Friday, December 3, 2010

ISLE of ARRAN / Whiting Bay...

Whiting Bay is the third largest of the Isle of Arran's settlements after Lamlash and Brodick, and is named after the bay it runs along for over two miles near the southern end of Arran's east coast. At one time all that existed here were a series of tiny settlements either on the shore or just above and behind it. Their names still exist and help explain why what is by no means a
large village seems to be divided into a considerable number of separate "districts". From north to south these include: Kingscross, Auchencairn, Knockenkelly, North Kiscadale, South Kiscadale, and Largymore. The origins of some of these settlements are very ancient. On the hillside behind Largymore at the southern end of Whiting Bay are the Giants Graves,
a prehistoric burial site. Meanwhile, at the village's northern end, Kingscross Point [left], a dun or fortified farmstead has been found dating back the better part of two thousand years. Rather more recently, Kingscross was used by Vikings as a settlement and burial site, and it has been suggested that the bay to the south was named after them, with "Viking Bay" later becoming corrupted to Whiting Bay. Kingscross also achieved a footnote in history when it became the place from which Robert the Bruce sailed for Ayrshire in February 1307, en route to regaining control of his kingdom from the English.

Stewart Memorial Church

this is the soooo cute Post Office

As late as 1953, the main ferry serving Arran from the mainland called at Whiting Bay as well as Brodick, but the change to a Brodick-only service in 1954 led to a decline in the fortunes of Whiting Bay and the closure of the old steamer pier in 1957.
Today the village pier is a very modest affair, projecting out from the shore close to the line of tiny shops backing onto the sea in the centre of the village. Today's Whiting Bay retains much of the quiet gentility of an earlier era.

you must visit the splendid ARRAN ART GALLERY

The grand villas remain, with many having been converted to hotels, guest houses and restaurants. The result is that Whiting Bay offers a significant proportion of the accommodation available on Arran.

great views of Holy Isle from the elevated golf course...
The Whiting Bay Golf Club continues to thrive, while, for those with more limited golfing aspirations...

the putting green established on the seaward side of the main road near the centre of the village also remains open for business.

sandy beach and Holy Isle

looking south...

looking over the Firth of Clyde to the Ayrshire coast

looking north...

sandy coves here'n'there

looking back north over...Whiting Bay to Holy Isle.

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