Rothesay Walk (2)
Miles = 4.76
Kilometres = 7.66.
This is a short easy walk with tarmac roads and pavements being used most of the way with a section which is not long but can be a bit muddy at times, and after this another short stint using a Landrover track.
Start at the exit from the main Pier, then go right passing what used to be a Waybridge many years ago.
cross over the marshalling area for preparing cars for going on the ferry, then a short distance on you will come to the Discovery Centre which also houses the Tourist Board which is well worth a visit. After the visit, head straight across the road at it's narrowest point and head into Tower Street. Take the first right into Montague Street, and if you have forgotten your sandwiches there is the Electric Bakery who will be more than happy to sell you some, and make them up to your specification, (within reason), or there is a Co-op on your right further along and up the road.
After this stop head along this street until you come to a four way junction. Go straight through it and head uphill to which seems like a cul-de-sac, but there is a road that goes left leading you to three poles (Ferfadd Road) then turn right on to Westlands Road and head uphill, and you will be staying on this road practically till its end.
Head uphill passing what was The Rothesay Academy upper and lower buildings, now empty and desolate, but things will most probably change in the not too far future, so watch this space?
Birds to be seen at this point are few and far between, but Ravens often rest on the communications station in the now long disused Longhill Quarry , if no birds, enjoy the views over the bay.
Still heading uphill, passing new build, then no more houses on your right for a while. Narrower roads that will soon be single track which winds its way towards a farm. Depending what time of year it is , will determine what birds you will see, but Buzzards ,Curlews , maybe a Hen Harrier, which were quite common years ago, but are now thin on the ground.
Round a few bends, then the farm will be straight in front of you. Head on till you come to a gate on your right, with a sign saying West Island Way . Through this gate, and carry on, but this may well be the muddy section.
You will soon come to another sign of the same, but ignore that and go straight on, and you will be out of the muddy section and on to the Landrover track and heading downhill. Now there are Barn Owls in this area, but as you are walking during daylight hours, the chances of seeing them are very remote, but I just thought I would mention them.
More nice views over to the Cowal hills, and the ones on the Colintraive side.
Head downhill till you reach the Gortans Road and go right, and down to Ardbeg . Go across the road and you will see a wee blue sign saying 'SHORE'. Down the narrow path, then on to a better one which will take you to Marine Place. Cross over and take a peek over the sea wall, as there are usually plenty of birds at this point due to the stream bringing food for them.
Look out for Turnstones, Mallards, Swans, Ringed Plovers, the Resident Curlew, and if the time is right, Sandwich Terns at the point. I have counted as many as 17 of them, all roosting on the point, and are there every year.
Move along to the shelter and have a break.
Fed and watered, head for Rothesay along the shore pavement, and if you missed the Turnstones earlier, you should find them along the shores on your way. plus Rock Pipits, Oyster Catchers, Golden Eyes (winter), Cormorants, various Gulls, and Red Breasted Mechanisers.
On Passing the Skeoch Woods on your right, listen out for Ravens, Wood Pigeons, Jays and maybe a Greater Spotted Wood pecker all of which have been seen and heard here.
Back to your starting point, and I hope that you enjoyed this short walk, and that the weather was good to you.
ps The ' Wood You Believe It' image is nothing to do with the walk, it is just something that I came across in the Mountstuart grounds, so I thought that you would like it?