Scotland's Isle of Arran is a thriving island that has been described—with good reason—as "Scotland in Miniature." The Highland Boundary Fault bisects the island so its southern half is all rolling hills and farmland, and the north is a wild landscape of mountains and glens similar to the Highlands.
The warm Gulf Stream enables palm trees to grow, and human activities flourish as well. Visit Arran Aromatics, which sells soap, candles and skin-care products (http://www.arran.com), Arran Brewery (http://www.arranbrewery.com), the Island Cheese Company (http://www.arranscheeseshop.co.uk) and the Isle of Arran Distillers (http://www.arranwhisky.com). While there, be sure to visit Cir Mhor and Glen Rosa for the views. The Standing Stones on Machrie Moor, while not as spectacular as the Callanish Stones on Lewis, are nevertheless worth visiting.
Arran is an excellent option if you don't have enough time to travel farther north. If you plan to go, we recommend a two-night stay. The island is most directly reached by Calmac ferry from Ardrossan. http://www.calmac.co.uk.
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