The main village on the island is Brodick (a Viking name meaning "broad bay") to which the main ferry to the mainland connects. Brodick Castle is the seat of the Dukes of Hamilton. Other villages include Lochranza ("loch of the rowan trees"), Sannox ("the sandy one"), Whiting Bay, Blackwaterfoot, Lamlash and Machrie.
St. Columba and St. Ninian are said to have stayed on Arran, and there are other Irish connections, e.g. a stone circle names Fingal's Cauldron. Nearby is the 34 metres deep King's Cave where Robert the Bruce took shelter. There are standing stones on Machrie Moor and the Giant's Graves above Whiting Bay. St. Molio's Cave has wall carvings which are evidence of a rare Pictish script.
Arran is connected with the Scottish mainland by two Caledonian McBrayne ferries: Brodick to Ardrossan and Lochranza to Claonaig.
The island is sometimes referred to as "Scotland in miniature" - as it is itself a mixture of Highlands and Lowlands.