More a road walk than a Coastal way

Route: Blackwaterfoot to Lagg

Date walked: 31/01/2019

Time taken: 2.51 hours

Distance: 10.55km

Ascent: 195m

A beautiful crisp blue skied winters day was the forecast to continue my ramble around Arran. This short walk even allowed me the luxury of the later ferry and of course a black pudding & fried egg Calmac special for nutrition. Don’t worry healthy fruit for the rest of the trip.
However as the ferry approached Arran the vista was grey skies and low clouds, what’s going on?
Got the bus across The String road where the gloom worsened but yippee blue skies as we descended into Blackwaterfoot.
This was to be one of the very frustrating Arran Coastal Path sections. Initially fun and challenging before becoming a road walk, albeit a scenic one. The real frustration was constantly looking down towards the coast wondering why am I not walking down there. I presume there are landowner access problems but despite being quite and scenic, road walking is not a Coastal Path. More on this later.

Start of walk at Blackwaterfoot
The coastal section is rough and ready walking. The sand is mainly very soft so deep imprints left behind.

Typical rough walking
Early on the rocks were lethal with an invisible film of ice creating issues on any angled surfaces. At times there is a faint track to follow but a lot of the beach walk is as per the above snap.
Having to concentrate looking down at all times is annoying as the views across the water are superb. Also plenty of birds around so best stopping to have a look.

One of the Preachers Caves
The sun is low and bright and directly ahead so most snaps are looking back.
I pass the Preaching caves no doubt an extremely remote place back then for the worshippers.

There is the odd waymark signpost
The next section meanders through and over boulders. Once again great care required as I found out when I slipped and my hand landed on a bramble branch lying on another rock. The pop as I pulled it out was loud, my shout was louder as the pain kicked in and the blood spouted.
Three black throated divers on the water console me.

Rock trail
Some stones/rocks have been laid to aid walking as the ground beside them is a bogfest, ankle deep as I found out when slipping yet again.

The climb to the road
Soon the grassy area is reached and sadly this is the end of the rough walking. Except the cows have clearly been here recently and the ground is soft underfoot so more mud steps. Up the steps to the road.

Looking back to the grassy section
I followed the route as per Walkhighlands but later looking at the Arran Coastal Way website it hints at a ‘red route’ along the shorefront avoiding a section of the road. No details given so presumably just make your way along!!

Ancient hillock and the coast is far away!!
The road was a pleasant enough walk, there was very little traffic and there were plenty of views of the coastline that I would rather have been walking. Still some history around as per the snap, From Scotlands Places: "A small natural hillock on the banks of the Slidderie Water. It appears from tradition that the plague raged in Arran at one period and such as died of the disease were buried in this place but at what period tradition does not say, but the hillock takes its name from the plague, and hence (the "hill of torture" Enjoy the views until Lagg is reached.
arran w.jpg

This is 2019?
A new Arran distillery is under construction. Arran malt must be selling well as the Lochranza set up is a large and popular tourist destination. It looks to me a long way from being finished, definitely not 2018 then!!

Lagg hotel & cycling cafe
The hotel and café is closed so no refreshments just a cold snowy wait until the bus arrives.

Wildlife: Raven, Hooded Crow, Jackdaw, Buzzard, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Dunnock, Mistle Thrush, Mallard, Black Throated Divers, Goldeneye, Wigeon, Grey Heron, Redshank, Curlew, Oystercatcher, Feral pigeon,

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Activity: Hill Bagger
Mountain: Goatfell
Place: Aviemore
Gear: Montane microlight hat
Member: RSPB, Ramblers
Ideal day out: Walking nice rounded hills in a remote place or long ground level remote walks
Ambition: The view not the height

Munros: 102
Corbetts: 80
Grahams: 66
Donalds: 89
Hewitts: 1
Sub 2000: 139
Islands: 15
Long Distance routes: Ayrshire Coastal Path    Clyde Walkway    Forth & Clyde and Union canal towpath    Great Glen Way    River Ayr Way    Three Lochs Way   

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Joined: Nov 06, 2012
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