Date : Saturday 13th May 2006.
Occasion : The start of a ten day Scottish Island holiday.
Location : By car to Ardrossan on the Clyde, and then across by MacBraynes ferry to the Isle of Arran.
Holiday with : Ann and the two dogs, Harry and Bethan.
Weather : A brilliant first day but then cloudy with occasional rain showers for a few days.
The Ardrossan to Brodick Cal Mac Arran Ferry.
We had planned a few days away "north of the border", and since we moved to Cumbria the driving required to get there has been significantly reduced.
So after a respectably late breakfast we were heading over the border and arrived at Ardrossan in plenty of time for the midday ferry.
As we crested the hill above the town we were greeted by this excellent view across the Firth of Clyde.
Arran in all it's beauty.
A short half hour wait and our ferry was within sight.
Within another twenty minutes we were on board and heading for our island holiday.
The hour crossing brought is into the ferry port of Brodick,
the largest town on the island, and our base while we stayed for a few days.
A fine old house converted to form an excellent dog friendly bed and breakfast guest house, five minutes from the ferry.
No point in wasting the sunshine, so we set off on a short tour of the island, driving the middle road over to the western seashore.
Machrie Bay on the west coast.
Mullach Buidhe is the hill in the distance.
Set slightly up on the hillside, the map noted an old stone circle dating back to the bronze age.
The Cairn at Auchagallon was one of many prehistoric sites in the area.
When we were last here in 1987 we parked the caravan near this part of the seashore for a few nights,
so we were keen to walk in the area again. It was a rugged, rocky coastline with delightful views.
Romance was in the air (?)
Shirley Valentine at the Lighthouse Restaurant
An excellent evening meal which we ate outdoors to enjoy the view.
The sun refused to set so we made our way up the coast to Lochranza,
the smaller ferry port on the northern coast of Arran
Lochranza in the evening sun
Next day dawned rather cloudy and damp, but we thought we would have a go at climbing Goat Fell, the highest point on the island.
This is the delightful village of Corrie an the east coast, and one of the alternative starting points for the popular climb.
The weather was not encouraging so we did a little sightseeing first.
This was a replica Viking boat drawn up on the slipway.
. . . and the village has some really innovative jetty bollards for mooring the boats.
This is the north Sannox burn as it reached the sea.
Goat Fell and the nearer crag of Coich na h-Oighe, looking rather grey in the background.
Still we set off with open minds
despite the low cloud.
From the track above Corrie
a fine view looking north east up the Clyde.
By the time we reached the deer fence the rain had set in.
The grey slab waterfall of Corrie Burn
As you may have guessed, the cloud came down even further, the rain increased, and so we decided to turn back
and try for Goat Fell another day. We spotted this chap (or chap-ess) in the bay as we drove back.
Our third day was no better weather wise, so we took a drive around the southern part of the island.
This is Lamlash jetty with Holy Island in the background. Everything was a bit grey.
The most colourful thing was probably the ferry booking office !
Pladda Island, and Stevenson's 1820's lighthouse
on the southern shores of Arran.
On round to Blackwaterfoot and Drumadoon Bay.
this was the delightful little harbour, but difficult to enter in rough weather I imagine.
With the hint of rain still in the air, we decided to opt for a seashore walk again.
On the map was King's Cave, where Robert the Bruce was supposed to have contemplated his life whilst studying a spider make its web.
To reach it we had to walk around the golf course
and pass the impressive Doon, a basalt rock headland.
The Doon from the other side.
There was now about a 3/4 mile walk along the level shoreline to the sandstone cliffs ahead.
The cave's history goes further back than Robert the Bruce as it held prehistoric remains dating back to the times of the stone circles and monuments we had seen earlier. Security seemed wasted however, as the gate was open !
After a delightful cream tea in the golf club house we returned to Brodick for the evening.
Hopefully the weather tomorrow would be more kind.
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Technical note: Pictures taken with a Canon IXUS 400 Digital camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . . more sunny days like the first one.