344 Blackwaterfoot to Imachar

On a beautiful, clear morning, I park by the shore near Machrie, and catch the bus back to Blackwaterfoot. The harbour looks very attractive.

01 Blackwaterfoot, Ruth's coastal walk around the Isle of Arran

Today is a walk of two halves. The first half is glorious, the second half… well, it will turn out to be a bit of a slog. But let’s start at the beginning… Continue reading

Posted in 20 Ayrshire and Arran | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

343 Lagg to Blackwaterfoot

This morning I park my car at Blackwaterfoot and catch the bus back to Lagg. The first section of today’s walk follows the road. Great views over the countryside, with Ailsa Craig a constant feature on the horizon.

01 Ruth Livingstone walking from Lagg, Arran Coastal Way, Scotland

I decide not to take the first path down to the shore. The official Arran Coastal Way sticks to the road anyway, until you reach the village of Sliddery.  Continue reading

Posted in 20 Ayrshire and Arran | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

342 Kildonan to Lagg

The Kildonan Hotel overlooks Pladda Island. In the distance (just to the left of the island) is the misty shape of Ailsa Craig. The hotel garden is dominated by a circle of sculpted stones.

01 Pladda from Kildonan, Ruth's coastal walk around the Isle of Arran

Continue reading

Posted in 20 Ayrshire and Arran | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

341 Whiting Bay to Kildonan

My starting point in Whiting Bay is the path up to the Glenashdale Falls. By the track, a group of four walkers are putting on their boots and strapping on rucksacks. I hesitate, because I hate being overtaken. Should I wait and let them go first? But they spend so long sorting out their kit, I give up and set off.

01 footpath to Glenashdale Falls, Ruth hiking on the Isle of Arran

I’ve just had another bad night, with a persistent cough and muscle pains. So this morning I’ve made two decisions. Continue reading

Posted in 20 Ayrshire and Arran | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

340 Lamlash to Whiting Bay

I drive to Kildonan, on the southeast tip of Arran, where I leave my car in an official car park, which turns out to be a strip of grass by the side of the road. From there, I catch one of the infrequent buses that travels around the coastal road in a huge loop.

Back in Lamlash, and the sky looks ominous.

01 Lamlash, Ruth hiking the Arran Coastal Way, Scotland

Continue reading

Posted in 20 Ayrshire and Arran | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

339 Brodick to Lamlash

I take the morning ferry over to Arran, and spend the crossing standing on the deck, staring out into a grey mist whilst being blown about by a howling gale. It’s too dull for photography, and I can barely stand up against the wind, never mind hold a camera.

As we approach Arran, patches of sunlight break through the clouds and I feel a surge of excitement. The island looks beautiful, with huge mountains and a rocky shore. Below is the first photo I take once off the ferry at Brodick pier.

01 Goat Fell, Isle of Arran, Ruth arriving in Brodick ferry port

Continue reading

Posted in 20 Ayrshire and Arran | Tagged , , , | 17 Comments

338 Fairlie to Wemyss Bay

I return to Fairlie by bus. The sun is shining this morning, but the forecast predicts rain later. My plan is to keep today’s walk short – but now I have the extra miles to Largs to do too – the ones I failed to complete yesterday!

Onwards. Along the cycle path. Heading north.

01 footpath from Fairlie towards Largs, Ruth walking the Ayrshire Coastal Path, Scotland

I had a restless sleep last night and I’m not feeling brilliant this morning, for a number of reasons. Continue reading

Posted in 20 Ayrshire and Arran | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

337 Ardrossan to Fairlie

It’s a dull morning. I park my car in a side road and walk down to the beach. This is North Bay, Ardrossan. A ferry is coming into the harbour. From Arran? The island is invisible this morning, screened by a murky mist.

01 Arran Ferry, Ruth in North Bay, Ardrossan, hiking the coast of Scotland

Continue reading

Posted in 20 Ayrshire and Arran | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

336 pm Stevenston to Ardrossan

I leave my rocky perch and begin walking back along the spit of land. It’s time to head northwards, towards Saltcoats and Ardrossan. After spending a morning inland, it’s great to be walking beside the sea again.

The beach here may not be as pretty as the Stevenston Beach, but the sandbank creates a natural warm pool, and it looks a great place for children to play

27 Stevenston east shore, Ruth hiking the Ayrshire Coastal Path, Scotland

Continue reading

Posted in 20 Ayrshire and Arran | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

336a Irvine to Stevenston

Irvine is a town beside the sea, but it’s not really a seaside town. Most of the time, if you wander around the streets and retail parks, you have no idea you are only a mile or so from the coast.

Anyway, on this glorious July morning, I set off to walk northwards to Ardrossan, but I can’t follow the coast. There’s a river in the way. So I follow the official Ayrshire Coastal Path route – a tarmac track running through pleasant parkland.

01 setting off from Irvine, Ruth's coastal walk around Scotland

Continue reading

Posted in 20 Ayrshire and Arran | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments