We left Iris’s lovely (and extremely reasonable) campsite at Coylton by 11am – unfortunately we weren’t lucky enough to see the deer. We had considered going back to Culzean Castle, which looks to have a wonderful position on the coast, but decided against it in the end as it would have delayed our journey too much.
Instead, we took a detour into Ayr, where Peter’s father was stationed in WW2 with the Royal Scots Fusiliers. A citadel was built in the 17th century by Cromwell and much of it can still be seen. This sentry box is the most interesting relic of its time:
Crossing the River Ayr is what is known as the New Bridge (built in 1878 on the site of the old ford). There is apparently an Old Bridge as well from much earlier in 1470 but unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to see it. I think even this one gives the river a Flemish look.
As I mentioned yesterday, the Ayrshire coast is famous for its golf courses – this is Royal Troon:
Is it just me or does this dapper gent in a blazer look like Peter Alliss? Bit of a coincidence but from the front it definitely looked like him!
Leaving all things golfing behind now we worked our way up the Firth of Clyde, which has the charming backdrop of the Isle of Arran for much of the way. We will be visiting Arran for the first time ever later in our holiday.
Near Portencross we spotted this Swallow on a telephone wire and a rather plump Eider Duck on a rock:
Following the bird theme, there were no fewer than six Grey Herons (only four pictured here) along the shore at Fairlie:
Further up the coast is the Cloch lighthouse, built in 1797 to warn boats of the dangerous reef of rocks near Gourock – the Gantocks.
And out in the Firth we saw the schooner “Spirit of Fairbridge” which is a training ship with The Prince’s Trust:
Eventually we reached the Erskine Bridge and crossed the Clyde with no problem (unlike last time when we got severely tangled up in Glasgow), driving up the long length of Loch Lomond. The weather had closed in again but with only the occasional bit of drizzle. Tomorrow there is supposed to be sun – all day!
We had somehow forgotten to have lunch and were starving by the time we reached the little village of Crianlarich and a sign proclaiming a tea room on the railway station platform made us turn into the station car park. This was extremely small and had rather a tight turning space. A little tunnel led us through to the station platform and a 50s type station cafe. Not quite Brief Encounter but the home-made hamburger and chips sounded a good idea and the charming young man who, despite being about to close up for the day, was more than happy to cook it for us.
Although it looked fantastic it maybe didn’t quite live up to our expectations or perhaps two hamburgers in just one week was a mistake!
Fortified, however, we drove on for the last 30 miles or so to our destination – the C & CC site at Glencoe, where we had stayed last year. The scenery as we neared Glencoe itself is truly magnificent – even in this light.
We’re glad that tomorrow will be a shorter journey – onward to the Ardnamurchan peninsular and a rest for four nights at the Far View campsite at Kilchoan.
I love today’s entry. Super header photograph, wildlife (6 herons at once!), information, fabulous landscapes and obviously food. The dapper gentleman doesn’t look like Peter Alliss to me but it’s hard to tell from the photograph. Already looking forward to the next instalment.
Thanks Sean. I must admit that this view doesn’t look particularly like him but before he turned his head it really did. Didn’t get the camera going quickly enough! I guess we’ll never know…
We may have problems with an internet connection for a few days (Ardnamurchan and Mull) so don’t get worried if there isn’t a daily post. Hopefully we’ll be able to pick up some wifi somewhere so keep checking back!
I will. Thanks for the card, it was a lovely surprise.
I feel left out because I haven’t mentioned the food element yet. Looks like that burger would have put a smile on your face.
Well it did at first and then I began to regret it – I think it was the smell of the chip fat!
The golf courses look like they’re some way ahead of Lullingstone Pitch and Putt!
Just a bit Harry!