A WINTERS WALK
Miles =6.4. Klms-10.29.
Spur to Kilchattan Bay. Miles =1.8 Klms= 2.89
This is not a walk for the dedicated ramblers that come to Bute to explore our islands criss-cross paths, but for the novice that usually appear in the summertime when everything is dry and green and bright, with plenty of daylight hours, but in the middle of winter when things are far from being dry, but downright awful.
In my images I have included some that represents what I have said.
Start at the Kingarth & Kilchattan Bay War Memorial.
You can get a bus to this from Guildford Square next to the marina. Take the Kilchattan Bay bus and ask the driver to drop you off there. When your walk is complete, you can get the return bus at the same spot. There is no bus stop sign, so when bus appears, just flag it down.
Remember to get a time table for the return times.
If by car, there is ample space to park.
Head past the car park on to Scoulag Moor, passing a reservoir on your right. In the summertime there will be little grebes floating amongst the weeds, but in the winter, nothing, except maybe seagulls having a wash.
Onwards to the junction with Lord James’ Ride. Go left and proceed along and up and you will see what used to be a Trig Point, now an information tablet.
Sit for a few minutes to take in the scenic views, unless the cloud layer is at sea level, when you will see nil. I took a couple of young ladies on this walk and they wanted to see the Arran Hills, but saw nothing due to weather conditions.
Continue on the same track going downhill when you will see a way marker telling you to go left, so, you go left onto Drumreoch Circuit. This is a great track for seeing butterflies, but in winter nothing.
Carry on till you arrive at a another track heading downhill taking you to Stravannan Glen, where you will arrive at the main road, and you go left at that point.
Head up and along, listening for traffic, as this is a bad place to be walking on. Normally, you walk to face the oncoming traffic, but as there is no verge on your right, stay on you left till you get to the top of the hill, then change over.
Carry on till you come to the second track that leads to the farm. Head down there remembering to close the gates if they were closed when you arrive there.
This is where you will see what I mean by ‘winter walking’
The track going past the farm can be a bit of an obstacle, due to the deposits from the cattle. This is not myself complaining, as it is a farm, so you should be suitable attired.
As you head down towards the beach, you will find plenty of deep puddles to clean your boots. At least I hope you have boots on and gaiters as well. If you are wearing trainers? ‘Tough’
Don’t hold onto the top of the fence as it is barbed wire, and the last thing that you want is a cut hand through holding it to steady yourself when many cattle have been rubbing against it before you. I hope you have had your tetanus injections?
You will then come to a large gate with a smaller one on your left. The way marker indicates that you should follow the fence line, but don’t go there as you will walk into a bog.
Those in charge of the West Island Way use square posts for their signs, so if it is showing two directions, they will be at right angles to each other, as in this case and indeed many others. If they rounded the posts to about a foot from the top, they would be able to insert the pointer in any direction.
If you head for the tip of a piece of land on Bute jutting out, this will take you on the right track. Head along till you come to a bridge over the burn, which you will need if it has been raining heavily.
Don’t be afraid of the cattle they will not harm you.
Over the bridge and head for the Golf Course.
Now ! watch your heads, as you are beside the green, so go through the gate and keep off the green following the markers for the golfers till you see a gate on the wall .Check for flying balls , then go through it. Now you are in the middle of another fairway, so look right to see if there any ready to tee off. If not head for the path that is in line with the dyke. As you head up you are passing another green, so listen out. All clear, then head along and through the style, and then another
, and yet another which takes you onto the Plan Road.
This is decision time.
The walk is for you to go left, up to the cemetery, onto the main road down to Kingarth Hotel, then on and up past Meikle Kilchattan Farm, to the finish, but if you decide to go straight on you will come to Kilchattan Bay where there is toilets at the Stone Pier and also a tea room. But as it is winter it may close early. This will add another 1.8 Miles, 2.89 Klms on to your walk. If you are knackered , you may wish to wait for a bus to take you to your car, or back to Rothesay. The choice is yours.
Entered on 08-12-2012