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Ferry from Ardrossan to Arran

Poulton Le Fylde...
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Ferry from Ardrossan to Arran

We are travelling to the ferry at Ardrossan in May on two motorbikes from Poulton in Lancashire. We don't know what time we will arrive, considering distance and traffic conditions, so wonder if it is necessary to pre-book the ferry to Arran, or can we book on arrival? Is it possible to get an 'open' ferry ticket?

Stanley, Falkland...
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1. Re: Ferry from Ardrossan to Arran

You can get the best advice from the ferry operators, Calmac.

They know how full each sailing is. I don't know whether they just squeeze in bikes, regardless. I think you can get 'open tickets' but its still advised to book specific crossings at busy times.

May has some Bank Holidays and can be busy.

I would allow about 4 hours from Poulton, but it will probably be less.

Check for routes at www.viamichelin.com

Edinburgh...
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2. Re: Ferry from Ardrossan to Arran

I doubt you'd have problems with bikes. There are odd corners on the ferry that cars can't fill. Most of May shouldn't be that busy compared with June-August, but best to ask Calmac.

Don't believe Google's trip time, it'll be a bit optimistic. But I realise bikes tend to go a bit faster than cars :-)

Route: conventional wisdom says straight up the motorway and then onto the A71. But you could use the A75/A76 which would be marginally slower but maybe a bit more fun/scenic than the motorway. Both routes go through Kilmarnock. (or the A75/A712/A713)

Viamichelin will suggest you go all the way up to Glasgow, and down again, which maximises motorway travel. Unnecessary.

Stanley, Falkland...
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3. Re: Ferry from Ardrossan to Arran

I disagree with Derek on routes. Viamichelin will suggest what you ask for - motorway, quickest, cheapest, scenic, etc.

If you haven't driven on them before, the rural roads in Ayrshire can be both scenic and frustrating, leading to sometimes being stuck behind farm traffic or slow traffic, with few overtaking spots.

I generally use them when heading south (after a holiday), and have no deadline to meet. The wee roads around Wanlockhead are as good as some in the Highlands.

Heading north, with a ferry to catch, I suggest motorway as much as possible. Your speed will be much higher, and predictable.

I used to head for Ardrossan via East Kilbride, but the new southerly motorway link has been opened in Glasgow and that may be simpler (certainly fewer roundabouts!).

Edinburgh...
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4. Re: Ferry from Ardrossan to Arran

Bikes are rarely held up by slow moving vehicles like cars are. Thus the rural route suggestion. And it depends on whether the OP is wanting a day out or is simply heading for the ferry as quickly as poss.

5. Re: Ferry from Ardrossan to Arran

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