Baden-Powell Council BSA
at the
2016 Blair Atholl Patrol Jamborette

After the Jamborette - Home Hospitality and R&R

















Once the Jamborette was over, the Scouts headed off with their Scottish counterparts for four days of home hospitality. Pete opted for home hospitality as well, and Mike H and Jason rented a car for four days of R&R in northeastern Scotland. I spent three nights on the Isle of Arran before meeting up with the group in Edinburgh on Tuesday, August 2nd. Here are a few pictures from my after-Jamborette touring. 


The ferry for the Isle of Arran leaves from Ardrossan in Ayrshire. About an hour later, you approach the ferry port at Brodick on Arran.

There are two ferries on the summer run from Ardrossan to Brodick, and they pass each other at mid-crossing. Here, the Caledonian Isles passes in front of Ailsa Craig, the island where most of the world's curling stones are quarried.

Machrie Moor on the west side of Arran is known for prehistoric standing stones and stone circles, with eleven different sites. 

A short hike across the moor from the car park leads past deserted Moss Farm.

Standing Stone at Site 3

Panoramic view across Machrie Moor

More stones at Site 3

Stone circle at Site 1

Hare

I stayed at Laighbent B&B in Blackwaterfoot. It's a short walk across this bridge over the Blackwater into the village, where good food is on order at the hotel. 

The tiny harbour at Blackwaterfoot.

An Iron Age hill fort overlooks Blackwaterfoot at Drumadoon

The view from Drumadoon. Blackwaterfoot is at the left, and the golf course (one of the few twelve-hole courses in the world) stretches from the village to Drumadoon Point at right. The Kintyre Peninsula is in the background.

Drumadoon Point, with The Doon on top - the basalt columns on the cliff face are the same formation as at Fingal's Cave on the Isle of Staffa and the Giant's Causeway in County Antrim, Northern Ireland.

Blackwaterfoot from Drumadoon

On my second morning, I hiked through the Tor Righ Beag Forest to the King's Cave. It's a mile or two through forest to the shore, with beautiful views of Machrie Bay. 

Sawfly

Gannet

Scotch Angus butterfly

The entrance to King's Cave. By tradition, this is the cave where Robert the Bruce took shelter while he was in exile, driven out by the English. The story says that while he was in this cave, he watched a spider climbing and being knocked down and climbing again - and from the spider, he took the lesson that one should always persevere. 

There's no real support for this being the cave, or for the story, either - the name "King's Cave" didn't appear until centuries later and it's likely that Sir Walter Scott invented the story, as he did so much of Scottish folklore - but no matter. The wall carvings - long predating the Bruce - are worth the hike anyway. 

The cave is quite large and deep, split into two sections by a tall divider.


Wall carvings on the dividing stone include a cross in a flower and a human figure, among others.

The carvings on the wall include Viking runes as well as later graffiti.

A herring gull and an oystercatcher on the shore.

Robin

Bee

Sawfly

Lochranza, on the north shore of Arran, is a small village around Loch Ranza, a sea loch. A seasonal small ferry runs from Lochranza to Kintyre.

Lochranza Castle dates from the 13th century.

Lochranza is also the home of the Arran Distillery, which offers tours.and tastings.

The tour ends with a tasting of Arran Gold, the very tasty cream liqueur made at the distillery.

The String Road is one of two which cross the Isle of Arran from east to west - other than those two, there's really only one road on the island which circles around the shoreline. 

Brodick Harbour

A spectacular sunset at Blackwaterfoot

Torrylin Cairn near Lagg on the south coast of Arran is a prehistoric chambered tomb. It's a pleasant walk from Lagg down to Kilmory Water, overlooking the Firth of Clyde with Ailsa Craig and Ayrshire beyond.

Kilmory beach, with an Easter Island-like statue left by an earlier tourist. 

Kilmory beach

Large White butterfly

Meadow Brown butterfly

Black-and-white cows, yellow flowers, green grass and blue water...

Kildonan Beach with the island of Pladda just off the south coast of Arran, and Ailsa Craig in the distance.

Kildonan

Whiting Bay is the former ferry terminal for Arran. The Holy Isle is across the harbour. 

Glenashdale is reached by a forest trail from Whiting Bay. 

Glenashdale Falls

Glenashdale Falls

A Hielan' Coo

Glenashdale Falls

Brodick Castle

Brodick Castle Gardens

The Ross - this is the second east-west road across Arran, and very much the lesser of the two. The Ross is a single track with passing places which offers a very scenic but slow crossing.

Stones on Machrie Beach

Evening on Machrie Beach

Oystercatchers on the rocks at Machrie Beach

Sunset over Kintyre

Sunset at Machrie Beach - the sun sets over Kintyre to the west
I really enjoyed my three days on Arran. Finally, they were over, and on Tuesday morning, August 2nd, I took the morning ferry from Brodick to Ardrossan and drove to Edinburgh where I met up with the Scouts in the evening. Much too early the following morning, we were on the flight back home...

So, what are you doing in 2018? 

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Copyright 2016 Mike Brown