Thursday, March 13, 2008

Scotland Part 2 - in which it rains. A lot.

Arran. Not to be confused with Aran which is Irish, is the Gaelic for bread (according to the signs in the Brodick Co-op) and is where the jumpers come from.

Arran is a medium sized island tucked between the Scottish west coast and Kintyre and is the home of the bride of one of H's former work mates, formerly both resident in Warwickshire, now living somewhere north of Aberdeen. Apparently north of Aberdeen is just too accessible for a wedding so they decided to get married on Arran (I can't really comment, I had all of H's Scottish relatives travelling to Devon for our wedding!). So off we set.

The journey involves one of these:
With a very nifty opening mechanism for getting the cars out without them having to reverse.And although I may be married into a Scottish clan now, the little seafaring Devonian stays true to her roots- I spent as much time as possible on deck in horizontal rain and interesting sea:
The funniest moment was when I was sat waiting for H and the man opposite me, turning a gentle shade of chartreuse, told someone on the other end of his mobile phone that "it wasn't choppy at all - just a little breezy".

The journey across is a game of island hide-and-seek; now you see the mountains, now you don't. But when you do see them:
Totally worth it - this is Holy Island, just off the east coast of Arran. And this:

Is a banana impersonator who let go of her hat only to allow the photo to be taken and is clinging firmly to the railing behind, and Brodick on the shoreline behind. Don't worry if you can't see Brodick - settlements on Arran tend to be in the style of one row of houses along the shoreline, particularly on the eastern side.

We arrived in Arran on Friday lunchtime and decided to spend the afternoon circumnavigating the Island. There are only really two main roads in Arran - one goes around the coast and the other goes across the middle; we went around.

And this is the point at which we mastered the art of the 11 minute walk. It goes a bit like this: It stops raining, we plonk the car at the nearest suitable parking space and set off for the mountain/sea, we get 6 minutes away from the car, enjoying our walk in the fresh air and by the seaside; the clouds open and we make a sprint for the car before we get swept away in the nearest torrent. When not raining the north of the island is spectacular - mountains with snowy peaks are always going to be a hit with me:

Circumnavigation at last brought us to Blackwaterfoot and our hotel on the seafront - how about this for a room with a view:


It would of course help if it wasn't raining (see 11 minute walk rule above!) but I can highly recommend the sound of waves against the shore as a restorative cure.


The wedding was wonderful, the bride and groom nipped in and out of church between rain showers and the storms even abated for the fireworks. There was shortbread, tablet, Ceilidh dances and a good amount of whisky and I even managed to avoid being publically called out as English by the bride's three brothers once the rugby score came through.

So having been a walking advert for the Arran tourist board it's time for my little bit of yarn from Arran:
March 101
Blue for the rain, the sea, the mini lakes and puddles all over the island and a bit of bright green grass.

2 comments:

  1. Very nice.
    I so want to do a lizard ridge someday.
    :)

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  2. Oh, I love all your pictures from Scotland. I went there in college and my husband keeps saying he wants to go back (golfer that he is). One day. In the meatime I will use your pictures when I'm listening to the Outlander series to visualize Scotland. Thanks and glad you had such a good time!

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