of Scotland, Arran and Bute
The isles of Arran and Bute
and the peninsula of Kintyre have long been playgrounds for the
Scots, particularly the Glaswegians. The topography of each island
resembles that of a miniature Scotland -- a mountainous north
and rolling, pastoral south. Outdoor pursuits include walking,
fishing and sailing, while indoor entertainment can be found in
Brodick, Campbeltown and Rothesay.
Favourite island retreat
of Glaswegians ( residents of Glasgow ), once popular with Scottish
monarchs. Fine mountain scenery in north contrasts with lowlands
of south. Robert Bruce landed at Lochranza from Ireland in 1306.
Brodick croft farm contains
a museum of Arran history, geology and archaeology. Authentic
rooms exhibit spinning wheels, wooden cradle and other domestic
items. Geology section includes amethysts found on local beaches.
Bronze Age monument consists
of rounded stone mound sur-rounded by rough circle of 15 standing
Hamlet standing amid
ancient remains. Robert Bruce may have sheltered at King's Cave,
to north, in 14th century. Pony trekking and golf course nearby.
Arran's main port set
by sandy Brodick Bay. Goat Fell, at 2866ft, dominates mountain
trail. Views of bay and surrounding peaks from String Road, to
Castle and Country Park
Seat of Dukes of Hamilton,
built 13th century with later additions. Interior features fine
plaster ceilings, furniture, porcelain and paintings. Grounds
include 1710 formal garden, Victorian rose garden, nature trail.
Rolling hills in north
descend to quiet sandy beaches. Island separated from mainland
by narrow waterway called Kyles of Bute. Popular with Clydesiders.
Former Celtic capital
of Dalriada kingdom, now sailing centre. Stone buildings mark
past prosperity from whaling, fishing, coal and distilling. Town
centre has richly carved Celtic cross.
Hill rising above Loch
Fad gives panoramic views of Firth of Clyde, Argyll and seven
counties from picnic spots.
Village with shops, situated
on hill above small harbour. Remains of Aird Castle and 1500 BC
fort lie nearby. Good walks through 16,000 acre estate have splendid
views of Arran and 2366ft Bein Bharrain.
Forested hills surround
1870 home of novelist and children's writer, Naomi Mitchison.
It has a wild garden with pond.
Dunbar Abbey, Gothic-style
home of the Macalister chieftain, dates from 1700. Museum includes
historic weapons, photographs and other artefacts.
Conifer forests and bracken-covered
hillsides are threaded by footpaths, with views of Lamlash and
Village at foot of 2866ft
Goat Fell. Now-silted harbour was built in 1882 to ship locally
quarried lime-stone. Walk coast to Fallen Rocks or climb to High
Corrie hamlet, birthplace of the book publisher Daniel Macmillan.
Site of old Dunaverty
Castle, former Macdonald stronghold. A garrison of 300 were besieged
here in 1647 by Covenanters, supporters of English parliament.
Every defender was slain on surrender. Known as 'Blood Rock'.
Vitrified wall of oval
Iron Age fort overlooks Loch Tarbert. Outside fort is a roughly
circular dun with thick wall and single entrance.
Gaelic for 'God's Island',
area scattered with fort remains and standing stones. Achamore
House Gardens has 50 acres of flowering trees and shrubs. Bicycle
hire from post office.
Glen climbs from coast
to 2618ft Cir Mhor with Glenrosa Water flowing through it. Glacial
terrain reveals huge granite boulders.
St Molaise reputedly
lived in a cave here and died in AD 639, after accepting 30 diseases
at once to avoid purgatory. Visit this cave by boat and see runic
Quiet hamlet with hotel
facing sandy beaches broken by rocky outcrops. Ruined medieval
castle to east. Views of lighthouse on island of Pladda, and Ailsa
Craig on horizons. Local seal colony.
Torrylin, a Neolithic
chambered cairn, lies south-west of Kilmory village. Inside were
found skeletal remains and a flint knife.
Narrow peninsula of great
beauty, connected to mainland by Tarbert isthmus. Long, isolated
beaches offer windsurfing and sailing. Grey seals and sea otters.
Boat haven sheltered
by Kingcross and Clauchlands points. Arran's largest village with
good fishing. Underwater enthusiasts can visit Derwent
shipwreck in bay,
dating back to 1880.
Robert Bruce is said
to have lived here in 1306, when he began his struggle for independence.
Castle built in 13th century, rebuilt in the 17th century. Village
resort has safe bathing facilities with shore or boat fishing.
Remains of six 15ft Bronze
Age stone circles lie scattered within a mile, south of Machrie.
Nearby are traces of Stone Age hut circles and tombs.
Corn-coloured sands run
for 3 1/2 miles along coast. Better to walk this beach than to
swim -- its undertow is fierce. Golf course and airfield to north.
Southernmost point of
Kintyre Peninsula. Lighthouse built here in 1788. One of the most
treacherous points for shipping on the Scottish coast.
Car park overlooking
bay provides views of Inner Hebrides across Sound of Jura. Grey
seals, largest of British wild mammals, can be seen around offshore
Scottish kings once holidayed
at now-ruined Royal Stuart castle, which overlooks this popular
resort. See Bute history museum and magnificent floral displays
at Ardencraig Gardens. Swimming from beaches; bicycles and rods
available for hire.
Abbey built 1160 by Samerled,
liberator of Argyll and Kintyre from Viking control. Amongst remains
are tombstones carved between 1300 and 1560 depicting armoured
warriors, priests and war galleys. Tower of Saddell Castle stands
south-east of village.
Remains of chapel built
1100 and named after Celtic saint who founded monastery here in
AD 575. Fine example of Norman arch still stands.
Remains of late medieval
chapel contain recessed canopied tombs with carved effigies of
Walter the Steward, his wife Alice and a child. Nearby is the
grave of Napoleon's niece Stephanie, who died here in 1885.
Deserted in 1823 when
villagers were evicted and emigrated to Canada, leaving today's
scattered ruins. Cart track leads to spec-tacular Glen Sannox.
Sandy beach and tiny
village dominated by remains of 13th-century Campbell Castle and
chapel. For-tress escaped major conflict, but abandoned in 1700.
St Columba stepped onto
local beach in 6th century to convert Picts to Christianity. He
left behind what are said to be his foot-prints in stone. Traces
of Druid altar nearby. St Columba's Well behind churchyard.
Fishing port and resort
town on isthmus connecting Kintyre to mainland. Village with shops
encircled by hills and overlooked by 14th-century stronghold of