Kilmory to Whiting Bay

Looking towards Tighvein

We’re back on Arran to see what a Force 8 gale is like on an island. Answer: impressive if you don’t need the ferry. With a brief respite promised for the first half of the day we decide to do a bit of forestry walking on the south end of Arran on a cycle route marked as “traffic-free” – fortunately it was also cycle and people-free.

Jazz on the forest track

Jazz on the forest track

The walk starts near Kilmory and follows an excellent forest track all the way. The track is much better than the main road around Whiting Bay which looks like the Somme in places. OK so we’ve had a dreadful winter but there are some stretches that are great, so it seems to be North Ayrshire Council being a bit stingy with the roads budget.

SNH Sympathisers not welcome

SNH Sympathisers not welcome

The route starts well with nice views back over the south to Sanda Island off Kintyre. There’s a modest amount of climbing but nothing requiring a stop and we made good progress. However, the middle section is through felled forest which is an eyesore. There was something interesting here: see the sign on the right. Clearly SNH have been ruffling a few feathers in these parts. I wonder what they were up to? Maybe stopping the locals shooting Hen Harriers? I also wasn’t sure whether I’d be regarded as a “sympathiser” as I had a pair of binoculars around my neck, so we decided to push on before we could hear the sound of shotguns being loaded.

Spot the Cairn

Spot the Cairn

There was a sign pointing along a spur-track for the chambered cairn at Carn Mor. Now Jazz and I are suckers for the neolithic so we decided to head off and have lunch at the cairn. However, by the time we got to the vicinity we realised that the FC boys had been in with their subtle harvesting gear and the place was a mass of tangled roots and stumps: so no cairn, no lunch, and some Anglo-Saxon expletives for the FC.

Nice FC water-bowl

Nice FC water-bowl

Back on the main track we had lunch just before the rain started. This was going well… We were at the highest and most exposed part of the walk so it was just grin+bear it time. Jazz did spot a new picnic table at the side of the road with a great view of a waterfall. Now we all know that picnic tables implies picnics and discarded food, so Jazz is off like a shot. No one had been here, despite the “view” over the cleared forest, and so she was bitterly disappointed. However, some kind person had left a dog water bowl, which brighten the mood slightly.

Glenashdale Falls

The Falls

Iron Age fort, Glenashdale

Iron Age fort, Glenashdale

Now we are descending towards the best part of the walk: down through Glenashdale and its lovely waterfall. After the disappointment of Carn Mor I promised Jazz a visit to the Iron Age fort near the falls. It was a nice spot to contemplate the rain, and even had an interpretation board. From here we go past the top of the falls and then head down to Whiting Bay. This was a walk to three parts, with the middle section letting it down. We’d thoroughly recommend a circuit around the falls, but I can’t see us doing this route again.

Distance:15km
Effort:
Do It Again:
Duration:4 hours