AHWC To The Isle Of Arran
September 2005

Gents

I have looked at some of our options for the proposed 2005 trip. I haven’t looked too closely at routes once we are there, as that very much depends on how we choose to travel, and what kind of accommodation we use. We really need to decide those things first before we decide where we will walk.

The preferred date is September 2005 please let me know if you are interested (no firm commitments required at this stage, just whether or not you are interested in principle), and whether there are any dates in September 2005 you can not make.

Arran looks ideal for walking, as it has some wide open spaces and is sparsely populated. Unfortunately that is also a problem, in that accommodation choice is limited. There are plenty of B&Bs and hotels, plus self catering cottages, but few campsites, and those seem to be in just two places.

I have done some very rough pricing using 5 options (all prices are per person and do not include evening meals, lunch, Compeeds etc.)–

A Flying out and using B&B moving from place to place
  • This option would allow us to do the coastal path, moving from place to place each day.
  • Due the lack of campsites I would suggest we did not take any camping gear as it hardly seems worth it for one or maybe two nights.
  • Because we would have to use B&Bs this is the most expensive option, although the books say there are plenty of places in £20 per night bracket.
  • These costs will remain more or less unaffected by the number of walkers, but will obviously change for nights away.
  • Most B&Bs on the island seem to be small, and so we may have to split up on some nights for this option.
  • There is a company on the island who will transport your gear round for £22 per week per person for up to 7 stops. Might be worth thinking about if we took this option (not included in the costs below)
      Flights £60.00
Ferry £17.00
Train £10.00
Accommodation B&B £140.00
Total £227.00
B Driving all the way there and using a bunk house as a static base.
  • This option would be very much like Brecon, giving day walks out from a fixed base.
  • There is a choice of places to stay, two youth hostels plus my favourite, a bunk house outside Brodick. Check it out at http://www.arranland.net
  • Driving up from Billericay would take time; it is 450 miles, so approximately 7 hours. With ferries etc this in effect looses a full day each way.
  • I have assumed we would have to hire a vehicle, an 8 seater bus – cost £52.50 per person. If use our own cars we save this but spend more on fuel.
  • Although we have a vehicle instead of flying, luggage space would still be limited
  • Accommodation is cheap but we would have to make and buy breakfast.
  • This option would suggest we had to do circular walks, but using public transport we may be able to do one way routes as well.
      Vehicle hire £52.50
Ferry £11.25
Fuel £20.00
Bunk house £52.50
Food (breakfast) £10.50
Total £146.75
C Fly-drive to the bunk house.
  • As above but flying to Prestwick, and picking up a vehicle there.
  • This has the advantage of not losing time on the road, maybe gaining us one of those two days back.
      Flights £60.00
Vehicle hire £52.50
Ferry £11.25
Fuel £5.00
Bunk house £52.50
Food (breakfast) £10.50
Total £191.75
D Advance party to the bunk house
  • Combine plans B & C with a minimum number driving up one day early with the gear so that we have transport on the island. The rest of the group fly up the next day.
  • Cost of flights and fuel would be averaged between us all, we can also take more gear than if we all flew.
  • Overall costs would between more than B and less than C, and reduced if we do not have to hire vehicles.
  • A better option for those on tight vacation allowances, the men of leisure and those with generous bosses could do the advance run.
E Fly to the bunk house, use buses on the island
  • As C – but no vehicle hire so reliant on buses.
  • NB buses are not costed in the figures below. I have a timetable for the buses which shows that most of the island (at least where there are roads) is covered, but some routes only have one bus every two hours or so.
      Flights £60.00
Ferry £17.00
Train £10.00
Bunk house £52.50
Food (breakfast) £10.50
Total £150.00
NB These are the assumptions I have made
  1. I have assumed 8 in the party. Fewer people would increase the cost of vehicle higher, but we may then be able to use our own cars. More people would also increase it until you got to 16 as one vehicle would be partly empty. The more private vehicles we could use obviously the cheaper the journey. If we choose to drive whatever vehicles we use I suggest we share driving, particularly for the return journey.
  2. I assumed 7 nights for the trip. Transport would be the same for any number of nights, obviously accommodation is variable.
  3. All costings are approximate at this stage, numbers of people and nights away will change these, so will decisions about hiring vehicles or using our own.
  4. For fuel I have assumed 450 miles each way, 300 on the island, one vehicle, 30mpg £5 per gallon.

Any questions, comments, queries, suggestions or disagreements to me please.

Colin.