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Highland Cow, Brodick Castle, Arran, Scotland

Today, we experienced mixed weather conditions notwithstanding which our plans remained intact.

First, a group of three golfers were transferred from Brodick to Shiskine in readiness for 10.10 am tee time.

Arran coastline at Shiskine

Shiskine Golf Club, Arran

Upon return of the bus to Brodick rest of group were transferred to Isle of Arran Brewery in readiness for 11.00 am tour of the (craft) brewery. This proceeded on schedule and lasted about one hour. The full brewing process was explained. This entailed malting, milling, lauter tun, wort receiver, brew kettle, whirlpool, heat exchanger, fermentation, filtration, conditioning and bottling. Key product is Arran Blonde which sells across Scotland and into northern England. Small samples of each product was supplied.

Staff at Isle of Arran brewery, Brodick

Key products at Isle of Arran Brewery

Brewhouse, Isle of Arran Brewery

Next, after visiting local craft shops, the main group had lunch and was reunited with the golfers about 2.15 after which some group members visited Brodick Castle grounds with others availing of a free afternoon in Brodick.

Recreated Bronze Age Round House at Brodick Castle

Garden at Brodick Castle, Arran

Brodick Castle, Isle of Arran

Great news! Announcement of engagement whilst at Brodick Castle today. See Clan Currie post below.

Tomorrow, we return to the mainland and transfer to Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital where we should arrive around early afternoon.

Tour Group at Isle of Arran Distillery

Today’s weather was characterised by sunshine and showers.

We commenced the day with a drive north from Brodick to Lochranza, lasting about thirty minutes. We arrived in time for the 11.00 am guided tour of Isle of Arran Distillery which was founded by the late Harold Currie in 1995 and is now in a strong growth phase with output rising to 1.2m litres pa with a new distillery under construction in Lagg in the south of Arran.

Isle of Arran Distillery, Lochranza

The Distillery guide was excellent taking us through the malting, mashing, fermentation, distillation and maturation processes including a tasting. Most of the output is non-peated although the Machrie Moor expression has proved a popular peated (smokey) addition to the range of single malts.

Video clip of production area.

Tour Guide at Isle of Arran Distillery

Isle of Arran Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Upon conclusion of the tour we availed of a pre-arranged lunch at the on-site restaurant.

Upon departing the distillery about 2.00pm we drove to the nearby Lochranza Castle where our arrival coincided with performance by a lady Piper which added atmosphere to this 500 year-old site which commands a harbour entrance.

Video clip at Lochranza Castle.

Lochranza, Isle of Arran

Next, we continued in anti-clockwise direction around the perimeter of the island where are route followed a raised beach dating back to end of the last Ice Age.

After about twenty minutes we arrived at our next destination of the Machrie Moor prehistoric site access to which entails a two mile round trip hike along farm tracks and fields. Machrie Moor ranks as one of the most important sites of its type in Western Europe with occupational pottery evidence dating from 3900 BC. However, the collection of chambered tombs, hut circles and megalithic rings (six) date from around 2900 BC and were in use until around 1000 BC when occupation of all such sites ended at a time which coincided with climate change.

Scottish Heather in bloom at Machrie Moor

Four Poster stone circle at Machrie Moor, Arran

Stone Circle at Machrie Moor, Arran

Stone circle at Machrie Moor

Tour Group at Machrie Moor prehistoric site, Arran

A section of the tour group elected to visit the village of Kilmory in the south of the island and its church, the latter being of special significance to one couple in the group.

In late afternoon the group was reunited and transported back to Brodick where today’s touring activities concluded.

At Brodick we encountered the the historic paddle steamer Waverley.

PS Waverley in Brodick Bay.

Currie Plaque at Clachan, Shiskine, Arran

This morning, we collected a  group of Clan Currie members from central Glasgow, Scotland and embarked on a trip to Isle of Arran as follows:

  • First, one hour trip south to Ardrossan for ferry connection to Brodick which sailed on time. However, the criossing was buffeted by rain and wind giving rise to a 30 minute delay due to assistance provided to a fishing vessel which was experiencing difficulties.

Ferry at Ardrossan

  • Upon arrival at Brodick at 12.30pm we visited the nearby Heritage Museum which has a wide range of exhibits dating from prehistoric times through to the 20th century, including a section on the Highland Clearances and local genealogy in which Curries feature prominently.

Blacksmith’s Workshop

Early Bronze Age Cist Burial

WW1 Curries

  • Next to a historic old church at Clachan, Shiskine in the S.W.of Arran where the group attended a dedication ceremony to a plaque recording the Curries from the local area who worshipped at the site.

Video clip of Piper at ceremony.

Dedication Ceremony

Clachan Church.

Old Burial Ground at Clachan. Final resting place of ,many Curries from local community.

  • Next, to the nearby St Molios Church at Shiskine for another service which lasted about 20 minutes.

St Molios Church, Shiskine.

Effigy of St Molios

  • Finally group were deposited at various hotels around Brodick.
  • Later in the evening the group attended a Ceilidh at Brodick Village Hall.