Monday, May 5, 2008


Just back from a few days on the Isle of Arran in the firth of Clyde. Sometimes called - usually by its tourist industry - "Scotland in Miniature" - Arran does present a kind of microcosm of the nation, topographically at least.
In the north it is mountainous, rugged and has a large and highy visible deer population and a distillery. The centre contains the area of most dense habitation around the capital Brodick, while the south is greener and more rolling and has views across the sea to Ireland. This might also make the village where we stayed - Lochranza, in the north west corner of the island - the analogue of Fort William, but I wouldn't want to make too much of that

The approach to Arran from Claonaig on Kintyre is spectacular from the outset

and Lochranza has a genuinely dramatic setting,

as well as a fine and relatively well-preserved castle

(seen here from the doorstep of our rental cottage)

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