Lochranza to Ardrossan

The east coast of Arran
The east coast of Arran

The world’s noisiest snorer just happened to be in our dormitory so Rowan and I trudged down to breakfast thankful that this was to be an easy day, while Christine was full of life having enjoyed a full night’s sleep in the womens dorm. Steve had warned us that a hard climb over the pass was in store for us on leaving Lochranza so Christine and I were surprised at how easy we found it, just two and a half miles of gentle rise with a lovely gradual descent enhanced by coastal scenery, the early morning mist having been displaced by warm sunshine. Steve’s comments were a reminder of how soft southerners are!

We stopped at Brodick Castle restaurant for a cooked lunch, quite a posh event for us. Rowan and I opted for a leisurely wander round the castle, gardens and woodland walks while Christine was desperate to climb the island’s highest mountain, Goat Fell, returning without her state of the art waterproof which she’d lost on the way. She also damaged her ankle running back down the mountain. While awaiting her return at the National Trust shop, I spotted a reference to a Gourock to Helensburgh ferry service, which wasn’t marked on our Ordnance Survey map. I phoned the office (the Clyde Marine Motoring Co on 01475 721281) – they confirmed its existence and gave me the times. Gourock is along the coast from Ardrossan and Helensburgh is just eight miles from tomorrow night’s destination so this will save us the tedious drag through Glasgow.

After a frantic search, Christine found a waterproof to tide her over for the rest of the holiday, then we passed the time in a cafĂ© before boarding the 19:20 ferry, the last of the day back to the mainland. The boat was again very quiet, under a quarter full. We ate on the vessel and then made straight for Crescent Park House, where they told us that local roads had been flooded by heavy rain in the morning. So we’d been lucky this time, with a mainly warm sunny day, just a few showers. Christine’s ankle was swollen by now and keeping her awake so she had to get up to strap it in a crepe bandage and take a paracetemol, worried that it may curtail the holiday.

Day 7 – Ardrossan to Balloch (37 miles)