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.

02 misty Arran, Ruth's coastal walk

I’m walking into the sun (heading south) and so photography is difficult. To be honest, there’s not much of interest along the way – a ruined farmhouse, a lonely cottage by the shore, fenced off scrubland, patches of woodland – and with few distractions I make rapid progress.

03 Ruth walking down into Grogport, Kintyre Peninsula, Scotland

Just before I reach Grogport, I come across an official picnic area and a very small car park – with room for 2 cars, maybe 3 if you’re lucky! But what a great place for lunch. And with wonderful views over Arran.

04 Grogport picnic site, Ruth's coastal walk in Scotland

I decide to turn back here. Yes, it’s another day of having to retrace my steps. It’s Sunday and there are no buses running, but, in any case, this road doesn’t have a bus service.

As always, the route backwards seems to take much longer than the route forwards. I distract myself by thinking happy thoughts – of my new grandchild, of my family, of my shiny new car… ah, there it is, waiting for me in the layby.

05 Ruth's coastal walk in Scotland

I drive back along the road, and park by the picnic spot I discovered earlier. Sadly, it’s much too early for lunch. Onwards. There’s the village of Grogport ahead, just on the other side of a little bay.

06 Grogport, across the bay, Ruth Livingstone

At the end of the bay I turn around and take a photograph looking back. It really is very pretty here.

07 beach at Grogport, Ruth's coastal walk, Kintyre

Grogport is barely a village. There’s a bridge and a few houses. No shop. No café. No pub.

08 bridge at Grogport, Ruth's coastal walk in Scotland, Kintyre

Beyond the village, the road zigzags up a hill. 12% says a warning sign. That’s… I do some quick maths… a gradient of one in eight. No wonder I’m finding it hard work!

At the start of the climb I’m surrounded by trees, but the road soon reaches open land, and the views are wonderful.

09 view over to Arran, Ruth hiking the coast of the Kintyre Peninsula

Uh oh. The cows are out. They’re giving me the evil eye, but luckily they’re on the other side of a fence. I wonder what breed they are?

10 cows Kintyre, Ruth Livingstone

The road turns away from the coast and flattens out a little, but still continues going uphill.

11 top of the hill, Ruth's coastal wall to Carradale, Kintyre, Scotland

Over a rise, and it drops down again. The photographs I take are poor, and don’t do the view justice. It really is attractive countryside, only slightly spoiled by the marching pylons and the felled areas of logging.

12 looking west, Ruth's coastal walk, Kintyre

Round a corner and over another rise. Will this road never end?

13 walking downhill to Carradale, Ruth's coastal walk, Scotland

As the road dips down, I reach a mini crossroads. A sign points, rather ominously, to the cemetery. No thank you. I’m going straight on.

14 crossroads to Cemetery, Ruth hiking on Kintyre

At the crossroads I’m reunited with the Kintyre Way. Hello, old friend. Where have you been? In fact, the Way had previously crossed over to the west side of the peninsula, and now it’s crossed back again.

The road marches up the other side of the dip and from the higher ground I get a view of the cemetery. There appears to be a standing stone nearby. I check my map. No, not a standing stone, but a chambered cairn.

15 cemetary in the valley, Ruth Livingstone

At the top of the hill I decide to turn around. I was planning to walk a little further to reach a forested area where there is an official car park marked on my map. But I’m hungry. Time to go back to my car and have that picnic.

Grogport’s bay is looking even prettier when I reach it. The tide has gone out, exposing a small patch of sandy beach. I climb down to walk through the rocks and then along the sand.

16 beach at Grogport, Ruth Livingstone

It’s the first beach-walking I’ve done since I left Arran. Lovely. I resist the urge to take off my shoes and socks – it’s really too cold – but I remember this is why I set off on my coastal walk in the first place.

I enjoy my lunch, and take the opportunity to snap a self-portrait. I’m looking cold and stern, but don’t have the patience to try again.

17 lunch spot, Ruth Livingstone on her coastal walk in Scotland

After lunch, it’s time to set off and find that car park in the forest. I’ve got more walking to do before I reach Carradale.

[to be continued…]

About Ruth Livingstone

Walker, writer, photographer, blogger, doctor, woman, etc.
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8 Responses to 350 am Grogport to Carradale

  1. Eunice says:

    Lovely sunny photos and great views, I love the one from beyond Grogport village 🙂

  2. I’m still with you but getting a bit confused with your backwards and forwards (or forwards and backwards.) I was on the point of suggesting a bike but was beaten to it by another commenter. I used one extensively when doing the Munros and it sounds like you have probably taken that step.

  3. IAN GILBERT says:

    Hello again,
    I am walking the same area as you right now (12th April at Campbletown) on my 2nd coast walk and I am making great use of my electric ‘folding’ bike. Bought Halfords last year (CrossCity), takes up less than half the boot in my Volvo. I had tried 24V bikes – not enough power to get up the hills but the 36V CrossCity does the trick – Halfords will even let you take one out to try and I went out to the steepest hill near us. I want to put as least effort in as possible cycling to get from end to end and on the steepest hill as long as the wheels are turning the motor gets you up – I was worried about this as I wanted to save all my energy for walking. I call it my bus! For instance – on the Claonaig to Grogport section 4 days ago I parked my car at the same picnic spot in Grogport as you, got the bike, out takes 30 secs to get ready, 35 minutes easy, easy cycling, chained bike up at the ferry car park at Claonaig and the battery was just off full charge. When I walked around all the arms of the Cowal at the end of last year the bike was brill – it gave me so many options.
    To end, I checked the week before and it is still £650 (same when bought mine) at Halfords – I joined the British Cycling Club (£21) and they will then take 10% of this – bike final cost £585 – and BCC membership gives 10% off spending at Halfords for 1 year – a bargain!
    Finally we may bump into to each other this year by the sounds of things?? I really enjoy reading your notes and seeing your photos. Last year I bought a newer car and we also had our first grandchild in October.
    Hope this helps.

    • Hi Ian. You’re walking the Scottish coast AGAIN? How wonderful. I’m hoping to get back to Scotland next week – depending on the weather – so, yes, we might bump into each other. So far in Argyll I haven’t met another proper walker yet – but that might change now we’re in spring. Your advice re an electric bike is very interesting. I’ll see how I get on with a push bike first, and it’s something to bear in mind if I find that too exhausting!

  4. IAN GILBERT says:

    Sorry Ruth – should have said the PEDALs need to be turning.

I welcome your views

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