Arran you are calling me – Kintyre Holiday

There are many places in Scotland that mean something to me and many Islands that I have loved and would like to go back to.  Each place will bring out different emotions in me.  For example when I am in Glasgow I feel excited and upbeat.  Kintyre gave me a feeling of being relaxed. There is one place though that always reaches me in a way that no other does.  It’s hard to write it in words.  It’s part spiritual and partly it connects back to the child in me.  This is the Island of Arran.  A haunt of many happy childhood holidays and also holidays with my husband.  In fact he proposed to me on the Island.  We were just back from a break in Paris where I had suspected there might be a proposal.  But he waited to ask me to marry him on the Island of Arran.  In a magical spot between Brodick and Corrie.

We were not intending to go to Arran during our trip to Kintyre in that it didn’t really feature in the itinerary before our visit.  But once there we realised how close it was.  And on the Monday of the first week we took a trip to Carradale which is well worth a visit if you are in Kintyre.  As we walked along the shore there.  Arran beckoned so close you could almost see the houses.  And neither of us could be that close and not visit the Island.

So a trip was arranged as the last main outing of the holiday.  The thursday before we sadly had to go home and return to normality.  Now the current Chairman of VisitScotland at a recent workshop was telling us about the great information service that is available on the Ardrossan to Brodick ferry.  And said ” After all everyone has to use this as we all know there is only one ferry to Arran.”  Well he is wrong as there has always been at least two ferries to Arran and for me the one that he doesn’t seem to know about is actually THE way to visit the Island.  It is of course the Claonaig to Lochranza ferry which you take from the Kintyre peninsula and arrive at my favourite town on the Island Lochranza.

On the morning of the trip I woke up so excited that I was on the beach with the dog at 0630am.  Then my son and I had quite a job to get my husband and daughter out of their beds and into the car.  But we did and we made the ferry that I wanted to catch.

The above photo is the view from Claonaig of Arran simply a stunning vista.  And it just gets better the closer that you get to the Island.  It sounds crazy I know but when we got off at the other side I wanted to kiss the ground the emotions that swept over me were immense and the deep connections inside started at once.  I could remember being there with my beloved Papa on my first trip to the Island.  I could remember being there a month before he died knowing that he was going to die.  And walking miles and miles trying to walk out my emotions at what was going to be ahead of me.  Happier times a camping trip with my now husband and student friends.  Waking up to stunning views at Lochranza camping site.  The proposal of my husband and many other holidays that we have spent there.

The day to be honest was a haunt for my husband and I of various spots in Lochranza that mean something to us.  To the guest house that we as a family stayed in.  To the views on the other side of Lochranza climbing up to the craft workshop at Whins.  To my favourite spot which is an old derelict house where as a teenager I used to imagine renovating and living in writing lots of books.  My husband has taken a photo of me at this spot many times.  So it felt emotional as he took a photo of my daughter sitting on the steps of the house.  I don’t often see the resemblance of my daughter in me. She has always reminded me of my mum in looks.   But I did that day.

So we had a wonderful day on Arran and the weather didn’t let us down it was hot and sunny all day.  The only slight blot on the landscape was the midgies.  After no bites on Kintyre I was bitten alive on that day trip to Arran.

But I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.  It connected deep inside me and gave me another memory of happy times on that most beautiful of Islands.  Eddie Reader in her Burns Collection sings a song called “Wild Mountainside”.  I am going to end this blog with the lyrics as every time I hear this song I am on the ferry to Arran making my way back to it once again.  The photo below is my house on Lochranza who knows maybe one day we will own a house on the island of dreams.

Wild Mountainside
Beauty is within grasp
Hear the islands call
The last mile is upon us
I’ll carry you if you fall
I know the armour’s heavy now
I know the heart is tired
It’s beautiful just over
The wild mountainside

Snow is falling all over
Out of clear blue sky
Crow is flying high over
You and I are going to wander
High up where the air is rare
Wild horses ride
It’s beautiful, let’s go over
The wild mountainside

Wild and free we roam
Only a mile to go

Wild and free we roam
Only a mile to go

Beauty is within grasp
Hear the highlands call
The last mile is upon us
I’ll carry you if you fall
I know the armour’s heavy now
I know the heart inside
It’s beautiful let’s go over
The wild mountainside
It’s beautiful just roaming
The wild mountainside


About fionadranesblog

40 plus mum of two married with a mad cocker spaniel. Along with two colleagues run Bright Light Marketing a rural marketing agency who specialise in getting rural businesss noticed. Live in St Boswells in the wonderful Scottish Borders. Love books, walking and living life to the full here in the Scottish Borders though its sometimes a juggle!
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