Cabin | Photo by: @kovacsz1
There truly is nothing better than discovering the western Scottish coast with a new-found tinder date – am I wrong?
The first time I set foot in Arran was during a 9 hour long tinder date. Yes, you read right, I took an hour long train from Gasgow to Ardrossan harbour, then an hour long ferry in the pouring scottish rain to spend the day on an island with someone I had met through a dating app. The second time was during a day-trip with my dad (hey dad -if you’re reading this, please don’t google what tinder is).
I haven’t been since, but I find myself daydreaming about visiting Arran quite often – and it’s got nothing to do with my date (I promise). The place is actually ideal in terms of how convenient, beautiful and accessible it is.
So I suppose that in a way, this is a thank you, Mr. Tinder boy, for taking me to the Isle of Arran.
There’s a few bike rental services in Arran but most require booking in advance. With my dad we opted for ArranBike which is a short walk along the coast from where the ferry drops you off. Tinder boy and I on the other hand, ended up trekking a bit further into the depths of Brodick town and hired from what I’m pretty sure was Auchrannie Resort.
Now, don’t be a fool and think you’re able to cycle the whole island perimeter – unless you’re some sort of tour de france wannabe – because cycling along Arran’s coast gets deceivingly hard. Instead, I would opt for a cycle to Glen Rosa, the valley close to Brodick which can (sort of) be cycled. If you’re brave and immune to piercingly cold temperatures, you might even feel adventurous enough to dip your toes into the natural pools you’ll find along your way.
What’s perhaps mildly embarrassing is that whilst researching the isle, I’ve come to find that Arran is home to a lot more spectacular scenery than I was even remotely aware of. For starters, there’s a bloody waterfall – and who doesn’t love some good ol’ falling water? Then there’s the Machrie standing stones, Kings Cave and Lagaville Walks. Lace up your boots folks.
What about food, did Tinder boy and I go anywhere in particular? The answer, sadly, is no. I have a vague memory of spending an extortionate amount of money for a pizza near the beach in a cottage-looking restaurant which, although charming, felt more suited to my gran than for two twenty something year olds. If you’re taking your date to Arran, I would highly suggest Mara Fish Bar & Deli or Felicity’s. And since we’re shamelessly naming some awesome island businesses, it feels appropriate to mention Arran’s crafty retail, namely Arran Aromatics, The Arran Cheese Shop and the Arran Whiskey Distillery.
As any good serial dater knows, choosing an outfit for a date is a whole new level of challenging. Here’s where Arran comes in handy adding yet another layer (literally) of fashion-related issues. Scotland – particularly the isles – has greater mood swings than the ones I get during that “time of the month”. You could be expecting taps-aff weather (google it) but get greeted with hurricane-like winds and gushes of rain. Aka, you’re going to need layers. Even after living in Scotland for four long years, I still haven’t mastered the whole idea of dressing up for winter, so I suppose i’ll throw the ball over to our inhouse fashionista, Mariana, to suggest wardrobe ideas for the nature ladies looking to get taken on an Arran date.
So, happy four year anniversary Mr. Tinder Boy – even though I really hope you never read this.