Friday, 23 September 2016

Clyde cruising on the return from Arran

The final day of our trip from Campbeltown to Brodick took us around the north of Arran past the impressive boulders at Fallen Rocks and around to the east coast of the island.

Near to the car park at Sannox which is the start of a walk to the Fallen Rocks was what looked like a commercial campsite.... except that it isn't.

It would be hard to imagine a  bigger contrast between these folks idea of what "wild camping" is and our own.  Set for several days, big tents, barbeques, everything including the kitchen sink.  We paddled on....

The cloud and drizzle of the morning cleared with superb dramatic effect at exactly the moment we rounded the corner and entered Sannox Bay -  all that was missing was a drumroll followed by a musical "Ta Da!" as one of the best views anywhere in Scotland was revealed.  The sweeping ridges of these granite hills really are superb.

This is a favourite stopping place of ours, often after a crossing from the Ayrshire coast via the island of Bute; it was most definitely time for second breakfast!  As we enjoyed coffee we watched the wind rising steadily to something more than a fresh breeze, and our decision to re-cross to Arran from Inchmarnock the previous evening proved to be a good one; the wind quickly reached F5.  Any crossing in these conditions would have been a real slog; in fact we may not have been able to get away from the exposed shore of Inchmarnock.

This part of the coast is well known for sudden squalls coming down from the hills and although we started out using our sails we quickly dropped them as the gusts were threatening to damage the rigs with heavy boats.  Even without sailing we made quick time down the coast to Corrie.....

....with its amusing "sheep" harbour bollards.  Three face south and one (the "black sheep" of the flock) faces north.

Another hour or so of steady paddling brought us into Brodick Bay and journey's end - well almost.

From a very uncertain forecast we'd enjoyed a great three night trip in a variety of conditions - all made possible by the use of ferries.  We'd paddled 94 kilometres over two full days and two half days and camped for three nights - in a pretty wide variety of conditions.

Having landed on the shore in Brodick we loaded our boats back onto the trolleys and headed along the promenade to buy our tickets and join the queue waiting to embark on the "Isle of Arran" for the return to Ardrossan and our car which was in the long-term secure carpark at the ferry terminal - the same ferry we'd sailed out to Campbeltown on four days previously.  We could then sit back in the cafeteria onboard and enjoy a lunch of Piri-piri chicken with fresh salad as we cruised back across the Clyde - definitely a good end to our journey!


  1. Ian, it's truly a land of "Ta da!" - everywhere. :) Clearly another awesome journey. Warm wishes from "Super-Natural" Vancouver Island, from us both.

  2. Very true Duncan, there's more than the average "Ta da!" :o)

    Hoep to see you soon!

  3. Enjoyed that. Very open stretch of water out there if it turned wild so glad you had reasonable conditions. Epic trip.

    1. Thanks Bob, the Clyde certainly can have plenty of weather at times!

      Kind regards

  4. Great stuff Ian, I will catch up one day! :o)

    1. It was a really nice trip Douglas, and will be better in Stereovision!