Amongst the books we found in our hire cottage on Arran, was one called “Arran for Families”. It was a brilliant little book – fully illustrated with easy to read information about places to visit on the island. On a showery day, we decided to visit two of the destinations we found within its pages – the Giant’s Graves and Glenashdale Falls.
Most of my previous walking has been done in the Lake District. When I open the OS map to plan a walk, it is criss-crossed with green and black dashed lines indicating footpaths and right of ways. This was not the case when I opened a map of Arran. Contours and streams were there, and lots of other symbols, lines and colours that make maps so brilliant to look at – but not too many footpaths. I guess the Scottish Outdoor Access Code means that much of the landscape is one big right of way (within reason). But it came as a bit of a shock when I was trying to plan a day in the hills for us. After consulting my guide book, I decided that Coire Fhionn Lochan would be the walk for us.
One of the great things about Arran is just going for a drive and pulling in to different places to see what is there. I suppose that can be the same anywhere really. After a morning spent at Kildonnan looking for seals, we decided to drive round the island, pulling in wherever we fancied. It was getting late when we drove into a picnic area at North Sannox. It was a gorgeous spot. After messing around for a while at the spot where North Sannox Burn enters the sea, we decided we head back to the cottage for some tea. Before we left, I checked the information board and noticed that we could start a walk to Fallen Rocks from here.
After we’d visited Machrie Moor Stone Circle, there was still plenty of time left for more adventure, so we drove the short distance down the road to Torr Righ Beag, a coniferous forest by the sea. From here, we could walk down to the beach to explore the King’s Cave, but not before the customary check of the information board. Here, we found a circular walk which, for no particular reason, we chose to do clockwise. We made our way to a forest track on the left hand side of the car park.
Last year, Rick and I got married. It was a lovely weekend in the Lake District not dampened in the slightest by the inevitable (for the Lakes) rain. With Rowan now at school, we had to wait for the summer holidays for our honeymoon, but the end of August saw us heading north to visit Scotland in Miniature – the beautiful Isle of Arran.
Earlier this year, we made a last minute decision to visit Sale Water Park for the City of Trees Go Wild event. City of Trees are a movement aiming to restore Greater Manchester’s woodlands and generally make Manchester greener through planting trees, and their Go Wild event was aimed at getting kids outside.
Running up to getting married in Coniston earlier this year, we were up in the Lakes for meetings with the hotel on several occasions. After one, much shorter than expected, visit to the venue, we found ourselves with some free time but no walking gear to venture onto the fells with. We decided to make our way to Grasmere to visit Allan Bank, former home to William Wordsworth and Canon Rawnsley (one of the founders of the National Trust)