On the north side of Brodick Bay, this reddish sandstone structure is surrounded by lush woods, gardens, and parks. Several rooms are open to the public between March and October, both in the original 16th-century castle and in the Victorian additions that nicely illustrate the Hamilton family's opulent lifestyle. The large downstairs kitchen reveals how servants lived, and the 87 stag heads on the stairs are a slightly disturbing reminder of how the aristocracy spent their leisure time. The vast gardens, open all year, are filled with rhododendrons and azalea. A café serves homemade cakes and coffee for breakfast as well as a light lunch menu.
The country park here includes the 2,867-foot Goatfell, at the highest peak in Arran. The beautiful upland landscape is more challenging to explore than it seems, so it's important to go prepared, but the views from the peak merit the effort to get there. Year-round access is from the country park or from Cladach on the A841.
Off A841, 1 mile north of Brodick Pier, Brodick, North Ayrshire, KA27 8HY, Scotland