This is a wonderful circuit up the Fairy Glen across the Clauchland Hills, down to the shore and along to Dhunan and back to Brodick. The walk up Fairy Glen is astonishingly attractive and brings you to a magnificent viewpoint where the whole of the Cir Mohr range hoves into view. The new LRT takes you out around Brodick Bay and, eventually to the Dun. The walk along the shore to Dhunan is quite difficult but a short cut is given below.
I should add that our Walking Club has never been to Arran without a crisis! we have never yet been to Arran without a crisis! Expect the unexpected! Ah well … it is ever thus, bacon butties, fish ‘n chips, coffees, sunshine and sunburn and freckles, tired legs missing boats, paths, helicopters and people!
To get to the Arran ferry
You need to allow at least 50 minutes to get to Ardrossan from Glasgow and a further 20 minutes to park and get your boots on. You need 10 minutes to wander across to the Ticket Office so, in other words, allow about 1½ hours!
The instructions start from the Clyde Expressway.
Leave the Expressway on the slip road to go through the Clyde Tunnel and then follow the signs to the M8 towards Greenock. On the M8, (just past the left turn to the Airport) take the next left turn marked A737 to Irvine. Follow this for about 20 miles by-passing Johnstone, Beith etc until you find yourself running up the main street of Dalry. At the traffic lights turn left and then immediately right – now sign-posted Ardrossan and Arran Ferry. You will be taken on to the B780. About 3 miles along, watch that you turn left with the B780 (the road straight ahead goes down to West Kilbride). The B780 now comes out at a series of new roundabouts all making down towards the sea. (Don’t be bamboozled by a ferry notice to the right – this is the Irish ferry from Troon!) At the bottom of the hill, at the main road (A738), turn left towards Ardrossan, and at the traffic lights turn right. Go right down through Ardrossan, cross the railway line and at the car park for the Arran ferry turn in left. Stop at the kiosk for a parking ticket (you £3 pay on the way out). The only exit for pedestrians is now marked about ¾ of the way up the car park (from the entrance) so get as near as possible.
You have to exit in the proper place, cross the road where the cars come off and on the boat, make for the Ticket Office and then make for the boat. You’re not allowed to wander around anymore!
From the pier cross at the traffic island and walk along the opposite pavement from the shore, past the Douglas Hotel to Alma Road. This is not named but the Co-op is on the right-hand side and it’s the first road to the left that you come to. Alma Road soon turns sharply right and you walk along with houses on the left and fine views of Goatfell and the Cir Mohr range on the right. Ignore two roads to the left (not counting the continuation of Alma Road – there’s Braithwic Place and Alma Park) and turn left into Mayish Road. The sign-post to Fairy Glen is on the right-hand side facing the other way as though you were coming up from the Post Office. You will see the Glen Artney Hotel a little way up Maynish Road. (All the official descriptions of this walk suggest starting from the Post Office but this is a long way round if you’re coming from the pier.)
Fairy Glen is lovely. The tarmac quickly becomes beaten earth which then becomes a path. It is a gentle climb but the views behind of the bay and the mountains make it worth stopping to get your breath! The path wanders through the little glen, across footbridges and beside clear running water. (There are additional paths to the right and left created by the Local Woodland Trust if you have time to explore them. Take a leaflet from the viewpoint if you intend coming back.) Your path suddenly emerges at a new viewpoint on the Brodick to Lamlash Road. You’ll want to takes lots of photos here! A new path continues towards Lamlash, very well-sign-posted, up to the much larger car-park where we have lunched before. There are picnic tables here but it is midgy!
Cross the road and make towards the Clauchland Hills. This is very different from previous walks. At a useless sign-post saying ‘Circular walk’ in both directions, turn left up the wide LRT which soon emerges high above the bay with spectacular views. The trees have been harvested and the views are clear. The LRT climbs gently and then suddenly stops at an un-harvested bit of forest but a very obvious new path continues on the right. This is the only real climb and it is fairly short. It emerges below, on the landward side, of Dun Dubh.
Continue on this path, however, and although it looks as though your way will be barred by windfalls it is clear and easy and emerges on what I think is the old path. Here a new useless sign-post directs you either back the way you’ve come, or down to the left which is the way you’re going! Turn left and follow the old path downhill as far as the fort with marvellous views of Holy Isle. You have a three way choice here.
1.The main walk turns right here on a clear path which then disappears across a field but makes for an obvious stile and signpost back to Brodick or on to Lamlash. Turn left through Clauchlands farm and go through the gate on the right turning left around the farmhouse and joining a road which goes down to the beach at Kerr’s Fort. Turn left here and go round Clauchlands Point. (If you wish, at the stile, you can follow an easy sign-posted path to Lamlash which emerges on the same road but you would turn right to Lamlash. You can get a drink at the Drift Inn (on the left going towards Lamlash and then get the bus back to Brodick
Otherwise continue round Clauchlands Point and follow the shore path to Dhunan whereyou pick up the road and continue walking towards North Corriegills and the main road (A841 Brodick-Lamlash). We turn right here and walk back down to the pier. This route is four miles long but takes ages –at least two hours.
- The main walk turns right here on a clear path which then disappears across a field but makes for an obvious stile and signpost back to Brodick or on to Lamlash. Turn left through Clauchlands farm and go through the gate on the right turning left around the farmhouse and joining a road which goes down to the beach at Kerr’s Fort. Turn left here and go round Clauchlands Point. (If you wish, at the stile, you can follow an easy sign-posted path to Lamlash which emerges on the same road but you would turn right to Lamlash. You can get a drink at the Drift Inn (on the left going towards Lamlash and then get the bus back to Brodick
- If you have never been to the fort (Dun) you have to go up and over the Dun and then follow an amazing cliff-top path which comes down at Clauchlands Point to follow the route above. This is actually a shorter route.
- If you want to avoid the shore path, turn left at the bottom of the Dun and follow the path down to South Corriegills which then joins the road from North Corriegills down into Brodic