When we woke up today it was a beautiful sunny morning on the Isle of Arran.
The view from outside our hotel is really wonderful.
We had a quick stroll around outside to enjoy it, before jumping in the car to start our Isle of Arran roadtrip.
Our first destination was actually only a couple of miles down the road. We parked in a small Forestry Commission car park, from where we were planning to do a circular walk. The trees were really dense here and the forest looked so dark!
From just outside the car park itself, we had some amazing views.
An info board told us that this mountain used to be a volcano.
We set off on the walk through the forest.
Before too long the path opened up and we started to get glimpses of the sea.
It looked such an incredible shade of blue!
We were really lucky that the weather was so good today
As we progressed along the walk the path became narrower...
...before leading down through some rocks.
The route then continued along the shore of what was quite a pebbly beach.
As we walked along it we had a great view towards some big cliffs in the distance.
The reason for the walk was that it leads to a place called King's Cave.
I'm not necessarily a big fan of caves, but this is the one where Robert the Bruce allegedly watched a spider spinning its web. Fortunately, the spider we found there today wasn't too scary
The path then led us through another cave...
...and back out into the sunshine.
We'd climbed down quite a long way to get to the cave, and now we needed to climb back up.
It was quite hard work at times in the sunshine...
...but the views were still superb
Ultimately the path was leading us back towards the forest where we had started.
We'd walked about three miles by the time we got back to the car. It was barely worth getting into the car, because our next destination was only a mile or so down the road.
We parked in a small car park, from where a path led to the Machrie standing stones.
Initially the path led us through green fields full of sheep.
When we turned around there was a great view back to the sea.
After 10 minutes or so of walking we came to this...
I was slightly concerned that these were the standing stones, in which case they didn't really seem worth the walk. Fortunately, the path continued to the main standing stones, which were still a bit further along.
All in all, walking to the standing stones was probably a 90-minute round trip and we clocked up another 3 miles or so on our Fitbits.
It was beautiful walking towards these views though.
We came to another small stone circle.
And then finally we got a glimpse of the real thing
These stones were a much better size.
There were only a few of them, so not quite as impressive as the Ring of Brodgar which we'd seen on Orkney last year.
They were huge stones though - here's me for scale
We enjoyed the views of the stones and then began retracing our steps back to the car.
We also caught sight of this solitary stone, standing on its own.
This one was quite an unusual shape!
We got back in the car and had a longer drive this time, around 14 miles to the village of Lochranza, which is the most northerly village on the Isle of Arran.
We parked beside a loch where we had views towards a ruined castle, although quite a small one.
There was another circular walk we could do here, towards a place called Newton's Point.
As we followed the path we had more beautiful views.
We reached a point called Hutton's Unconformity, where the 18th century geologist James Hutton had located a junction between two different types of rocks, enabling him to deduce a theory that the Earth's surface had evolved over a long period of time.
I didn't quite understand what we were looking at, but it was interesting anyway
The path ultimately led around in a big loop, bringing us back towards Lochranza.
We'd walked over 9 miles by this point so I was definitely starting to feel a bit tired.
It was definitely worth it for the views though - we were really lucky with the weather today, but I'm amazed about how beautiful the Isle of Arran is, as it's not really an island I've heard a lot about before.
We stopped for some much needed coffee and cake on the way back to the hotel, before continuing our drive around the south coast of the island. We didn't get out for any more walks here, but we did get a lovely view towards the small Holy Island which is just off the coast of Arran.
Then it was back to the hotel to relax for the evening and enjoy the sea views from our bedroom