We’ve featured lockdown stories from hill walkers self-isolating in tower blocks and city-centre flats, but what’s it like living in one of the mountainous regions we’re all yearning to get to? Kirstie Smith reports from Arran.  

Arran is a popular tourist destination with almost half of the island made up of second homes, which, come Easter, are usually all full.

Add to that hotels, B&Bs, campsites and extra day trippers and automatically the island goes from a quiet local population to thousands of extra visitors enjoying our stunning trails, beaches and mountains with local businesses thriving!

This year has hit us hard, like it has many other places all over the country, and, although many island businesses have been impacted, people realise the seriousness of the outbreak and the extra pressures on our limited emergency services so everything we know and are used to has just had to be put on hold. Ferry services have been reduced and you can only travel to and from the island now with a valid ‘essential’ reason.

Our mountains are free of human presence and the villages and roads are eerily quiet.

Local folk who escape to the mountains at the weekends still get to stare at their beauty from afar and the general consensus is that we are extremely grateful to have views and so much open space close to our homes to get our daily exercise in.

People who you never usually see out walking, cycling or running are out because it’s the only chance to escape the house for a short while.

There seems to be a new sense of appreciation for the outdoors and people here are generally being extremely careful where they choose to go to avoid meeting others ( again we are lucky here to have the choice).

People are adapting and appreciating getting outside to enjoy local trails and in turn are able to cope with things much better.

I’m still finding it a struggle to get my head around having this when others are stuck in cities as I feel really guilty and privileged but I’m appreciating every day living here more than ever before.

The longing and excitement for escaping to the mountains again and sharing great memories from the past along with seeing photos from others is certainly keeping me sane.

Staying away from these special places and advising people to do the same seems so wrong, but it’s a must at the moment and thankfully the mountains aren’t going anywhere too soon!

Make indoor time better with The Great Outdoors

During the lockdown, we’re continuing to work (from home!) to make a magazine that will help you keep your outdoor spirit alive. Even though you can’t go physically go to the hills and mountains, we aim to take you there with our words and images, and perhaps conjure some of the feelings they inspire. 

To show our readers our gratitude for their support at this time, current subscribers have had their subscriptions upgraded to include free access to the digital edition of the magazine.

To give you some great reading material for these indoor days, we’re also offering new readers:

Stay home, stay safe, and see you on the hills when the day comes!