Beautiful despite the rain: Snaps from a wet weekend on Arran

The Isle of Arran never fails to astound with its unspoilt beauty and enchanting profile. Though Tim and I paid just a short visit to the island off the west coast of Scotland - to stay at Lochranza Caravan and Campsite and visit my mum - we felt removed from real life within hours of being there. Rain tumbled, sometimes drizzly, othertimes driving, most days - but it didn't matter. We managed to mountain bike (from Lamlash up and through the woodland to Kilmory), take a trip in Mum and Nigel's RIB (a speeding trip - bumping over waves - to the prehistoric giant millipede tracks close to Fairy Dell), sea kayak from Corrie to Sannox, walk to the prehistoric Cup-and-ring marks (a form of prehistoric art) above Brodick and hike down Glen Sannox and up over the Saddle down into Glen Rosa - and we spotted red squirrels, golden eagles, sea otters and seals to boot.

We ate well, too, nibbling delicious home made cakes at The Old Pier Tearoom in Lamlash, and honouring our last evening with scrumptious pub food at Lochranza Hotel (I had beer-battered Haddock - yum!). At night, we could hear stags roaring - the rut was coming to an end. The island gleamed golden and burnt umber against the steely skies; the sea was gunmetal grey - a cold contrast to the island in all its autumnal glory. A short escape to Arran is always worth it - especially if all you want is to feel truly alive for a few days.

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