Day two of our trip to Arran, off the west coast of Scotland, began early the next morning, just before the soft amber haze of the rising sun. We were keen to get outside to the lake to watch the sunrise before breakfast. Complete silence greeted us, the long grass blades tipped with frost and the water still except for the swans, gracefully gliding along. That magical golden hour as the sun is rising over the horizon is a photographers dream and we spent a while taking photographs as the orangy light of dawn cast a glow over the surrounding fields and cottages.
With numb toes and icy fingers we headed indoor to the cosy dining room where we were served a delicious breakfast of hot traditional porridge, fruit and hot croissants, followed by a full Scottish breakfast which was more than enough but very tasty all the same and eliminated any need for lunch.
Even though there was a still a slight chill in the air the sun was out and we drove down the west coast of Arran. We stayed overnight at Lochside Arran, a B+B near Blackfootwater and it didn’t take much driving before the dramatic, rough landscape of the north transformed into rolling lush green fields reminiscent of the beautiful Scottish Borders. Quirky little villages with white stonewashed cottages, handmade signs letting visitors know they have eggs for sale, colourful fishing boats sitting idly in the gardens waiting for warmer weather.
Close your eyes and picture this is your mind. You are standing with the love of your life in a secluded Scottish medieval castle, ancient grey ruins with decayed ivy clad walls letting the wind in. High on a hilltop, highland air filling your lungs as you make your vows in front of your loved ones with the ghosts of previous tenants listening in and breathtaking views through the cracks and gaps to the wild rugged winter terrain outside.
What about a stately castle with a grand ballroom. Luxurious deep red walls and thick curtains, a mighty log fire in the far wall keeping the guests warm and relaxed. A long solid wood table laid out with magnificent food, fit for royalty, so your nearest and dearest can enjoy the wedding dinner together like the kings and queens before them. Everybody can then drink whisky from silver plated goblets into the wee hours before retiring to a four poster bed in the grand bedrooms.
I am beginning to enjoy the relaxed pace of island life. The more I visit the more I want to visit more! As cliche as it sounds something shifts in my mind when I get off the ferry. The stress lifts, the mind declutters and you feel peaceful and chilled out. At least I do. Every time. I’ve just returned from two days on the isle of Arran and could quite happily just drive right on back, what a wee beauty!
It was still dark as I drove to the train station to pick up Kay and we headed sleepily towards Glasgow hoping with our fingers crossed that we would miss the morning rush. We did indeed and were rewarded with a pretty fantastic sunrise as we arrived in Ardrossan to catch the ferry.