We started a circumnavigation of the island in the morning, travelling down the east coast, around the bottom and up the west coast. There is a road across as well but the ‘main’ road has enough potholes and rough bits itself so thought we’d better stick to that.
Arran seems a prosperous island with lots of nice houses and rich green pastureland. The centre is mountainous and uninhabited. It seems altogether more ‘comfortable’, with lots of golf clubs and other activities – ideal retirement living in other words.
A lone seal has taken up residence on a small rock near the shore…
We thought we would visit Brodick Castle as it has a reputation for red squirrels in its wooded grounds. There are no grey squirrels on the island so the red is not threatened. It is also run by National Trust for Scotland and so we can get in free with our English National Trust cards!
The grounds and wooded paths are extensive and full of rhododendrons and other typical shrubs. This Bavarian Summerhouse is delightful, built by the 11th Duke of Hamilton for his German wife in 1845 to remind her of home. The ceiling is covered with the original pine cones from the estate.
When leaving the Castle grounds Peter suddenly stopped Bessie when he saw a red squirrel dart across our path. I wasn’t quick enough, however, and although we hung around for a bit, it never re-appeared.
We drove through Brodick itself and it had all the attributes of a popular holiday town, even crazy golf!
Further round the coast we took a detour down to Kildonan. From the high road we were on we looked down onto what appeared to be a miniature toy village – very neatly laid out with manicured fields! It looked wonderful in the afternoon sunlight. The Stevenson lighthouse was built on the nearby island of Pladda in the 1820s and you can see Ailsa Craig in the far distance, a sight we last saw many weeks ago when we drove up the Ayrshire coast on the mainland on our way to Glencoe.
Same Sandpiper with a couple of juvenile Starlings – quite a difference in size!
… Not forgetting the gorgeous brown hare (featured image) who ran across the road onto the beach and stayed stock still while we took photo after photo of him.