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About us

The Old Byre Showroom was established in 1967 by my parents John and Iris Mansfield who moved to the Isle of Arran in 1957 to farm. They came to Arran when they married from the town of Langholm in the borders of Scotland. It was in Langholm that my great grandfather, Tom Paisley, ran the fellmongering business separating the sheepskin from the wool. The business was later run by Stewart and Charlie Paisley, and it was John's uncle Stewart who suggested that they bring some sheepskin rugs to Arran to sell. Not thinking that there would be a demand, John and Iris simply sold a few sheepskin rugs from the house - until things got out of hand! It got to the stage that the doorbell was going constantly and the decision was taken to make the old byre, a Scottish word for cowshed, into a shop.

Aerial view of the Visitor Centre

The business then grew up and the range of products to include slippers, gloves and knitwear. I took over in 1997 when I returned to the island and have now increased the brands to include Dubarry, Seasalt, White Stuff, Didrikson and many more Scottish and Irish knitwear companies. In 2012 we totally renovated the Old Byre as it was leaking and in a bad state of repair. We now have a modern bright shop but have retained the original gable and at least some of its character. My husband moved here when we were married in 2004 and opened a small cafe and then in 2012 we built Cafe Thyme which caters for 30-40. He built a Turkish wood burning oven in the kitchen and from that lovingly produces homemade breads and pides - (Turkish style pizzas/calzone) baked fresh to order. Salad is grown on the premises and all produce is home made and sourced locally or within Scotland wherever possible. Come and enjoy a delicious lunch, a coffee and cake or even a glass of wine while enjoying the view.

In 2020 we opened our second shop on site, The Shoe Bothy, featuring Ladies, Men's and Children's shoes, as well as handbags! We have many well known brands like Hunter and Dubarry of Ireland as well as more bespoke ranges such as De Marchi Calzatura, which are handcrafted in Istanbul. We also offer a children's foot measuring service and a range of Start-rite school shoes, to make back to school shopping as pain free as possible! Our shoes start at Pre-walker sizes, as well as having slim fit and Extra-wide ranges, so there's something for everyone.

Also on site is a great outdoor children's play area with climbing wall, basketball, tennis, football, digger den, swings, trampoline, slide, fort, diggers and dumpers! There is ample parking and something for everyone so why not make a day of it!

We are open 7 days a week 10am - 5pm, lunches served between 12 and 3pm. We can also provide takeaways if preferred, indeed our breaded fresh haddock with hand cut chips or gourmet steak burgers.
Opening times may vary, please check our Facebook page for any updates. Our shops are closed 25th & 26th December, 1st & 2nd January.

We also have a shop in the main village of Brodick the "Byre at Brodick", so if you don't have time to come to Machrie or come without a car there's no excuse!

Stunning views from the Visitor Centre
The Visitor Centre's play area
One view from Café Thyme
Inside the Old Byre Showroom
The Shoe Bothy, Arran's new shoe shop
Aerial view of the Visitor Centre


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