Kingscross Point, Whiting Bay

Whiting Bay

Route: Kingscross Point from Whiting Bay

Area: Scotland, Isle of Arran

Date of walk: 19th October 2021

Walkers: Andrew, Gilly and James

Distance: 2.0 miles

Ascent: 140 feet

Weather:  Poor – low cloud, drizzle then heavy rain later on

For the third day in succession it was forecast to rain all day, but a drier spell mid-morning persuaded us to try a short coastal walk. We parked near the church at the north end of Whiting Bay. There are plenty of free spaces opposite the playing fields. After walking past the church we followed the lane past some houses and then onto the stony beach. We kept a sharp lookout for otters as we went along – this is a good place to spot them, though we were out of luck today

We left the beach at a signpost for Kingscross Point and climbed up through scrubby woodland, eventually reaching a grassy area with views of Lamlash Bay. We continued as far as the ruins of a Viking Fort where there was a good view of Holy Island. Excavations show that Kingscross Point was once the site of a fortified homestead for around two thousand years before being used by the Vikings as a settlement and burial site

We retraced our steps for a short distance and descended down a rough path on our left, which brought us onto the beach. The weather had been indifferent up to this point, mostly low cloud and drizzle, but as we arrived on the beach it took a turn for the worse, and heavy rain set in, causing the camera to be stowed away. We trudged back to the start, wishing we could have enjoyed the surroundings in better conditions

Later that day, back at our rented cottage in Lamlash, the grey skies cleared and we were treated to an epic sunset over Holy Island. I’ve included a few photos of the dramatic cloud formations to compensate for those taken on the walk

Click on the icon below for the route map (subscribers to OS Maps can view detailed maps of the route, visualise it in aerial 3D, and download the GPX file. Non-subscribers will see a base map)

Scroll down – or click on any photo to enlarge it and you can then view as a slideshow

Look out for the banner cloud phenomenon in the timelapse below as the clouds stream over the highest point on Holy Island (credit to son James). The video shows a ‘banner cloud’ – not common in the UK but a classic on the Matterhorn. The air blowing right to left is deflected up over the island and air pressure becomes lower on the leeward side. This in turn allows air to rise on the leeward side, and if conditions are right, cools and forms the cloud. This cloud (like a flag – hence known as a banner cloud) streams out until the process decays down wind. The time lapse shows the process particularly around the 9 second mark. Sometimes you see a similar effect when fast jets take off and ‘cloud’ forms temporarily on the rear edge of the wings. (Thanks to a Twitter follower for this explanation)

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