Our last full day on Arran, Friday the 12th, we hopped on a bus that skirted the southern shore on it's way to the western side of the island, then walked a 3 mile loop through sheep pastures and pheasant haunts (a highlight for Mike) to 3 rings of standing stones, dating back 4000 years. When I visit stone circles, I feel something; can't describe it really, so I'll just leave it at that.
While waiting for a bus to take us to the western shore transport hub of Blackwaterfoot, we were offered a ride there by some regular visitors to Arran, then hopped a bus that headed north around the island, basically completing the circle (or a bit more accurately, oval). We stopped off at Brodick Castle, originally built as a fort in the 1500s, then added onto in the 1600s and again in the 1800s when it was used as the hunting lodge of a string of Dukes of Hamilton. The gardens were fantastic and touring the castle was well worth the time and expense; volunteer guides in each room gave color to what we were seeing (no photos allowed inside).
Bus break in Whiting Bay
Views from the bus
Hiking into Machrie Moor
This stone is the 1 on the left in the photo above
Proof I was there - stone on the right 2 photos up
Picnic - mmmm, salmon pate on oaties with vegies and fruit
Bus views heading north
Lochranza Castle on the north tip of the island
Walking into the castle grounds
Enormous cork tree
The castle gardens
150 year old Bavarian summer house, built for the German bride of one of the Dukes of Hamilton
This is the newer end of the castle where you enter (near left).
This is the opposite, older end
Bus ride south in an open top bus - highland cattle