About the Octopus Centre


The Octopus Centre is Scotland’s first MPA visitor centre, and it is led by COAST and the people of Arran. This project has only come together thanks to the drive, skills and commitment of over a hundred volunteers working along with our staff and many generous donations and grants.


We’d love to welcome you to our centre. Here are a few things you can do during your visit:

  • Explore Arran’s very own blue planet – what lies beneath the seas of our Marine Protected Area – interactive exhibits, touch tank, films and more
  • Find out who manages and studies our seas and how you can support and/or get involved in marine conservation
  • Shop for sea-themed gifts and enjoy a nice tea, coffee or ice cream
  • Meet COAST, a pioneering community group that succeeded in getting the government to set up a No Take Zone and a Marine Protected Area in Arran
  • Plan a great day out by the sea – we hire snorkelling gear, tennis gear and courts, explorer backpacks, beach cleaning kits for all the family and binoculars & blanket for seabird, seal and otter watching (Available soon)
  • Book one of COAST’s events or activities (shore scrambles, thematic workshops, films, exhibitions, etc.). Check out What’s On
  • At our marine info-point, access information about coastal and marine activities to do around the island (RIB tours, wildlife walks, excursions, kayaking, open water swimming, etc.)

We documented the renovation works on this blog.

We thank our funders and all the people who have donated their time, talent or money towards this project.