KINTYRE & ARRAN AND BUTE
The isles of Arran and Bute and the peninsula of Kintyre have long been playgrounds for the Scots, particularly the Glaswegians. The topography of each island resembles that of a miniature Scotland -- a mountainous north and rolling, pastoral south. Outdoor pursuits include walking, fishing and sailing, while indoor entertainment can be found in Brodick, Campbeltown and Rothesay.
Favourite island retreat of Glaswegians ( residents of Glasgow ), once popular with Scottish monarchs. Fine mountain scenery in north contrasts with lowlands of south. Robert Bruce landed at Lochranza from Ireland in 1306.
Arran Heritage Museum
Brodick croft farm contains a museum of Arran history, geology and archaeology. Authentic rooms exhibit spinning wheels, wooden cradle and other domestic items. Geology section includes amethysts found on local beaches. Picnic area/tearoom.
Bronze Age monument consists of rounded stone mound sur-rounded by rough circle of 15 standing stones.
Hamlet standing amid ancient remains. Robert Bruce may have sheltered at King's Cave, to north, in 14th century. Pony trekking and golf course nearby.
Arran's main port set by sandy Brodick Bay. Goat Fell, at 2866ft, dominates mountain trail. Views of bay and surrounding peaks from String Road, to west.
Brodick Castle and Country Park
Seat of Dukes of Hamilton, built 13th century with later additions. Interior features fine plaster ceilings, furniture, porcelain and paintings. Grounds include 1710 formal garden, Victorian rose garden, nature trail.
Rolling hills in north descend to quiet sandy beaches. Island separated from mainland by narrow waterway called Kyles of Bute. Popular with Clydesiders.
Former Celtic capital of Dalriada kingdom, now sailing centre. Stone buildings mark past prosperity from whaling, fishing, coal and distilling. Town centre has richly carved Celtic cross.
Hill rising above Loch Fad gives panoramic views of Firth of Clyde, Argyll and seven counties from picnic spots.
Village with shops, situated on hill above small harbour. Remains of Aird Castle and 1500 BC fort lie nearby. Good walks through 16,000 acre estate have splendid views of Arran and 2366ft Bein Bharrain.
Carradale House Gardens
Forested hills surround 1870 home of novelist and children's writer, Naomi Mitchison. It has a wild garden with pond.
Clan Macalister Centre
Dunbar Abbey, Gothic-style home of the Macalister chieftain, dates from 1700. Museum includes historic weapons, photographs and other artefacts.
Conifer forests and bracken-covered hillsides are threaded by footpaths, with views of Lamlash and Holy Island.
Village at foot of 2866ft Goat Fell. Now-silted harbour was built in 1882 to ship locally quarried lime-stone. Walk coast to Fallen Rocks or climb to High Corrie hamlet, birthplace of the book publisher Daniel Macmillan.
Site of old Dunaverty Castle, former Macdonald stronghold. A garrison of 300 were besieged here in 1647 by Covenanters, supporters of English parliament. Every defender was slain on surrender. Known as 'Blood Rock'.
Vitrified wall of oval Iron Age fort overlooks Loch Tarbert. Outside fort is a roughly circular dun with thick wall and single entrance.
Gaelic for 'God's Island', area scattered with fort remains and standing stones. Achamore House Gardens has 50 acres of flowering trees and shrubs. Bicycle hire from post office.
Glen climbs from coast to 2618ft Cir Mhor with Glenrosa Water flowing through it. Glacial terrain reveals huge granite boulders.
St Molaise reputedly lived in a cave here and died in AD 639, after accepting 30 diseases at once to avoid purgatory. Visit this cave by boat and see runic inscriptions.
Quiet hamlet with hotel facing sandy beaches broken by rocky outcrops. Ruined medieval castle to east. Views of lighthouse on island of Pladda, and Ailsa Craig on horizons. Local seal colony.
Torrylin, a Neolithic chambered cairn, lies south-west of Kilmory village. Inside were found skeletal remains and a flint knife.
Narrow peninsula of great beauty, connected to mainland by Tarbert isthmus. Long, isolated beaches offer windsurfing and sailing. Grey seals and sea otters.
Boat haven sheltered by Kingcross and Clauchlands points. Arran's largest village with good fishing. Underwater enthusiasts can visit Derwent shipwreck in bay, dating back to 1880.
Robert Bruce is said to have lived here in 1306, when he began his struggle for independence. Castle built in 13th century, rebuilt in the 17th century. Village resort has safe bathing facilities with shore or boat fishing.
Remains of six 15ft Bronze Age stone circles lie scattered within a mile, south of Machrie. Nearby are traces of Stone Age hut circles and tombs.
Corn-coloured sands run for 3 1/2 miles along coast. Better to walk this beach than to swim -- its undertow is fierce. Golf course and airfield to north.
Mull of Kintyre
Southernmost point of Kintyre Peninsula. Lighthouse built here in 1788. One of the most treacherous points for shipping on the Scottish coast.
Car park overlooking bay provides views of Inner Hebrides across Sound of Jura. Grey seals, largest of British wild mammals, can be seen around offshore reefs.
Scottish kings once holidayed at now-ruined Royal Stuart castle, which overlooks this popular resort. See Bute history museum and magnificent floral displays at Ardencraig Gardens. Swimming from beaches; bicycles and rods available for hire.
Abbey built 1160 by Samerled, liberator of Argyll and Kintyre from Viking control. Amongst remains are tombstones carved between 1300 and 1560 depicting armoured warriors, priests and war galleys. Tower of Saddell Castle stands south-east of village.
St Blane's Chapel
Remains of chapel built 1100 and named after Celtic saint who founded monastery here in AD 575. Fine example of Norman arch still stands.
St Mary's Chapel
Remains of late medieval chapel contain recessed canopied tombs with carved effigies of Walter the Steward, his wife Alice and a child. Nearby is the grave of Napoleon's niece Stephanie, who died here in 1885.
Deserted in 1823 when villagers were evicted and emigrated to Canada, leaving today's scattered ruins. Cart track leads to spec-tacular Glen Sannox.
Sandy beach and tiny village dominated by remains of 13th-century Campbell Castle and chapel. For-tress escaped major conflict, but abandoned in 1700.
St Columba stepped onto local beach in 6th century to convert Picts to Christianity. He left behind what are said to be his foot-prints in stone. Traces of Druid altar nearby. St Columba's Well behind churchyard.
Fishing port and resort town on isthmus connecting Kintyre to mainland. Village with shops encircled by hills and overlooked by 14th-century stronghold of Robert Bruce.