Wednesday, September 06, 2017


Well, that was interesting. Thank you so much to those of you who commented and thus identified yourselves. Hello! Lovely to make contact! But as I suspected, there weren't 60 of you; indeed, some of those who commented weren't actually among the 60. Anyway, hello to everyone who reads this, whether I know about you or not.

Scotland is a small country and no part of it is more than 41 miles from the sea (according to Google). We have more than 790 islands, 94 of which are inhabited. One of these is the island of Arran, which we visited with our walking friends last weekend.

Here it is, as seen from the ferry. The village at the foot of the hills is Brodick, where we were staying. My great-grandmother was a Brodick girl, and met my great-grandfather on the ferry as he was coming to visit his sister, who had married an Arran man. They married and had three children but she sadly died when my grandmother, the middle child, was five. My granny used to come to Arran for her holidays and stay in Brodick with her aunts and so did my mother when she was a little girl. We've been quite a few times and are very fond of it.

This is Brodick Castle, owned now by the National Trust but then by the Duke of Hamilton, who owned the whole island. One of my granny's aunts was lady companion to the Duchess for a while - presumably in the late nineteenth century - and one family story is that she was on a yacht with the Duchess when they... ran aground or were shipwrecked or something. This seemed slightly unlikely, but we had a guided tour of the outside of the castle on this visit (the castle is closed for renovations) and the guide was saying that the Duke at that time owned and sailed yachts. So there we are: it's probably true.

There's been a building on this site from the 5th century but the current castle dates at its earliest from the 1200s, with later additions up to the 19th century. The gardens are beautiful, with lovely views to the sea, though these must have been even better before there were so many trees.

This is the view from our hotel. The hill you can see is Goatfell, about 2866 feet high. Some of our group climbed it on Saturday, but it's quite a slog and others of us decided to go on a flatter walk, along the shore from Brodick to Lamlash and back, which is just over 9 miles.

The weather was perfect.

Not too sunny - we didn't get burnt - but warm enough to keep the midges away and completely windless.

The walk was quite tricky in parts - stony and hilly and scrambly (I didn't take photos of this because it seemed more important not to fall over) and rather muddy in others.

But later on the path improved and flattened out

and we strolled into Lamlash for lunch.

Then we climbed up over a higher part of the island - pausing to admire Goatfell -

and back down into Brodick. It was a lovely day, though at the end of the walk we were rather aware of our muscles.


  1. What a beautiful place? Is it famous for wool or something? Sorry for my ignorance, but I know I've heard the name before. Sweaters?

    1. There are sheep on Arran and I'm sure that there were and are knitters on the island. However the well known sweaters originated in the Aran Islands which are off the west coast of Ireland. Mr Life.

    2. Thank you! I don't feel quite as stupid. One letter makes a huge difference! :)

  2. Your pictures are beautiful and I'm drooling all over my computer.

  3. It does look like a beautiful place to stay. Scotland has long been on my list of places we'd like to visit, maybe someday.

  4. Another long-time reader here (but not a 'follower' on any). For some reason I had been unable to comment on any blogspot blogs for a few months after some minor changes to my computer. Until Sunday, when I announced "You have to help me do this. I want to leave comments." He did. It worked. I can!

  5. So beautiful! I think I'll never make it there myself and am grateful for your sharing!

  6. Oh MY! I do so admire your walking! personally, I can't quite imagine myself walking so far, but I guess I could if I had to... but not exactly for fun! On the other hand...if the views were so lovely, then I think it would be different. I force myself to walk for exercise (and the dog's) in our suburban neighborhood and it is BORing. All I think about is how long until I am back home?