In our relationship the Missus is the leader and visionary coming up with the big plans and delegating to the “staff” the actual implementation. So this week Jazz and I were a little discomfited to hear that she would be joining us for a walk: the annual appraisal comes round so quickly. The brief was simple: it must involve a ferry; no early starts, insects or mountain climbing; and make sure the weather is good. As you see: she paints with a broad brush. So a bit of planning came up with a circuit in Glen Rosa on Arran, and we like to think we came up with a beauty. Glowing praise at the end from the Commander-in-Chief meant it looked as if we’d succeeded.
The late morning ferry 1 on Calmac’s Isle of Arran brought us into Brodick at noon 2. The place was jumping compared to our last visit which should have raised a few warning bells. It turns out today was the Brodick Highland Show: oops. You see our pre-nuptial agreement insisted on no highland shows 3 so we needed to put on a spurt to avoid the pipe bands in their ethnic dress 4. So it wasn’t long before we get to the lane for Glen Rosa (signposted as a “cart track” – times move fast on Arran) and things start to improve: quickly.
The lane passes the campsite and becomes a lovely track heading up a U-shaped glen 5. The glen is devoid of sheep so Jazz could explore off the lead. The path follows the meandering river and then turns northwards to give a stunning view of Goatfell to the right and Cir Mhor straight ahead with the gorgeous Glenrosa Water down the middle. There are some great pools along the river here 6 – perfect picnic-and-dip sites. We followed the path into an “exclosure” intended to keep the deer and sheep out and let the trees regenerate: it was working – the contrast to the unprotected area was obvious. We stopped by yet another gorgeous pool and waterfall with a view up the glen to the (in)famous Saddle leading over to Glen Sannox. We had therefore done 2/3 of the classic Sannox-to-Rosa walk and the Missus had the bit between her teeth: we’d be back to do the full thing. Yikes.
A word of warning is necessary here. You might think this beautiful glen is remote and isolated, but alas no. At this point the Missus’s phone warbles and she interrupts the inspection to chat to the Brat who is currently in Thailand. I thought the whole point of her being 6000 miles away in some tiny village near the Burmese border was that she couldn’t bother us. Don’t you just hate technology sometimes?
We now backtracked down the path to the footbridge over the river that gives access to the path on the Glenshant Hill side. This path is invisible from the path we came up, but is lovely and soon enters a forest that becomes an estate track along an avenue of Sycamores heading for Brodick Castle estate. The track joins the road and we wander about heading for the ice cream vendor at Home Farm before taking the Fishermans' Walk back to Brodick.
This was an absolute cracker of a walk that we could do in an afternoon just getting off the ferry. We’ll certainly be back because this will pay repeated visits at the various seasons. The fact the C-in-C declared this her new favourite glen 7 meant that Jazz and I had an enjoyable trip home knowing we had satisfactorily implemented her latest vision: it gets one of our coveted 5-star rating.
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