Rothesay Walk (1).
Miles = 5.0
Start of at the usual spot, the Zebra Crossing at the Pier exit.
Cross over, and head right till you come to the High Street at the end of Guildford Square. Stay on this side and head slightly uphill till you see that it is ok to cross over to the Castle side and depending on the time of the year you may see young swans (Cygnets) at various stages of growth, and will welcome your uneaten sandwiches at anytime. Also a few Mallard Ducks with one white one that is cute but gets a lot of hassle from the Male Swan (Cob) from the day that his partners (Pen) eggs hatch out , then this poor wee white Mallard has a few months of evading the wrath of the male, with it being even harder, as the Cygnets seem to like this smaller like model of their mother.
Follow the railings till you see on your left, 'The Serpentine', with no explanation of it's name required. Head along Castle Street, (well what else could you call it) and up two bends of the Serpentine till you arrive at Bishop Terrace . Carry along this road till you come to the entrance to 'The Skippers Woods'. It is a track, which can be a bit wet at times, but not too bad walking. Nice views along this way, but trees and buildings get in the way, but later on you will see Rothesay Bay in all it's glory.
A nice stroll with a few bits making you stop for a breather, but there is a seat about the halfway mark, so first come first served as it will only hold about four at a time.
Birds are thin on the ground here with a few Wood Pigeons and finches scratching about on the ground, and the compulsory Robin's always in attendance.
You may be lucky to see, or most times hear a Magpie, (Black and White) and maybe a Jay, which is the most colourful member of the Crow family, but don't hang about too long as you may well be having a long wait.
Carry on to the end of the woods, and enjoying the Vista as you go. When at the end, turn Right and head uphill. It is steep but when you turn the corner that you see ahead, you only have a few steps to go, then you are on the 'Bridleway' (for horses and humans too). Birds you will possible see are Blue, Cole, Great Tits, and maybe small flocks of Longtailed Tits as well but not definite. This is another easy nice walk with more that a few bends and short steep bits, but no view till you come to the end, then 'Wow' it all opens out as you move across the field. Now don't worry about the cows, they are docile, but if you happen to have a dog with you, they will be very interested in it.
Through the gate and a few steps and you are near the first top of the Serpentine. Turn Left , and up to the wall then go left then sharp right and head up towards the second top, passing 'Eastlands Farm' at the roadside. There were farm Ducks here until recently, but the cunning fox put paid to them and I don't think that they will be replaced. Carry on for a few steps and you have a choice of directions, but no problems as they join again after a short while. Going left, will give you some brilliant views of Loch Striven, Ardbeg and Toward Lighthouse, but if you fancy a stiff climb, then go on the Landrover Track through the Golf Course with the possibility of getting a 'Dunlop 65' no 3, on your head, depending on the strength of the wind and the golfers prowess with his clubs.
The views from the highest point that you will be today are breathtaking, with 'Loch Ascog' to your right and the Arran Hills even more to your right, so see if you can find the Sleeping Warrior.
Across the Clyde you will see from your left, Argyll& Bute,Inverclyde, Renfrewshire, and North Ayrshire, and glimpse of Kintyre over the hills and to the right of Arran.
Depending on the time of year, what wild life you will see (maybe Foxes, or an irate Farmer?) From September loads of Greylag Geese descend on Loch Ascog and feed on the adjacent fields, as do the enormous amount of Wigeon Ducks and also the Tufted variety, Great Crested Grebes, Little Grebes, Pochards, Grey Herons, Mute Swans, Buzzards, Rooks, Carrion Crows, etc etc.
Carry on downhill for a few more steps and find a lovely seat put there in remembrance of two local men. Weel kent (well known) and liked and a great loss to the community. A short rest, then onward ho to catch up with the rest of your party that did not fancy the hike up the hill.
They had their own views to see, with Loch Striven winding it's way up between the Cowal Hills. Toward Lighthouse, and across the water, the Inverkip ex Power station, with it's gigantic chimney across the Clyde, and with what I hear, it will soon be gone, as the station has remained dormant for many years.
The hikers wind their way downhill hoping not to hear the word 'Fore' as they venture forth along side the Golf Course, then alighting on to the Tar Macadam road once more and meeting up with you friends, who will have cruised downhill, and had plenty of rest as they wait for you, but as there are no seats, they will have had a long stand.
Carry on down Eastlands road to the entrance to the Skippers Woods once more. Head to Rothesay centre, or if you fancy a seat, and a bus back, head downwards to the next junction and bear left on to Crichton Road. Carry on till you arrive at an unmade footpath with a grass embankment, go to the end of it to find a slabbed footpath, then walk down it plus a few steps then onto the main Road. I send you this way, as to walk down the adjacent road with a sharp right hand bend with no pavement is a recipe for disaster, so walk safe, and on to that Shelter at The Pier at Craigmore, and if open, enter for a wee cuppie, then walk inshore, or the bus top is just across the road, but you may miss plenty of seabirds if you do, like Turnstones, Oystercatchers, Rock Pipit's, and the Castle Moats Swans out for a salt water paddle.
If in in for a cuppie, there is a folder in the tearoom supplied by myself a couple of years ago with images of the birds that you may see from The Pier at Craigmore.