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.
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 Barbour, Seasalt 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 opened our newly 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.
We are open 7 days a week 10am - 4pm, lunches served between 12 and 3pm. We can also provide takeaways if preferred, indeed our breaded fresh haddock with hand cut chips or wild boar and apple burgers are increasingly gaining popularity!
Also on site is a great outdoor children's play area with climbing wall, basketball, tennis, football, digger den, swings, trampoline, slide, fort, diggers, dumpers and a giant sand pit! There is ample parking and something for everyone so why not make a day of it!
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!