Author Topic: Circumnavigating the Isle of Arran on foot (virtually!)  (Read 700 times)

WhitstableDave

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Having recently completed my third national trail by treadmill, I was keen to continue my virtual walks. Unfortunately, no other national trials have been fully 'Street Viewed' (including some that claim to have been!), so I looked further afield... and came up with an exciting alternative.  :)

In the summer of 2018, my wife and I spent the first week of a Scotland walking holiday based near Machrihanish at the southern end of Kintyre. We like to 'bag' islands, and one day we took a ferry from Claonaig across to Lochranza on the Isle of Arran and did a fantastic walk in the top-right corner of the island.

Although we'd only seen a small part of Arran, we thought it looked an amazing place and wanted to see more one day. Below: Satellite view of Arron; ferry arriving at Claonaig; just having disembarked at Lochranza:



So that's what I've chosen as my next virtual walk. I'm starting by the ferry in Lochranza and walking all around the coast - a distance of about 65 miles - in an anti-clockwise direction. There's a proper trail around Arran called the Arran Coastal Way, but it hasn't been 'Street Viewed'. However, the trail often goes along the road, so following the coast road is almost as good - and there'll nearly always be the sea to look at!

I'm planning to do 12-13 miles a day and this morning I got nearly as far as Machrie:



This view as I arrived at Catacol is typical - the road is nearly always very close to the sea and Kintyre can be seen across Kilbrannan Sound:



There were times when the area around Carradale was clearly visible. We did some walks there and I must have been able to see Cnoc nan Gabhar just to the north because we got to the trig point there!

Crossing the bridge at Dougarie:



With hindsight, I suspect I chose this walk subconsciously because we've been watching Outlander every evening for the last week.

I love Scotland!  :)

Mel

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Re: Circumnavigating the Isle of Arran on foot (virtually!)
« Reply #1 on: 21:59:50, 18/05/20 »
Another treadmill trek  :)   You like your coastal walks don't you?!



I'm tired of people bein' ugly to each other. It feels like pieces of glass in my head. - John Coffey, The Green Mile

WhitstableDave

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Re: Circumnavigating the Isle of Arran on foot (virtually!)
« Reply #2 on: 08:28:32, 19/05/20 »
Another treadmill trek  :)   You like your coastal walks don't you?!
Indeed I do. I'm not one of those who thinks that if a hill isn't involved then it's not a 'serious' walk.  ;)

WhitstableDave

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Re: Circumnavigating the Isle of Arran on foot (virtually!)
« Reply #3 on: 14:02:07, 19/05/20 »
Day 2 of my treadmill virtual circumnavigation of the amazing Isle of Arran took me from a mile before Machrie to Kilmory on the southern coast, a distance of about 12.7 miles.



Yesterday, the road was close to the sea for most of the way, but today was quite different. About two-thirds of the way was through an agricultural landscape, with small farms and hamlets and the occasional larger village - this is Blackwaterfoot, with a large hotel to the left and the southeastern tip of the Kintyre peninsula in the distance:



The weather was very changeable today, switching from glorious sunshine one minute, to heavy rain the next. If you look closely, you'll see an island on the horizon with a distinctive shape, which I think must be Ailsa Craig:



About half way between Sliddery and Lagg in the south-west of Arran, I passed a church and monument - just as the sun came out again.  :)


Mel

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Re: Circumnavigating the Isle of Arran on foot (virtually!)
« Reply #4 on: 18:14:55, 19/05/20 »
More nice scenery.  I'm quite impressed with this ere treadmill you've got you know  O0
I'm tired of people bein' ugly to each other. It feels like pieces of glass in my head. - John Coffey, The Green Mile

10k Kevin

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Re: Circumnavigating the Isle of Arran on foot (virtually!)
« Reply #5 on: 22:40:09, 19/05/20 »
You can create a treadmill for virtual running for next to nothing.i bought two industrial strength sanders and taped them to my feet and after a few mishaps with setting the motor to the correct speed I eventually found that the tarmaced drive was the best surface and I managed to walk the equivalent of John o groats to landsend over the course of two months without leaving my driveway.

rural roamer

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Re: Circumnavigating the Isle of Arran on foot (virtually!)
« Reply #6 on: 08:21:33, 20/05/20 »
Enjoying these as I know nothing about the Isle of Arran  :)

WhitstableDave

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Re: Circumnavigating the Isle of Arran on foot (virtually!)
« Reply #7 on: 08:57:13, 20/05/20 »
Enjoying these as I know nothing about the Isle of Arran  :)

We've only done the one walk on Arran and it was brilliant, so we'd love to spend more time there.

I did a quick report with a few photos at the time (should anyone be interested!)...

Arran Walk from Lochranza

WhitstableDave

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Re: Circumnavigating the Isle of Arran on foot (virtually!)
« Reply #8 on: 12:53:16, 20/05/20 »
Day 3 of my treadmill trek around the coast of Arran took me from near Lagg, where there's supposed to be a brand new distillery (but I couldn't find it), to a spot directly opposite Holy Isle - a couple of miles past Whiting Bay.



The weather today was overcast with occasional rain and very few photo opportunities. The main landmark - Holy Isle - came into view after about 7 miles and was visible for the rest of the walk. Apparently, Holy Isle is a Buddhist retreat and a nature reserve:



By the magic of Google, I took a small ferry across to the island, jogged up to the trig point, grabbed a quick image of Arran, retraced my steps and continued the walk...



What a view!  :)

watershed

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Re: Circumnavigating the Isle of Arran on foot (virtually!)
« Reply #9 on: 15:22:56, 20/05/20 »
We've only done the one walk on Arran and it was brilliant, so we'd love to spend more time there.

I did a quick report with a few photos at the time (should anyone be interested!)...

Arran Walk from Lochranza

Had a peep at your post Dave, certainly looks worth a visit. Isn't it Arran that is described as Scotland in miniature?

WhitstableDave

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Re: Circumnavigating the Isle of Arran on foot (virtually!)
« Reply #10 on: 15:44:34, 20/05/20 »
Had a peep at your post Dave, certainly looks worth a visit. Isn't it Arran that is described as Scotland in miniature?

I've certainly heard it said that Arran is Scotland in miniature.  :)

I think it probably has examples of all the best bits: beaches, forests, distilleries, wildlife, ice cream, mountains - including Goatfell at 2866ft, which is quite something for a small island.  O0

Mel

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Re: Circumnavigating the Isle of Arran on foot (virtually!)
« Reply #11 on: 17:22:38, 20/05/20 »
How's the trainers going?
I'm tired of people bein' ugly to each other. It feels like pieces of glass in my head. - John Coffey, The Green Mile

WhitstableDave

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Re: Circumnavigating the Isle of Arran on foot (virtually!)
« Reply #12 on: 17:30:49, 20/05/20 »
How's the trainers going?

I'm guessing you mean my new Asics...  :)

My feet don't like change and yesterday I paused half way through to swap into my Merrells because I felt a soreness beginning in the ball of my foot. I also do additional treadmill activities that are shorter so I'm wearing the trainers for those to get my feet used to them!

WhitstableDave

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Re: Circumnavigating the Isle of Arran on foot (virtually!)
« Reply #13 on: 14:37:19, 23/05/20 »
Day 4 of my treadmill trek around the Isle of Arran coast took me from opposite Holy Isle to a point due east of Goatfell, which at 2,867 ft is the highest peak on Arran. The mountain looks magnificent and was in view for much of my walk up the east coast:



My first view of the Arran mountains from just before the village of Brodick (which easily looked big enough to be a town!). I'm fairly sure that Goatfell is the pointy one towards the right:



Another view of Goatfell, this time from the ferry port in Brodick. After the sparsely populated west and south coastal areas, the east coast between Lamlash and Brodick felt very built-up and not unlike well-to-do villages almost anywhere in the UK. 



As I progressed along the east coast, I started to admire the rhododendrons. Then I began to think there were a surprising number of them. Eventually, I decided that Arran really does have a rhododendron problem!



This is where I ended today's walk - with another view of Goatfell... and rhododendrons.  :)



Just one more day and I'll be back in Lochranza where I started.

WhitstableDave

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Re: Circumnavigating the Isle of Arran on foot (virtually!)
« Reply #14 on: 12:55:48, 25/05/20 »
Day 5 saw the final leg of my virtual circumnavigation of Arran by treadmill. I ended this morning's walk by the cafe in Lochranza where, two years ago in real life, we ended a real walk and enjoyed coffee and ice creams.  :)



Because the road cut across the top-right corner of the island, there was a long period of ascent followed by a long downhill stretch with fantastic views. In the summer of 2018, we could see the very same road I've just walked down in Street View...



The walk we did that day really was amazing and the views were wonderful. This is me, with the mainland behind - Ardrossan, Troon and Ayr:



The way back along the coast was far more difficult than we'd expected, with a good deal of rock clambering being involved. We began to worry about not getting back in time for the ferry but eventually the path became easy and in the end we got back with time to spare.



One of my favourite photos from that holiday is the one of the castle in the bay at Lochranza. I used it as my PC wallpaper for the next year!  :)



Well, I think that will do for my virtual walk reports for now. I'll be doing more treadmill treks, but writing them up almost daily has become something of a chore... and also less relevant now that I'm getting out more often for real again!