I have only been to Arran twice before, many years ago: once on a school trip and more than 20 years ago when a friend’s husband was minister of the Church of Scotland at Shiskine. On neither visit did we go to Glen Rosa and as our holiday cottage is the last one before the tarred road ends at the campsite, it needed exploration. Because we did a fair bit of driving yesterday, walking was on the agenda for today. James being a morning person, had already walked the four miles into Brodick and back for the Sunday papers which do not arrive until 11am. I had a somewhat slower start but had the picnic ready for his return, so we set off. The campsite down by the river looks like a good one unless there has been a lot of rain and then there would be a risk of flooding.
The track turns down the side of a forest wild flowers on the verge. At this time of year there are celandines, violets and primroses and the gorse is in full bloom.
It passes a sheep dip and through a gate in the deer fence. There are many mounds in the glen formed by glacial moraine. Continuing there are good views of the granite mountains ahead: Beinn Nuis, Beinn Tarsuinn and the shoulder of Beinn a Chliabhain, Cir Mhor and eventually Goatfell appears.
The Garbh Allt burn descends via a small waterfall to meet the Glenrosa Water and the path crosses it via a footbridge. The rocks were a good place to have our picnic. There are various options to continue walking if you wish. Turn up by the burn, past the dam and then up the slope to the summit of Beinn Nuis which is scattered with the remnants of Second World War planes that crashed on the hill. Alternatively, you can continue up Glen Rosa, over the Saddle of Goatfell and descend to Sannox. There is even a circular walk from the Cladach visitors’ centre on Walk Highlands website http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk. We carried on for a while up the glen but as it had rained recently, it was becoming wetter underfoot (this part is renowned for being boggy) and we decided to return to the cottage for a lazy afternoon. On the way back, we heard a cuckoo several times. At home we used to hear them every April but not for the last few years. We also heard several pheasants. The one that regularly visited our garden was found dead on the road, only recently having been killed just before we left. As we were going away, he was given to a neighbour who will have enjoyed eating him.