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To the north of Arran

Home -> Europe -> Scotland -> Travelogue Scotland -> 23 May 2011

Monday 23 May, to the north of Arran

We are sleeping late today because the weather reports are not that good. Storm and rain are expected for the rest of the week while we want to see so much. We think walking is fun but not in the rain, we are too spoiled for that.
The birds get a treat Norther part of ArranFirst we drive via Brodick to the north of Arran, which is much more mountainous than the south and can be seen from afar.
In Brodick we make a stop at the Heritage museum, a kind of open-air museum with authentic furnished houses and a lot of information about the geology, archeology and history of the island.
Arran Heritage Museum Arran Heritage MuseumThe houses are crammed with things such as those used in everyday life on Arran in the past. There is a house, a stable, a coach house and a smithy that is exactly as it was when the very last blacksmith stopped it in the 1960s. Many 19th century instruments were still used by then.
Arran Heritage Museum Churchyard near BrodickThere are a lot of heritage museums in all of Scotland and we do not always visit them, but on an island we find it interesting because the people here used to live much more isolated than on the mainland.
Somewhat beyond Brodick we see an old cemetery where we take a look. Cemeteries in Scotland always look so old in one way or another, stones that are crooked and covered with moss.
Seal at Corrie Lochranza CastleAt Corrie we suddenly see a seal on a rock just off the coast, so we quickly get out to take a photo. But the seal does not move at all while it does not seem to be in an easy position. And soon we find out that it is a statue.
As we drive on we see the remains of Castle Lochranza on the north coast. The oldest part dates back to the 13th century, but most was added in the 16th century.
Lochranza CastleUntil 1266 the island was governed by the Vikings when they sold it to the Scots. But it is not certain whether the Vikings or later the Scots built the first castle. The castle is used as an example in the comic album The black rocks of Tintin. The castle was completely made for defense with only one door and shoot holes on the ground floor. And on the first floor, the stairs could be lifted up in emergencies. The ruin is managed by Historic Scotland but we were able to look inside to see it without access fee.
Hard winds near Thundergay Hard winds near ThundergayAt Thundergay, on the northeast coast of Arran, the sea is more turbulent than yesterday and we have to put on our winter coats when we get out of the car to take some pictures. I think it's a nice spectacle and a great opportunity to practice with my new camera.
Hard winds near Thundergay Hard winds near ThundergayIn Lochranza we have informed about the ferry to Kintyre, because if the weather only gets worse we might want to get off the island, for example to Kintyre. But for a return ticket we would have to pay almost € 50, pretty much for going back and forth. But it will not happen anyway because the boat has been taken out of service because of the weather that will only become more stormy.
Dougarie Lodge, Victorian hunting lodgeWe also wanted to walk to the Machrie Moor Stone Circles today but the weather is way too bad so we are driving slowly back home. Along the way we pass Dougarie Estate where you can rent holiday homes. The building at the entrance is in any case very nice.
After a cup of hot soup in a restaurant at Brodick we go back home early, with this bad weather there is nothing for us to do outside.
No electricityBack in our house, the electricity is off, there is a breakdown in the whole area and the owner does not know when it will be repaired. The stove works on electricity so we are reading our books with a thick coat on. And we were already so cold. Only late at night everything starts working again but by then we are already in the warm bed.


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