A motorcycle parked in front of a tent on a pleasant green campsite

Home Travel StoriesAndy's Scottish Expedition

Bad Weather, Brilliant Roads

By Andy Gray

Day 4: Hoddom Castle to Isle of Arran 141 miles + ferry

Did it rain last night or what? Started as I had a drink (Carling was £3.50 a pint) & dinner in the campsite bar and hardly stopped until 7am when there was a short lull. Got almost everything packed away apart from the tent which I had to pack away wet. As soon as I rode off it stopped again!

Headed out along the main A75 before heading north along the A712 to Galloway Forest Park. This was a great road - up, down, left & right through the pine forests.

Mainly dry with the occasional shower.

The big BMW GS1200 among the moors and trees of the Galloway Forest Park
Galloway Forest Park.

When I got to Newton Stewart the satnav said the next turning was in 21 miles, little did I realise what those 21 miles would be like. This was one of the best roads I’ve ever ridden, it started in the forests and ended up on moorland at over 1,400 feet at the top. The best thing was that it was almost new tarmac and I only saw 4 cars over the length of it. Absolutely awesome, I can imagine what it would be like in dry conditions. I almost felt like riding back again but i had a ferry to catch.

An angular and jaunty landscape with some kind of pointed monument in the scene
No idea what this is a monument to, I will find out
Rugged scenery behind a drige with wire mesh. On the mesh are hundreds of love locks
Locks Of Love.
Andys BMW at the roadside of the wet, remote and wild moors near Kirriereoch

From here it was back on main roads and skirting Ayr, Prestwick, Troon & Irvine before arriving at Ardrossan for the ferry to the Isle of Arran. The 50 minute crossing costs the grand sum of £12 - think the Isle of Wight ferry need to learn a lesson.

Calm flat waters, grey wet skies and a lonely boat on the waters seen from the ferry
Isle of Arran

Despite staying up on deck in sunshine for the crossing, the Cetacean count was a lowly 1 possible porpoise or dolphin which I saw briefly twice. Plenty of grey seals bobbing about though. Sorry for the poor show Mr Marsh, I’m normally luckier. Plenty more ferry trips to spot some.

After a quick visit to the supermarket for some dinner, it was on the road for the short 12 mile ride to the Seal Shore Campsite in Kildonan. I arrived at the same time as the rain.

This is right by the sea and the tent pitches are right at the front. The view is spectacular with Pladda Island & lighthouse in front and Alisa Craig looking like a volcano in the distance. This will do for £9.

Andy's tent and motorcycle looking out over the waters on a grey yet beautiful scene
Not a bad view for the night

Bit of a problem with the tent where it was packed away wet this morning, the inner is pretty soggy. Managed to dry it off a little between the showers but will have to take out the inner if I need to pack it away wet again.

If you'd like to share your won travel tale click here.

Llangollen Andy starts his trip to Scotland... by going to Wales! It is a long way from London Village to The Highlands though, give the man a break.
Friends And Finally Scotland Day 2 and 3 of Andy's Scottish expedition - and he's only just reached the borders. He's having way too much fun and should be focused on heading North.
Bad Weather, Brilliant Roads Andy's first proper ride into Scotland is proving to be a cracker even if the weather is dire.
Exploring Arran and The Mull Of Kintyre There's wildlife and scenery aplenty for Andy as he explores Arran and The Kintyre Peninsula. "Mixed" weather is keeping him on his toes though.
Easy Onto Mull Andy is taking in the splendid West Coast of Scotland at a sensible pace. From the Kintyre Peninsula to the Isle Of Mull there's a lot to take in.
Walking On Iona Andy is using Shank's Pony to get himself around the small island of Iona. Thing is the island isn't quite as small as Andy's feet had hoped for.
Mulling Around To The Mainland When Tobermory is a major town you know you've been somewhere remote. Andy is making his way up the West Coast of Scotland now.
Bealach na Bà Ain't So Bad Andy is making his excuses for a late start today, but it's all self-inflicted. It's time to be overwhelmed by the not really scary Applecross road.
The Wonder Of The West Coast Andy is up on the West Coast of The Scottish Highlands now, and it shows with his achingly beautiful pictures.
The Wonder Of Even More West Coast Andy is exploring the remote and lonesome shores of the North West of Scotland. Geology, beauty and single track, all in another day's ride in The Highlands.
Out Of The Good Stuff, Into The Weather After The splendour of The Highlands and West Coast of Scotland Andy is now at the top of the country. Is there much to report?
The Scottish North East Coast Andy after reaching the tip of the UK is now meandering his way south along the east coast. Being back in civilisation means proper food in solid buildings.
No Nessie And Wet Cairngorms Andy looks at Loch Ness and The Cairngorms, well, when the weather allows at least.

Reader's Comments

Upt'North said :-
Is it the newly restored Rutherfords Monument at Gatehouse of Fleet?
It looks vaguely familiar.
Nice write up and keep the Scottish porn coming please.

07/11/2019 01:45:06 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
I shall guide Andy back to the site Upt', I reckon you might be right though.
11/11/2019 08:59:02 UTC
Andy Gray said :-
If you'd let me know you'd posted it, I could've checked for comments ??

Upt' it is not that monument, I was further north that that. I believe it is Murray's Monument near Talnotry on the A712. Don't you love GPS stamped photos!

Murray's Monument Newton Stewart DG8 7BL https://goo.gl/maps/N781tzPRrviBEEt57...
20/12/2019 08:09:22 UTC

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