Machrie Moor Stone Circles Walk

As Walking

Where: Machrie Moor Stone Circles Walk on the Isle of Arran
When: July 2013
Who: J Parker
Why: A day out to Arran
Weather: Sunny
Distance: about 3 miles round trip

The image below is of the Arran ferry Caledonian Isles arriving at Ardrossan. It costs about £8 per person for a day return on the ferry, and about £33 per return for a car, so many people park in the large car park next to the pier for a few pounds per day, rather than take the car. If you are taking a car at weekends or in the school holiday season, it is best to pre-book, as the ferry can be fully booked then.

I was giving relations a tour round the south side of the Island to the Glenashdale Falls at Whiting Bay, the Torrylin Cairn at Kilmory on the southwest side of the Island, then dropping them off at Blackwaterfoot for the beach, so took the car. I then went on to visit the Machrie Moor Standing Stones and the Kings Cave myself, as they are only a couple of miles north of Blackwaterfoot. Doing the four attractions in one day is a fair amount of walking.

The image below is from the ferry car park right next to the pier, it only costs between 2 and 3 pounds per day to park here.

Ardrossan Train Station is situated less than half of a mile south of the ferry terminal. You can normally buy train/ferry tickets together with a discount. Train/Ferry Map.

The first ferry normally departs Ardrossan at 07.00 and the next at 09.45. Afternoon ferries leaving Brodick are normally 16.40 and 19.20. In summer, there is also a smaller ferry that runs so there will be more crossings available. Price checks and timetables for the ferry can be found at the ferry website:

Arran Ferry at Ardrossan image

The image below is of one of the restaurants on board the ferry. The crossing takes about 1 hour to Brodick, so we had plenty of time for breakfast.

Arran Ferry Restaurant image

The image below is from the ferry when approaching Brodick. There should be buses waiting at the Brodick Ferry Terminal for the all the larger ferry crossings if you do not take the car. Note, there are no buses that run to suit the first early ferry though?

The bus stops are right next to the ferry terminal and there should be three buses sitting waiting. One goes north to Cladach, Brodick Castle, Corrie, Sannox, Lochranza and round to Blackwaterfoot. That is the bus you would need to get to take you to the Machrie Moor or Kings Cave car parks.

Another bus goes straight over to Blackwaterfoot via the mountain road, and the other goes south to Lamlash, Whiting Bay, Kildonan, Kilmory, Lagg and round to Blackwaterfoot.

Bus Website

If you miss the bus, or are on the early ferry, A.R.C. Private Hire are based in Brodick. Tel: 0777 608 2752.

Lamlash based Taxi and mini bus hire call George on 07967 587 481.

Brodick from the Ferry image

The image below is of the car park at the Machrie Moor Standing Stones. That is the hiking gate and path that leads all the way to the three main sets of standing stones.

It is 27 miles round the north side of the island on the bus to this car park. The route is nice and scenic. The map link below will show the route straight over the hill road, drag the blue line from the middle, up to the north road at Lochranza for the north map route.

The car park here is just under 1 mile south of Machrie, 3 miles north of Blackwaterfoot. Machrie Bay is mainly a few houses with a golf and tennis facility that has a popular tea room.

The car park for the Kings Cave walk is situated 1 mile south of this car park. Many people take in the two walks on the same day.

Machrie Google Map

Arran Attractions Click On Map

Machrie Moor Stone Circles Car Park image

The image below is from about half of a mile out from the car park. This is the Moss Farm Road Cairn, said to be the burial place of a powerfull individual that died around 4,000 years back.

The path here leads on for almost another mile to the the largest standing stones at Machrie Moor.

Moss Farm Road Cairn on the Isle of Arran image

The image below is from reaching the first main stone circle at Machrie Moor, about one and a half miles out from the car park on a good trail that leads right to them.

You can just see the largest stones past the trees.

Machrie Moor image

The image below is of the entrance to the largest stones on Machrie Moor. There are two information boards here that state the history of the area.

It is believed the stone circles here were built around 4,500 years back, around the same time as Stone Henge. They are thought to have been used for worship, and later burials.

Information Sign Large Image

Machrie Moor information boards image

The image below is of the three largest stones at Machrie Moor. This is one of the most popular photos on the Isle of Arran, with these three large stones and the Arran mountains in the distance to the north.

Large Image

Machrie Moor Standing Stones image

The walk to the Machrie Moor Standing Stones from the new car park at the start of the trail is fairly level on a good dry path. The views of the stones to the Arran mountains is well worth the walk.

It was back to the car after this walk for a short drive south, about 1 mile to the car park for the Kings Cave walk. After that walk, it was back to Blackwaterfoot beach to pick up the relations, then back across the hill road to Brodick for the last ferry back to the mainland.

For more information on Arran, Machrie and Blackwaterfoot, visit the Tour of Arran Page.