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Walking and driving on Arran

Home -> Europe -> Scotland -> Travelogue Scotland -> 22 May 2011

Sunday 22 May, walking and driving on Arran

Our lodge in Lamlash, Arran It is going to rainWe wake up with a bright sun and we can now quietly see what our environment looks like. Our house looks nice from the outside and we have an elongated garden with a large henhouse in the back. The owner lets the chickens run loose during the day and they are very curious.
To the west we see the first rain showers fall over the hills, hopefully that will not reach us.
Failed road repairs Lamlash, ArranWe decide to walk to Lamlash, which is close by. On the way we see the artwork of a road worker who certainly had drunk one too many when he had to repair the road. Lamlash is the largest town in Arran, a few kilometers south of Brodick where the ferryboat goes. Most houses are on the main road just off the coast.
Holy Island in Lamlash Bay Palmtrees in LamlashOpposite the town is Holy Isle. In Great Britain there are more islands with this name and on this island lies a sacred source with medicinal properties, in the 6th century a monk has lived here in a cave and there has been a 13th century monastery. The island is now owned by the Samye Ling Buddhist Community who practice a form of Tibetan Buddhism.
Palmtrees in Lamlash Palmtrees in LamlashThanks to the warm water supplied by the Gulf Stream, it is relatively warm here compared to other places on the same latitude and even palm trees can grow here. I used to collect seeds from palm trees, but in the Netherlands they do not seem to want to germinate. So, I have to take pictures of the places where they are.
Church, Lamlash House at LamlashSt. George's church is the tallest building in Lamlash but has not been used as a church since 1947. There have been plans to break it down but we have read that there are renovation plans now.

Most houses have a generous garden with a palm tree in it. I really like the houses here anyway.
Poem on a bench LamlashAlong the beach are all benches and they are sponsored by residents or former residents and often their name is engraved on them but on one of them we find a poem about time. The lawn in front of the beach is used as a playground and a walking park, but today it is deserted.
In the whole village we actually encounter only a few people and no tourists at all. We do not mind the latter at all.
Lamlash Feeding the chickenOccasionally it looks like it is going to rain but it remains perfectly dry. We walk to the end of the village and on the way back we drink a cup of coffee at the Glenisle hotel.
Back at the house we sit in the garden for a while to feed the chickens but it is still early and dry so we get into the car to see some more of the island.
House for sale South of LamlashWe first follow the main road to the south. We have never been to Arran before, so everything is new. This house on the left is for sale and I really like the grass on the roof. I wonder if they often suffer from leaks.
Along the coast of Arran there is a lot of vegetation, especially in the south that is somewhat lower than the north.
Pladda island from Kildonan Pladda island and Alisa CraigKildonan is a town on the south side of the island, but you have to leave the main road, otherwise you will pass by. In contrast to the other beaches of the island here is a large sandy beach but the weather is not really tempting to use it.
Off the coast lies the island Pladda where seals like to lie in the sun and in the distance we can see the volcanic cone Alisa Craig, also an island.
Church at Kilmory Irish Sea from KilmoryKilmory is a hamlet with a few houses, a church, a shop and a post office like many small Scottish hamlets. At the church we walk over the cemetery.

In the southwest we see the Irish Sea and when the skies are clear you can see the coast of Northern Ireland.
Torrylin Cairn near Kilmory Alisa Craig from Torrylin CairnThe island was already inhabited in prehistoric times and there are still remnants to be found everywhere. At Kilmory we go to Torrylin cairn, a tomb monument of more than 5,000 years old. In the burial chamber the bones of 6 adults, a child and a baby were found and it seems that they were buried over a longer period of time. Most stones have been taken away and were used for building houses, but the contours of the entrance are still visible.
Coast at Blackwaterfoot Swans in the sea, BlackwaterfootBlackwaterfoot lies on the south-west coast of Arran and seems to be known because it has a 12-hole golf course, there are only 2 of those in Europe.
Under the misty sky the sea looks cold and wild though it can be a lot worse when it really storms. In the distance we see the coast of the Kintyre peninsula.
Coast at Blackwaterfoot Coast at BlackwaterfootIt is always a beautiful sight to see how the sun and clouds alternate over the sea and we continue to watch for a while but it is cold and windy. The village itself is deserted and we drive inland.
Arran has one ring road that goes around the entire island (about 90 kilometers) with in the middle a road that cuts through the island, the String. This road is about 19 kilometers from Blackwaterfoot to Brodick on the east coast.
Scenery along The String The coast at BrodickArran is also called Scotland in small: in the north are the Highlands with a rugged mountainous area and in the south a somewhat more sloping and green landscape. North of this road is the Goat Fell, a mountain of 874 meters high, the top of Arran. It is a beautiful route that we will be driving more often this week. The road first goes up and then descends again to Brodick, not the largest but most important place of the island because the ferry to the mainland leaves here.
The coast at Lamlash Drying the laundryBack at Lamlash we go back to the coast and sit and watch the sea for a while and you can see that the sea is much calmer here than on the west coast which is closer to the open sea.
But because of all that sitting outside and also the cold weather of the past few days, we have got a cold and this is a good moment to wash all the handkerchiefs that we have with us, you see them hanging here at the stair railing.
In the evening we stay inside, we have lots of books with us and amuse ourselves well after another beautiful day.


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