We enjoyed such a beautiful day when we arrived on Arran, but there was so much more still to see.
After a peaceful sleep at the Lagg Hotel, we enjoyed a full Scottish breakfast. To be honest I was still full from dinner the night before, but I knew this would set me up for the rest of the day.
I wanted to sit at this pretty table beside the window, but it was set for four. We sat at a table for two instead beside the glass doors. I could still admire morning light and view.
The weather forecast for Saturday was supposed to be rain all day. We’d planned to go to Brodick and visit some inside locations, the Heritage Museum and Brodick Castle. We’ve never been to the museum and Brodick Castle reopened this year with a new visitor experience throughout the castle to explore.
It turned out to be a sunny morning though, so a tour around some of the island villages was what we did instead.
On the way to Blackwaterfoot we stopped quickly to have a look at the new Lagg Whisky Distillery. It looks like an impressive building with stunning coastal views. On a clear day you’ll see the Ayrshire coast, Ailsa Craig, Kintyre Peninsula and possibly even Ireland!
The new distillery opened to the public on Wednesday 12 June, but we were leaving a few days before that. I was disappointed I didn’t get to visit. One for another time.
We parked at the Kinloch Hotel first and wandered along the path where we found a viewpoint. Alan spotted some seals bathing on the shore. I couldn’t see anything, they just looked like rocks to me. They were so far away. He set up his camera and zoomed in to see them. Oh look, there were seals on the rocks. They still looked like rocks until they moved. Amazing camouflage!
In the clips below watch out for the one that looks like a rock then pops its head up to see what’s going on. So cute they are.
We got chatting to a couple from the Isle of Bute who were also staying at the Lagg Hotel. They told us about a new driving route that was being developed called The Còig. Còig is Scottish Gaelic for Five and is a new tourism route initiative for Ayrshire, Firth of Clyde and the three Clyde Islands: Arran, Bute and Cumbrae.
We’ve not visited the Isle of Bute yet. We planned to visit last year but it didn’t happen. Another beautiful wee island to explore one day. I’ve visited the Isle of Cumbrae though, lovely wee island too. It was fun cycling around it, just over a 10 mile circuit.
The tide was mostly out so we drove further along Blackwaterfoot and parked nearer the sandy beach.
We wandered along as far as the golf course near the wonderful Drumadoon Point, home to the remains of an Iron Age Fort. Stunning as always and what a place for a golf course.
Step back in time to a few years ago …. when we sat on top of Drumadoon Fort with my children. There’s even a small standing stone near the top. Nature is wonderful at showing off and creating a wild and beautiful picture for you. Some pictures below from July 2017.
We had to be careful not to venture too close to the edge. You just never know where your feet will land, especially when it’s overgrown in the summer months. The picture below is the view from the top of the Fort, looking towards the King’s Cave. Nature at its best, don’t you think?
Back to 2019 … and the sky was changing. The clouds were starting to look like growing water collectors. On the way back along the beach they decided to cheekily drop it all on top of us, heavily! It really was belting down and we were soaked through. We arrived back at the car a little more than drookit, and sat for a little while listening to the pounding rain.
Ah, the enchantingly unique Imachar beach. What a geological treasure it is. We chatted to a young man who had stopped off here, and he was also staying in the same hotel as us. I mentioned to him to walk further down the beach to see the rock formations. I think he was impressed.
I also met a gentleman from Imachar, James, who connected with me on Instagram a while back. He told me about a proposal to build a forestry timber yard and shipping pier on this beach at Imachar.
This is definitely not the place for a timber yard, look at this amazing beach! Further along heading towards Pirnmill is a stunning coastline, with caves and a burial ground. Nothing is happening with the proposal yet thankfully.
Small island and strange that we bumped into each other at the same place and time. In fact, he thought I was scouting, and I thought he was too. I think the Outlander hat I wear makes people think I might be working for the TV show. Ha, I wish. This beach would make a beautiful filming location though.
I love this little rocky beach and wish I could have explored all day. We had time to fly the drone and recorded some footage. Here’s sneak peek of this beautiful coastline! The other direction is beautiful too but I’ll keep this for the final video.
I returned to the island later in the month with my lovely daughter and we stayed at the Auchrannie in Brodick for one night. I wanted to share Imachar beach with her. I think she liked the peace and quiet as we wandered for a while exploring the rocks.
The tide was further out this time making the rocks look even larger as there was no water around them and looked like a mini canyon to me. Some photos below:
Pretty Pirnmill was next. There’s a shop, post office and lovely restaurant called The Lighthouse.
Pirnmill was named after a mill which made pirns (wooden bobbins) for the cotton industry. The mill originally operated from 1780 until 1840, built by Clarks of Paisley. The mill stopped producing as seemingly they ran out of local wood.
It’s always worth a stop at the villages or hamlets on Arran. It might not look like there’s much there when you drive past, but really there is. Look at this beautiful war memorial.
I was wishing I could linger for longer. This seat was shouting at me to stay and enjoy the views for a while.
Even the bus stop has a proper seat to rest your weary feet. We had to move on though. I was getting a little tired, but not as bad as I usually am these days. I think the fresh island air was definitely helping.
Catacol was looking very cute. The main point of interest for me today were the houses below. These are known as the Twelve Apostles. Twelve houses joined in a row, but there are 13 chimneys. The end chimney is false I think. I suppose it would look odd if it wasn’t there.
These were once fishermen’s cottages. Each house has a different upper window and wives would light a candle in their window to signal their husbands at sea . The fishermen would know if the message was for them because of the different shaped windows.
I love that story, life before the telephone. It must have been a good way to let their husbands know if someone was sick, or there was an emergency. Or maybe it was just time for tea…
We drove round the beautiful coastline to Lochranza. We’ve stayed here quite a few times at the Lochranza campsite. It’s a lovely wee site and was a godsend for us when we walked the coastal way.
It was a quick stop at Lochranza Castle. Sadly there were no deer or sheep around, so I’m not sure how I’ll cover this in my video. I do have old footage I could use though, just not at the castle.
The castle dates from the 13th century. It is believed that Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland, landed at Lochranza in 1306 when he returned from Ireland to claim the Scottish throne. He fairly got around that guy called The Bruce. His travelling blog would have been a really interesting read I bet.
Corrie is a village with two harbours. In times past, the Sandstone Quay below was used to ship sandstone from a nearby quarry. Look at the little cute sheep bollards.
The other harbour is called Corrie Port and homes a replica Viking ship used by the Arran Viking Society. So cool!
The coastline at Corrie has the most amazing layers of red sandstone. Or you might think it’s pinkish in colour. You’ll never tire of the coastline on Arran. It still impresses me with its diverse landscape scultpted over millions of years.
I checked out the bath carved in the red rock and this year it was filled with water. It is thought it was carved out for a Doctor McCready around 1835 so he could treat his patients with salt water therapy.
Last year the bath looked a lot cleaner and I could stand inside it. Do you think someone power washed it last year?
We didn’t book dinner in the hotel tonight and opted for eating a chippy (chip shop food) in the car instead. Alan had steak pie and chips and I had haggis and chips. To be honest, I didn’t enjoy it much. I think it’s the cooking oil the chip shop use as the food tasted different to my local chippy back home.
We drove back to the Lagg Hotel and I enjoyed a few Arran Blondes (lager) in the cosy lounge. Another day gone so quickly. We did well and covered a lot of the island. I was gradually building up my video clips. I just hope they are good enough when I eventually get time to watch through them all.
My next post will show you the Giants’ Graves and Glenashdale Falls circuit in Whiting Bay. I’ve covered this in an older post, but things change after 13 years…
Thanks for reading as always. I hope you enjoyed it.