It has been described as ‘Scotland in miniature’, an island of rolling hills, rich farmlands, beautiful beaches and majestic mountains. One of the first sights that welcomes visitors to Arran is the ‘jewel in the crown’, the grand baronial castle which overlooks the Firth of Clyde.

Brodick Castle recently re-opened following £1.5million of works, linked to the National Trust for Scotland’s five-year strategy, which will see £57 million invested in the heritage sites in its care.

Visitors will find a range of new features including trails, a café and a brand-new castle visitor experience which features costumed performers and a range of interactive exhibits which bring the castle and island’s story to life.

The National Trust for Scotland also care for the neighbouring Goatfell mountain which, combined with the estate, includes some of the island’s most stunning features.

“If Arran is a microcosm of Scotland, then Brodick is a microcosm of the National Trust for Scotland,” said Jared Bowers, operations manager at Brodick. “It has everything the Trust represents and cares for, from heritage buildings to gardens and wild landscapes to family friendly attractions.

“It’s an incredible heritage property that blends seamlessly into the surrounding and majestic mountain landscapes. The iconic view of Brodick Castle sitting on the shoreline with Goatfell towering behind is breath-taking, every time I see it.”

Here Jared picks his favourite seven locations and features, which no visitor to Arran should miss.

The Castle visitor experience

“The new castle visitor experience is particularly special, featuring costumed performers, a world-class collection, atmospheric lighting and music, interactive exhibits and a new Victorian Arcade that’s fun for the whole family. Our castle visitor experience is themed around the idea of fun and education and is an incredibly enjoyable experience for visitors. But be warned, the Grand National game is very competitive!”

Plant Hunters Walk

“This special trail has been set into the rock along a cliff side in our gardens and feels otherworldly with many special foreign plants. I walk this trail nearly every day as it’s simply stunning and you feel like you’re in another country altogether, wandering through a jungle! In late-May when this area was in full bloom, I don’t know if I’ve ever experienced a more beautiful garden.”

Glen Rosa

“This trail traverses through the bottom of the scenic, u-shaped valley of Glen Rosa. It’s an absolutely gorgeous walk that I do at least once a week. Our ranger team are in the midst of a reforestation project in this area, which will provide new habitats for wildlife and increase biodiversity in the glen.”

Goatfell summit

“The highest peak on Arran at 874m, Goatfell stands like a pyramid over the island and provides unparalleled views. The National Trust for Scotland maintains the mountain and its pathways and Goatfell is explored by tens of thousands of visitors every year.”

The Walled Garden

“Built in 1710, this fantastic garden overlooks Brodick Bay and features some absolutely gorgeous plants. We also redesigned the layout of the garden over the winter and there is now a stunning area around the sundial with sandstone pavement slabs.”

The view of Brodick Castle with Goatfell in the background

“You are spoiled for choice when it comes to views on Arran but this is one which never gets old. It is very iconic on the island, it’s the one that features in every visitor’s photos and represents everything I love about the property.”

Isle be Wild Playpark

“This adventure playpark really does have to be seen to be believed. It reminds me of the Swiss Family Robinson playhouse and features swinging bridges, tunnels, zip lines, a tower to climb and much more, all set within a stunning forest with a stream going down the middle of it.”

To find out more about Brodick Castle and the National Trust for Scotland’s other properties, visit and enter your postcode.