First stop Arran

A quick hop and we crossed the border – first top as always Gretna Green – we love it. The little shopping complex is ace and we like to buy a few bits there, then have lunch in the camper in the bus park, kind of tradition for us whenever we go to Scotland.

From there we took a route through Dumfries and up through the forests. I was allowed to drive (yes amazing) and could see why as it was very quiet and fairly dull to be honest. A bit grey so not much to see other than trees, trees and more trees. As we got closer to the Scottish coast we were looking for campsites but Iain decided we may as well try for an early ferry over to Arran – woop woop. So its foot down to Ardossan and luckily for us they can fit us on the 5 o’clock sailing. As soon as we had checked in we nipped back out to the ASDA outside the port to stock up on beer and a our first haggis of the holidays.

Ferry crossing was calm – and just under an hour to arrival in Brodick. As its now 6 o’clock and we havent booked a campsite and dont know where there are any we decided tohead South. First site we saw looked big and not us so we carried on into the countrside and saw a CL sign. Up a small track and a lovely little site Ardlui CL. Views down over the sea and only one other caravan there. The warden said just pitch up and sort out tomorrow as X Factor about to start! Suited us so a quick fry up for tea of Haggis and eggs and tucked into watch X Factor ourselves.

Next morning visited the showers – one and only visit. Sink hanging off wall, literally. Door doesnt look and washing machine is in there too – all very cosy with other users of the washing machine, so maybe stick to our own facilities.

Next morning its up and out to tour the South of the island. Whiting Bay is no more than a hamlet really but nice little promenade and lovely views out to sea. From there we headed to Kildonan right at the bottom. Small village but a lovely campsite right on the beach. We did enquire but it was fully booked, sadly. The front beaches were right on the beach so this is one to remember next time we are here.

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By now hunger was setting in as usual we headed up the west coast to the beach at Torbeg. Miles of glorious sand and a few Sunday morning walkers around. Windy but warm enough for a dip in the sea, walked along the beach for miles then back through the golf course (dodging golf balls so that probably isn’t the best route to take).

From there we cut across the middle of the island back to Brodick. Nice town, very small with just a few shops and cafes. Again there is a promenade but this ones runs for at least a mile or so along the shore. Then it was back to camp for the night.

Next day we decided to explore the north of the island and move to a campsite at Lochranza. Drove up the east coast and stopped for a visit to Brodick castle. Plenty to see and one of the biggest gift shops I have ever seen. We also went to the Arran cheese factory where tastings were allowed. Well that was a good hour for us choosing several tasty flavoured cheeses to stock up the van including a rather nice whisky flavoured cheddar.

Isle of Arran cheese shop

Isle of Arran cheese shop    http://www.arranscheeseshop.co.uk/

Ok so needing to walk off a ton of food (mainly cheese) we aim for Goatfell. Iain isnt too enamored and decided to give up after half an hour and wait for me. Its not that steep but a little hard going in places. An hour later I made as far as I could go. Sat down for a breather and here comes himself up behind me – fair play, own speed and made it no problems.

Time for a change of campsite so we book in to Lochranza campsite on the north of the island. Well spread out with plenty of pitches, and wild deer wandering around the site – literally. Up close they are massive and just a little scary. The weather turned on us and rain set in so it was a bit dull but to be fair can imagine it to be lovely on a good day. A little restaurant outside the campsite had a notice selling supplies – sent Iain out for some butter, he comes back with a tablespoon full for which he was charged £2!!!! bloody robbery. We didn’t have time to visit the distillery but heard from others it was  worth a trip around and a few tastings.  There was a couple of small hotels in the village but nothing much else so we decided to move on in the morning – destination Paul McCartney land and the Mull of Kintyre.

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