Spring is Springing
Spring is most definitely springing. Meteorologically speaking spring sprang on 1 March. Astronomically speaking, spring arrives on Sunday 20 March. You can certainly sense the change of seasons. The colour. The sun (sometimes) on your face. And the nights are fair stretching, aren't they? Having a wee bit more daylight to play with is a sure sign it's time to open the calendar and plan a few trips. We've put our thinking caps on to share some of our best springtime travel ideas. Classic destinations offering something for everyone - with return fares beginning at just £3.50. Let's go.
Glorious island gems
Pull on your walking shoes and uncover some glorious island gems on foot. The islands are packed full of all sorts of options.
On the isle of Mull, you can take your pick from a variety of backdrops - from mountain and coast to forest and loch. Tobermory Bay to Aros Park walk is one such route which explores the coastline and offers beautiful views of the rainbow village of Tobermory itself. A lovely springtime sight. Further ahead you'll be greeted by the sounds of rushing waterfalls and the sight of a lily clad loch, before doubling back and following the same route home.
On the neighbouring island of Iona, the Dun I walk offers a spectacular 360-degree view of the island. Dun I is Iona's highest hill and the translation from Gaelic means simply, 'Hill of Iona' - it's just 110m above sea level, however from the top, you will be rewarded with a natural well, known locally as the 'well of eternal youth'. There are also views of the wonderful nearby geological phenomenon of Staffa and the other Treshnish islands, and perhaps even Tiree on a clear day.
Historic buildings with stories to tell
Over on Bute, just a short ferry ride from the mainland, you'll find Rothesay Castle, a one-time fortress which through the years has been connected to some of the most famous milestones and names in Scottish history. In the 13th century it tried to stand firm against Viking invaders. Twice. Later it was occupied by Robert the Bruce during the Scottish Wars of Independence, and by the 17th century it was occupied by Cromwell's troops. A building with multiple stories to tell. Make time to stop off at one of the island's beautiful beaches and bays - with side stretches of sand, beautiful clear waters and great views.
Scenes from the saddle
If you're looking forward to spending more time in the saddle this year, you'll find an impressive selection of bike trail options on Arran. One of the best, which is suitable for most abilities is the Castle Route. It begins close to Brodick Castle and takes in the beautiful sights of Glen Rosa. Biking on the islands allows you to really make the most of your time outdoors, soaking up the scenery and sights as you travel. This 9km route offers lush, rewarding forestry trails and beautiful coastal views for a time - it's a fantastic showcase for the rest of the island.
From walking or biking to generally finding ways to relax outdoors - the west coast of Scotland offers some of the most idyllic destinations. With adult return fares starting at £3.50 and children under 5 travelling for free - your perfect springtime adventure is just a ferry ride away.
Are you ready to explore this spring? We can't wait to welcome you on board.