351 Off-roading

Today I set off in high spirits. It’s a Monday and there are buses running along the stretch of road between Carradale and Campbeltown. No need for double-walking today. Yippee! Continue reading

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350 pm Carradale

There is a forest above Carradale, but I can’t work out what to call it, because it has a number of names on my map – Brackley Wood, Coronation Wood, Kirnashie Wood, Moineruadh Wood, Gorton Wood, Crow Wood, Ballenmeanach Wood, Century Wood…

The car park sign gives a completely different name – Grianain.

21 Grianain parking place, Ruth hiking in Kintyre

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350 am Grogport to Carradale

The title of this post is a little misleading, because I haven’t actually reached Grogport yet. But I’m nearly there. I park in the layby where I finished yesterday’s walk, and set out along the road.

01 Ruth hiking to Carradale, Kintyre, Scotland

Today the sun is shining, but Arran looks misty and mysterious. Every time I see the island, it seems to be wearing a different face. Continue reading

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349 Claonaig to Grogport

There’s a tiny parking place at the spot where the Kintyre Way leaves the coast road. From here it heads over across the peninsula to the other shore. That’s not the right direction for me…

01 car park for Kintyre Way, Ruth hiking in Scotland

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348 pm Tarbert to Claonaig

A waterfall of burning chocolate cascades over my chin. What a shock!

Silly me. The outside of my vacuum flask felt cold, but I should have realised the contents would be hot. That’s the whole point of a vacuum flask!  How stupid to have burnt my mouth. (My lips will remain sore and crusty for the rest of the week.)

Shaken, I continue along the forestry road, which mercifully begins to slant downhill. But I know the footpath turns off to the left shortly, and watch out for the sign. A rusted box invites me to leave comments about the Kintyre Way. Yes, of course…

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348 am Tarbert to Claonaig (Kintyre)

It’s the last week in February and the BBC forecast looks reasonable. So I decide to take a few days away from the new grandchild, and get walking again.

I originally planned to ferry-hop over to Kintyre, via Arran. Unfortunately, because it’s the winter season, the ferry service is too limited to make this a practical option. So, yesterday I drove around to Tarbert from Glasgow – a 2.5 hour journey along the banks of Loch Lomond (yes, it really is very bonny) and then along the banks of Loch Fyne.

Despite a gloomy start to the morning, Tarbert is beautiful.

01 Tarbert Harbour, Ruth's coastal walk, Kintyre

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347 pm Lochranza to Sannox

The walking is easier now, along a flat strip of land between hills and the sea.

27 north coast of Arran, Ruth hiking the coast of Scotland

Small streams cross the path at frequent intervals, but someone has created channels lined with rocks, and the streams are easy to step over. Continue reading

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347 am Lochranza to Sannox

[This was my final day of walking on Arran, and I completed this section in October. Due to various reasons – and partly due to my reluctance to ‘finish’ with Arran – I’ve only just got round to writing it up!]


The forecast predicts rain and winds, but nothing like the gales of yesterday. Just as well, because today I’m about to tackle one of the hardest stretches of the Arran Coastal Way – the north coast.

I confess to feeling nervous. This part of the Coastal Way has a reputation for being rock-scramblingly tough. Seven to eight miles of difficult walking lie ahead, and with no easy route off the path once I start. Can I really do this?

Luckily, when I arrive in Lochranza, the sea looks calm, the sun is shining – and I immediately feel optimistic. Yes, I can do this.

01 Loch Ranza, Ruth walking the Arran Coastal Way

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346 pm Sannox to Brodick

I’m walking through Merkland Wood. It nestles against the lower southern slopes of Goatfell, and is a popular walking area, although I don’t meet anyone up here. Plenty of signposts…

27 woodland walk, Arran Coastal Way, Ruth hiking to Brodick

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346 am Sannox to Brodick

It’s the beginning of October and the BBC forecast promises two clear days with no rain. Time for one last trip to Arran before the winter sets in…

…only you should never trust the Scottish weather. Overnight, the forecast changes, and on my first morning I’m greeted by 40 mph winds and stormy showers. At least the rainbow looks bright over Brodick.

01 Broddick on a stormy day, Ruth Livingstone on the Isle of Arran

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