Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Three men go to Arran

Lochranza - Arran

Back in October 2011, Doug Robar set up a CamPhotoWalk group inviting a bunch of men from Christ Church Cambridge to go out and take photos.

"A photo walk is simple -- we gather at a specified place and time and walk around for an hour or so taking photos that fall within our pre-determined topic. When done we either all go some place to download everyone's photos to a laptop/projector  or if time is short commit to uploading to a flickr group within a few days with the object of delighting in the good ones, learning and encouraging one another about how our photos might be improved, and having a great time in the process."

I have to admit I didn't join straight away, but Doug didn't give up so easily inviting me along and before I knew it I was part of the group. Numbers swelled and we visited quite a few locations in and around Cambridge. Just over a year ago we spread our wings a little further afield and spent a weekend on the North Norfolk coast. 

Fast forward another year and three of the hardy CamPhotoWalk group have just returned from a long weekend on Arran. This last trip has been in planning since April, we could have gone earlier, but we didn't want to be getting up at the crack of dawn. After checking sunset and sunrise times we pencilled September into the diary. Flights, car, ferry & accommodation all booked we could sit back till a bit closer to the time.

All too soon September came round and the next thing I knew we were all travelling down by bus to Stansted for the relatively short flight to Glasgow. Phil had his trekking poles confiscated by security and Jeremy had a particularly dodgy looking flashgun he had borrowed from Doug which set off all sorts of alarms at check-in. After signing his life away and confirming he wasn't a terrorist we got under way.

Touching down in Glasgow we picked picked up the rental car and drove down to Ardrossan. 40 minutes later we hit the supermarket shelves to stock up on some essentials before checking in for the ferry. With still 2 hours to kill before our sailing Phil disappeared off with his camera taking some macro shots of the sea wall and foreshore, I didn't bother unpacking my kit opting to take a few snaps with my phone. After a pleasant crossing and all important tea on-board we arrived in Brodick. The light was starting to fade with no hint of a sunset so we headed off north towards Corrie and the famous boulders.

Corrie boulders - shot actually taken on our last day

Soon enough the light had almost completely gone so we packed up and headed for the hostel at Lochranza, our base for the next 4 nights. The hostel was very good indeed, great facilities, clean, tidy, comfy beds, friendly staff & perfect location, what more could you want?

Although I had made quite a detailed schedule of photo locations times etc. before the trip much of this was based around suitable weather. Having spent a week on Harris during the summer I wasn't holding out much hope. However, I couldn't have been more wrong the only rain we had was on Monday night when we were back at the hostel. 

I will rattle through our itinerary over the next few days with all of the locations we visited. I had to do lots of digging on the internet and flickr to come up with this list (pre trip). Hopefully if you are planning a trip to Arran it might help you a little.

  • Early start at Lochranza, Castle & harbour reflections.
  • Back to hostel for breakfast!
  • Drive over to North Glen Sannox photos down the valley and then a stop off to take photos of the river.
  • Brief stop at Corrie harbour
  • Early lunch in Brodick
  • Parked back near the brewery (off the A841) to start the walk up Goat fell via Glen Rosa
  • Shots of the river and Glen Rosa (Not much water in the river though!)
  • Over the saddle and then the scramble up Goat Fell from the north
  • Sunset & packed tea top of Goat Fell
  • Decent in the dark with head torches
  • Back to the hostel 11pm, bed!

Lochranza castle & harbour

North Glen Sannox

Glen Rosa

Jeremy & Phil on Goat Fell

Group shot - Summit Goat Fell

Sunset Goat Fell

  • Sunrise at Machrie Moor standing stones
  • Breakfast back at Lochranza
  • Walk to Newton point Lochranza followed by lunch
  • Afternoon at Drumadoon, Phil walked on to King's Cave
  • Sunset at Machrie bay
  • Starry sky Lochranza 

Machrie Moor stone circle
Machrie Moor stone circle


Machrie Bay sunset
Machrie Bay sunset

Lochranza starry sky
Lochranza starry sky
  • Sunrise at Lamlash bay (sadly it didn't amount to anything)
  • Glenashdale mushrooms in the forest
  • Glenashdale falls & river
  • Giants graves
  • Kildonan (Jeremy fell asleep in the car)
  • Arran cheese factory!
  • Evening shoot at Glen Sannox & the Stone of Sannox

Mushroom magic Glenashdale
Mushroom magic Glenashdale


Glen Sannox
Glen Sannox

  • Sunrise at Lochranza  (Phil & Jeremy had a lie in, Jeremy somewhat longer than Phil)
  • Corrie Sandstone, harbour & sheep on jetty
  • Another quick stop off at the Corrie boulders
  • Brodick check in for ferry
Lochranza stag
Lochranza stag

Corrie jetty sheep
Corrie jetty sheep

Sandstone patterns Corrie
Sandstone patterns Corrie

Ten minutes for a quick souvenir dash in Brodick and we were back on the ferry homeward bound. Another very calm crossing followed by the short drive back up to Glasgow having only clocked up 250 miles. Slight delay on flight, but we still managed to catch the same coach out of Stansted after Phil had picked up his trekking poles! Home by 7:30pm a bit tired, but a great time away with friends. All I had to do then was go through my 400 shots!      

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