Emerald Reverie

Gwmngilfen's blog - Tech, cooking, walking and other randomness from the heart of Scotland

Walking the Arran Coastal Path - Day 6



Day 6 - Lochranza to Sannox





The Arran Alps
So, the penultimate day, taking in the north coast of Arran as well as a famous scientific landmark. Better yet, our target for the day was, in fact, the very cottage we were staying in! As such, we could leave the heavy weight in our room, and take just one light pack with food, water, and first aid kit. Joy!

The weather was again bright and clear, and we were expected high temperatures. After a superb breakfast from out hosts, we were driven back to Lochranza to start the day. We stopped to grab a picture of the so-called Arran Alps; a view of Goatfell and it’s lower siblings from the north. We then started off around Loch Ranza and picked up the northern trail to Hutton’s Unconformity.

Ex-scientist ponders the Unconformity
Hutton’s Unconformity is a place on the north coast of Arran where two different rock strata meet, but at almost 90 degrees. Along with a number of other similar formations around Scotland, this helped Hutton disprove the geological theories of the day, and in doing set some of the principles of modern geology (including establishing it as a proper science). That it has a splendid view of northern Kintyre and Bute does nothing to spoil it’s significance.

The next section of the walk is extremely difficult to describe - but this time, in a good way. If all walks were like this, everyone would be doing it. The temperature was mid-twenties, with a light sea breeze. The terrain was easy walking, with splendid views across the sea and into the island. We took a break
just before the An Scrior rockfall, and leaned in the shade tossing pebbles into
the sea. I could have stayed there all day, it was bliss.
An Scrior

An Scrior was not as difficult to cross as the rocks around Black Cave, as there was a reasonable path above it, and we soon passed into a verdant coastline. After lunch, the heat and the horseflies both became brutal - we estimate it was 32C in the shade by 3pm. We drank copious amounts of water, but it was never going to be enough in those temperatures, and before we reached the forest just north of Sannox, there was no shade at all. We took a few stops, but the flies were not about to give us any peace, so we soldiered on through some of the remotest parts of Arran.

It’s 5 miles to the nearest road from here
I hope you like privacy…
Once in the trees, out of the direct sun, it became once again an extremely pleasant walk. We were tired, but the light in the trees was a lovely bonus. We returned to our B&B (which conveniently has a garden gate on the Coastal Way itself) at around 4.30pm. Given it was our last night on the island, I treated myself to steak for dinner :)

That left one more day, and the big question was still unanswered. Goatfell loomed large on the horizon as the sun was setting….