Walk Scoulag Moor/ Drumreoch.
Miles = 10.0.
Start at Rothesay Pier, and head over the pedestrian crossing, turn right, walk 50yards, then go left up High Street.
Carry on with easy walking past the Leisure Pool , and when you come to the last row of houses on your right, the ground rises quickly. Pass the big house at the top of the hill and look up into the eaves and if the time of year is right you will see House Martins nesting there, which they have done for many years.
Follow the Dry Stane Dyke on your left, but look over it as you may well see Greylag Geese feeding in the fields. Coming to a farm road on your left (Lochend) head down this, and in the bushes you will hear and see lots of House Sparrows, and a least three dogs. Observe the nice view of Loch Ascog looking North East.
After the farm, look ahead to the South end of the loch and there you will see a Bird Hide. (at the moment it is hidden from view due to the overhanging trees.) ( August) It is worth stopping for a quick look at what wildlife that is around you, (Great Crested Grebes, Little Grebes,Mute Swans, or maybe the winter birds), but don't tarry for long as a seat in this hide may be more beneficial on the return journey. You are now heading uphill for quite a while.
If it is the Summer , look out for Red Admiral, Painted Ladies, Small Tortoiseshell, Orange Tip, Meadow Brown, Small Heath, and on the Whins, look for Green Hairstreak, (Image supplied for this one)
Up to the top, and enjoy the views over the Clyde , seeing Wemyss Bay , Largs, Dunoon etc. Now move slightly downhill and you will now have trees and bushes on either side of you. Listen for Buzzards and Jay's, and all the tits feeding of feeders.
Rising uphill once again with heather on both sides of you, and usually plenty of birds on the power lines looking at you looking at them. This is a great area for Dragon and Damsel flies, with the Golden Ringed one being more plentifull.
Carrying on, you will come to crossroads, or should it be crosstracks? as they are not roads as we know them. To your left and downhill is New Farm, which is a bit silly ,as it has been there since before I was born, and I am no spring chicken.
To your right is Lord James' Ride. Named after a lord of that Name, and you will be coming down that Ride later on in the day. You go straight on passing a reservoir that is out of bounds to you, due to the deep waters with slippery embankments.
Onwards to the Kingarth and Kilchattan Bay War Memorial, and the main road A844.
Now you may stop for a seat on the grass wet or dry, and have a quick cup of what you have in your flask, as it will be about an hour before you get a proper seat, and that is depending how many there are in your party?
Now take care as you will be walking on the main road for a short distance, ( about 400 yards) so walk facing the oncoming traffic, till you come to a signpost saying Drumreoch Circuit. ( This sign was photographed heading uphill as the sun was in my eyes, so you turn right there) Half way up towards Drumreoch, you will come to a sign “Beware of the \bull”. Well this field has got Barley growing in it , so I don't think you will be seeing a bull today.. What they want is a sign that could be fitted when there was 'actually' a bull in that area Head up till you come to this steading which used to be a lived , and working farm, now a winter residence for the cattle.
Passing this hamlet, heading down is a great place for Brambles and Butterflies and daytime flying moths. and wild field mushrooms.
Down to the stream at the bottom, listening out for a pair of Buzzards that have been nesting here for many years, then uphill for a short distance and you will come to another track on your left.
This is part of the West Island Way which you will be walking on all the way back to Rothesay, so you will have Waymarkers to help you on your way.
Tall hedges on either side with many many small birds to keep the Ornithologists in your company happy. Carry on level ground till you join on to another track, which is once again Lord Jame's Ride. Have a look at the lovely wee cottage that comes under the name of 'Birgidale Butts' a name that covers all houses in this section. Go right and uphill. When you get to the top, you will notice a plinth on your left with information on it. This was originally a Trig Point (Triangulation Pod, now disused) Look behind it and you will see a lovely wooden seat erected there for the late Dorothy Marshall... For more info about this very remarkable woman, go to the Buteshire Natural History Societies Museum in Stuart Street beside Rothesay Castle.
This Lord James' Ride was once, many years ago a bus route during the summer, and the first bus to use it at the start of the season carried stones to fill in the pot-holes! Definitely not an 'A'class road?
Taking turns at having a seat and enjoying the views of Arran far away to your left, and Scalpsie Bay also down on your left, and The Quien Loch in front of you, with a little view of Loch Fad far to your right.
Replenished and rested you may now go back to the track, turn left, and carry on downhill, looking for Curlews, Hen Harriers, Buzzards,etc.
Meander on till you come to where you have been before, the New Farm Cross Roads, where you now retrace your steps and head for Rothesay, stopping if necessary at the bird hide again before you head up past the farm and on to the main road. turn right, and then the final easy stroll downhill to Rothesay
I hope you enjoyed this walk as I do all the year round, and If you meet cattle, they mean you no harm and are just nosey, but if you have a small dog lift it up.. If you have a big one, put on your track shoes.