Arran Coastal Way – Brodick to Sannox

I’ve been and not quite conquered the Arran Coastal Way for reasons I’ll go into later but I’ll attempt to give a run down of each day for anyone who’s interested!

The first day was mainly taken up travelling, starting out at 10.30 to catch the train to Glasgow Central and then on to Ardrossan to meet up with the ferry. I love trains and ferries so I find this part quite enjoyable, even the waiting between connections is fun if there is coffee and people watching involved. I had booked my train ticket from Oxenholme station (nr Kendal) to Glasgow back in January for just over £20 return and picked up a ‘Rail and Sail’ ticket which covers travel from Glasgow to Brodick for £22.90 from Glasgow Central. The plan was to walk a section each day carrying all my stuff with me to camp along the way. (I’d like to add at this point that my rucksack must have weighed in excess of 15kg so not ultralight by any stretch of the imagination!)

I arrived in Brodick at 4.15pm to a few grey clouds and a little bit of wind and headed straight off knowing that I had until about 9pm to get to my intended wild camp site at Sannox approx 8 miles away. Unfortunately both my phone and solar charger were slowly dying so didn’t manage to get too many photo’s along the way.

I think I had underestimated how much of this walk was uphill, heading up into Merkland Woods above the castle at Brodick and then following broad forestry paths for what felt like miles. Just as I thought I was coming back down to the coast, up it went again! The views through the gaps in the trees were amazing and I couldn’t wait to get back down near the sea way down there. I was getting tired and ended up slipping at one point and smacked down on my bum, I felt like a turtle trying to get back up with a fully loaded rucksack attached!!

Merkland Woods – looking back down to the ferry.

Eventually I came down to the road and walked along to Corrie, finding a handy water tap at the village hall there (also toilets!) and the lovely pier complete with sheep! I must have looked shattered as a local came cycling up to let me know I could camp at the village hall if I wanted to. Thinking that Sannox wasn’t very far, I thought I’d push on and make camp so I was that bit further on for the next day. That last mile or so was tough, I was sooo tired and feeling disheartened that it seemed such a struggle on day one!

Pier at Corrie complete with sheep!

Tent up, food eaten, bed ready, woolly hat and numerous layers on…sleep! The rain and wind woke me a couple of times but my first night wild camping on my own was absolutely fine. The tent held up to everything thrown at it and I felt safe even if a little fed up.

Scottish Surprise

Our Christmas present to ourselves was a couple of nights away, minus two teenagers… yeehaa! And because I like to think I’m the boss in the house, I sorted out and booked the two nights without letting on to Mr’Gnomead where we were headed… Unfortunately for him it wasn’t a spa break at Centre Parcs, or a luxury hotel with all mod cons (he was warned!!) Something WAAAAY more fun…

YES! a wooden hut in the middle of nowhere with no electricity or toilet facilities…or kitchen…or water… oh dear, what had I done!!??

We arrived at our destination on a dull grey afternoon and I was a little bit concerned when we walked in to a small, cold, dark wooden house at the bottom of a field. Visions of luxury hotels and spa breaks did fleet across my mind at this point! But soon with the log burner roaring, the candles lit and some fish and chips in our tummies it transformed itself into a magical little hidey-hole, so peaceful, so secluded and so, so cosy…

The next day was spent on a whistle stop tour exploring the Rhins of Galloway with lighthouses, beaches and lovely seaside villages, an area well worth visiting. We had tea cooked on an open fire outside and then into the cosy Roundhouse to fall asleep to candle light and the log burner flickering…bliss!

We woke up to a misty, mysterious morning, ate breakfast by the campfire and packed to head home by the scenic route.

Misty morning

This was at a great little campsite called Balloch O’Dee which had been recommended to us by two of our friends. An absolute gem of a place and one we will certainly be returning to. As well as camping they have other quirky and unique accommodation available. Gorgeous showers and toilets and friendly people – what more could you want? !