to connecting with a chafe free connection. It is inadvisable to rely on plain rope through the shackle as it is liable to chafe; most yachtsmen use either their anchor cable or have a rope/chain/rope bridle in their "useful bits" locker.
In Lamlash there are various anchoring possibilities are best seen by reference to the chart, the main problem being the water rapidly deepening and becoming unsuitable for small craft to anchor in.
The fish farms on the South West side of the harbour also need attention.
It is possible to anchor clear of the moorings to the East of the town, which is convenient for a dinghy mission to the slipway.
Yellow and green visitors moorings off the town, near the slipway are operated by the Holy Island Ferry. The charges are £10 per night, honesty box on slipway wall, or pay at the Holy Isle ferry hut. Phone: 01770 700463 or link to club below:
Depending on the wind direction other anchorages are available near the South entrance on the South West side before the fish farms are reached, near the North entrance, under the north-west shore as shown on the chart, and finally in easterlies towards the north end of Holy Island, South of the jetty. You may find that there is quite a "slop" in the visitors moorings area, in which case shifting to the lea of Holy Island is a better option.
We have been informed that the jetty at the North end of Holy Island will have an additional pontoon from the spring of 2013; this is for the use of the ferry from Lamlash and should not be used by visiting yachts as there will not be enough water to remain afloat.
It should be mentioned that Holy Island is privately owned as a Spiritual Retreat and, as such, is not a "holiday destination". Any sailors landing here are asked not to consume alcohol or smoke on the island and respect the privacy of the occupants and the wild life.
Easterly winds are likely to make it uncomfortable in the harbour.
Brodick also has some visitors moorings, 15 moorings in 3 trots of 5 owned and maintained by North Ayrshire Council... they are all free, blue and marked "Visitors Only 15 Tonnes Max". These are generally laid in the spring, and lifted in October. Sailors of yesteryear will recognise them as the old, blue courtesy buoys previously maintained by the HIDB and laid off the shore to the West of the Calmac pier. We have checked and confirmed that they intend to lay these buoys again this summer.
You will find that bilge keelers may have a significant "slop" on these moorings which can lead to an uncomfortable night!
Otherwise anchor in north-west corner of Brodick Bay, as shown on the chart, and be prepared to move out if the wind moves towards the East.
Both harbours are subject to squalls from the mountains. This is especially so at Brodick because the saddle in the mountains behind it tend to funnel a westerly wind rather than give shelter.
Those looking for shelter in Easterlies around Arran should consider Lochranza at the Northern end of the island but, be careful, there are a couple of glens running into the loch which can funnel strong winds into the loch itself. Facilities have been slowly improving over the years so that there are visitors buoys (with pick-up strops 2018) and a landing pontoon where one can leave ones dinghy.
They have a website which has a Donations tab which gives details of how to pay and the various charges (£15 e night on a buoy and £3 a day to land by dinghy)
There is a regular ferry service to the Mull from here during the summer so it's best to go for one of the moorings nearer the castle; it's a longer row to the pontoon but you won't have to hang on to your G & Ts every time the ferry moves!
They ask for donations (honesty box at the pontoon) of around £12 for use of one of the visitors buoys. If you can take the ground it is also possible to anchor further into the Loch underneath the castle and land your dinghy on the beach there. From memory the bottom is firm but kelpy so you can walk ashore when the tide's out.
There's not much in the way of facilities though there is a pub/hotel which does food. There are some lovely walks in the glens at the back of the loch and one is within easy reach of the numerous lochs, anchorages and, dare we say it marinas in this area; once you have found it you'll return again and again.
Pinmill, Blackwaterfoot and Whiting Bay
There are now (2016) two or three visitors buoys off the villages of Pinmill and Blackwaterfoot on the West Coast. Each has a few shops and a hotel/restaurant but little else. They would be untenable in onshore winds but an alternative to both Lamlash and Brodick in Easterlies.
You will also find that there are a couple of buoys off the old pier at Whiting Bay to the south of Lamlash. They are the old HIE blue buoys and free of charge.
At Lamlash fuel and water can be obtained, but will probably need jerry cans. W.C ashore at the pier. The yacht club has a 10 tonne hoist and yacht storage ashore for members, whilst owning the pier.
Trailer sailers have a decent slipway available at Lamlash, see photos. Check with the Yacht Club.
The Old Pier Tearoom used to have showers available for visitors but that is no longer the case; we understand that the yacht club now has showers and toilets and that access information can be obtained at the chandlery if the club is closed. There is a seven day a week Co op store for provisions (where you can get cash-back on debit cards); there is also a Post Office which will issue cash against debit cards. I mention this because I arrived there at the weekend back in the nineties when the shops were all closed until the Monday so I had to sail on round to Brodick for a cash machine!! Things have improved since then!
Johnston's Marine Store, supplies chandlery and can help with marine engineering and diving. Calor Gas can be obtained. 01770 600333.
Although smaller than Lamlash, Brodick being a ferry town, also offers a surprising array of banks, shops, supermarkets, together with a visitors centre and a public swimming pool. Calor gas and water can be obtained here too.
It's worth noting that petrol and auto diesel is available at MBS Building Supplies at Whiting Bay.
Golfing and walking are catered for at both locations, together with hotels, guesthouses etc.
Transport connections are provided by a regular Cal Mac ferry service to Ardrossan, for onward rail connections.
Lamlash is the largest village by population on the Isle of Arran, in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland. It lies 4 miles to the south of ferry port Brodick, in a bay on the island's east coast, facing Holy Isle.
The name Lamlash dates back to an Irish monk called Las who, in c.590 spent some time in a cave on Holy Island. Las was more usually known as Molas, and the Gaelic name of Holy Island was, as a result, Eilean Molaise. This gradually evolved through Elmolaise and Lemolash to Lamlash, which is what Holy Island was called until early in the 19th century. After that time the name was more normally attached to the village that grew up facing it.
A nearby prehistoric ring of stones suggests a more ancient history.
Lamlash was peripherally involved in the 13th century Battle of Largs.
The village was also the training place for Scottish 11 Commando during the early years of the Second World War.
Lamlash is located in the southern half of the island, some three miles to the south of Brodick and five miles to the north of Whiting Bay. It is on the eastern side and sits on a bay facing the Holy Isle and the Firth of Clyde.
In common with the rest of the island the village's main industry is tourism. The only secondary school and only hospital in Arran are also located in Lamlash, as are local government offices.
According to Glasgow's Department of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, Lamlash has a good natural harbour offering very good shelter. It has accommodated the Royal Navy Home Fleet and Atlantic Fleet. Local campaigners hope to establish a Marine Protected Area in the bay.
Lamlash has an RNLI Lifeboat station with a B class Atlantic 75 lifeboat, covering the inshore waters around the coast of Arran.
Brodick is the second-largest village (after Lamlash) on the Isle of Arran, in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland. It is set on the eastern coast of the island, roughly in the central section. It sits in Brodick Bay below Goat Fell, the tallest mountain on Arran. The name is derived from Norse roots meaning "Broad Bay".
Features include the harbour which receives the main connecting ferry with the mainland which sails to Ardrossan, and Brodick Castle, a former residence of the Dukes of Hamilton.
Brodick is a popular holiday destination and tourism provides much of the village's economic base. There are many family-owned and independent businesses, such as shops, bed and breakfast establishments, guest houses and outdoor activities. As well as several of the island's busiest hotels, it has both Chinese & Italian restaurants.
It has the island's main ferry terminus ( a second, smaller ferry runs from Lochranza) which connects Brodick to Ardrossan and then the national rail network. The ferries are operated by Caledonian MacBrayne. The MV Caledonian Isles plies this route. The journey generally takes less than 1 hour. The route is one of the busiest crossings on the CalMac network.
To tempt the tourist and in addition to mountain-walking of the highest quality, the village offers:
* Arran Brewery, situated in Cladach. It produces Arran Blonde beer, alongside other premium ales which are sold throughout the UK.
* Arran Aromatics. It produces a range of toiletries on site which are sold throughout the UK
* Auchrannie Resort. 2 hotels, 3 restaurants and 2 lesiure complex, one of biggest employers on island
* Creelers, adjacent to Arran Aromatics. A seafood restaurant with locations in Arran and Edinburgh
* A Pitch and putt course.
Both Brodick and Lamlash offer the visitor a choice of pubs and restaurants, with perhaps Brodick being a holiday destination having a greater number. These are only small villages, so do not expect big town facilities, those looking for a wild night out on the town with an up for it crew may be disappointed. Mind you, time your visit for the Arran Gathering and you will have a lovely time.
The links below may give you some ideas, but probably the best plan is to mission it ashore in the dinghy and have a look around...