We are leaving our beach-side campsite today amidst controversy!  Nothing to do with us, I hasten to add.  Our pleasant neighbours have decided to up sticks and leave ahead of time because of the nastiness of certain fellow campers.  There have been various huddled conflabs with other people from the campsite but their resolve is hardened and they’re going.  What a shame a few ignorant people can ruin someone’s holiday like that.

Anyway… we are off too, first to Campbeltown, erstwhile home of Sir Paul and Linda McCartney.  According to our researches, SP decided he no longer wished to keep his farm and was selling up – that was in October last year.  We saw a newspaper billboard at the local Co-Op today mentioning a road and his name with the questionable headline ‘Let it not be’.  Further research shows that he must still own High Park Farm and is planning a big tree felling which means the road will be clogged with lorries.  You get the impression SP is no longer flavour of the month in these parts!  Oh how the mighty are fallen…

Campbeltown is a bustling little port:

DSC_0505DSC_0508After doing a bit of shopping we headed northwards on the coastal B road and, as we have found ever since coming to Kintyre, the roads could do with a bit of repair – to put it mildly.  Even the A roads are not much better – potholes and bad mends make for an uncomfortable ride in Bessie and we drove with an accompaniment of rattling that is nor our normal experience.

Eventually we came to Tarbert, a port which we think featured in a previous holiday back in the 1970s when, with Sally and Robert and their grandparents, we had spent the night in a harbour-side hotel after walking out of a holiday apartment in a castle because of its appalling condition and lack of water!  We took some photos, hoping to identify the hotel but couldn’t come to a positive conclusion.  With a photo of our family posed on the harbour in mind, all appropriately dressed in woolly hats (it was probably during the old Whitsun school holiday) Peter took this one of me.

DSC_0530In the end we plumped for this hotel as the most likely:


Tarbert Hotel

Rather run-down but proudly displaying its ** rating!

The Tarbert Church of Scotland is a fine old building, recently renovated:

DSC_0544We left Tarbert behind and headed back down south a little to the tiny harbour at Claonaig from where a CalMac ferry crosses to the island of Arran and back during the summer months.  It isn’t possible to book a crossing in advance but we have already paid for our ticket.

Approaching the harbour there was a contractor’s lorry and the chap flagged us down.  He warned us that we may not be able to go much further because the road was being tarmac-ed.  In fact, they were just working just short of the slip road down to the jetty so we were in luck!

There was just one other car waiting so we knew we would be ok, but the waves crashing against the slipway were a bit scary.  There was a considerable swell on the water with lots of white horses so we were hoping that our crossing wasn’t going to be rough!

DSC_0545We watched the ferry, Loch Bhrusda come across and soon we, two other cars and a motorbike were aboard and ready to go.

DSC_0559DSC_0562The crossing wasn’t the smoothest but we stayed in Bessie for the journey and it wasn’t long before we reached Lochranza on Arran.

Our campsite was just around the corner and we passed Lochranza Castle on the way.


DSC_0582We knew that there were red deer in the grounds – also on the golf course!

DSC_0570DSC_0581Later on in the evening Peter spotted what he thinks is a Golden Eagle, being mobbed by a couple of Crows.  We’re afraid the pictures are a little blurry!

DSC_0592DSC_0599Looks like camping here might be interesting…