In our fourth tour we conducted the tourist to Largs. From Largs to Millport on the western side of the larger Cumbrae is a distance of 7 miles Millport is a remarkably clean and pleasant looking village well-adapted for sea-bathing. It has a warm southern exposure and a noble view down the frith and towards Arran. Though retired and isolated, its facilities for communication with Glasgow are considerable as the Largs boats always call at Millport, and lie in the bay during the night The island is about 2½ miles long, and 1½ broad. It is the property of the earl of Glasgow, and the marquess of Bute. The former nobleman has a fine cottage ornee at the east end of the village. The population is about 800.
Leaving Millport for Ardrossan, the steamer passes Pencross or Portincross castle, on a point of the mainland, 5 miles from Millport. The beach here is remarkably fine. A short way on is Arneil; and further on Boydston, Two miles from this is the town and harbour of Ardrossan, a fashionable sea-bathing village. The late earl of Eglinton expended enormous sums in the attempt to improve this place; he projected a canal from Ardrossan to Glasgow, built a noble harbour and planned a town of regular and elegant streets; but his trustees have not deemed it expedient to carry forward his lordship's plans. The castle of Ardrossan, previous to the middle of the fourteenth century was the residence of an ancient family of that name from whom it passed by marriage to the Eglinton family. It was destroyed by Cromwell. The sea-port town of Saltcoats is within a mile of Ardrossan, and 19 miles from Ayr.
Those steam-boats which do not proceed on the Ayrshire coast farther than Ardrossan, generally run over to the island of Arran, and lie in Lamlash bay all night; whence they proceed to Glasgow next morning. This is the most tedious conveyance to Arran, and will consume nine or ten hours; most tourists prefer the route by Bute. In either case the steamer will first make for Brodick bay.
No tourist ought to neglect an opportunity of visiting Arran. If he can spend an entire week upon this noble island, he will find himself amply repaid by its varied and magnificent scenery. As a field for the geologist, it is unrivalled in Scotland; its botany is also peculiarly rich; but it is its unrivalled mountain scenery which constitutes its great and predominant attraction, and renders the northern or nearest part of the island so conspicuous and interesting an object from every point of the frith of Clyde. Steam-boats from Glasgow to Arran, by Bute generally touch first at the Corrie point about 4 miles from Brodick; they then steer into Brodick bay at the mouth of Glen Rosa; and after landing passengers for Brodick, proceed around Corriegills point to Lamlash harbour, where they anchor for the night. The voyage, by this route, is generally accomplished in about seven hours; the Campbeltown boats, when they do not touch at any intermediate point between Brodick and Greenock, run the distance in about six hours. There are boats regularly plying to Arran from Glasgow thrice a week.
If the tourists time is limited to one or two days, we would advise him to proceed at once to Brodick and employ his time in exploring Glen Rosa or ascending Goatfell. If to either of these excursions, he can add a visit to Glen Sannox he may consider himself to have seen the most striking features of Arran. Lamlash, though well worth visiting will not repay the tourist for neglecting a visit to any of the other three points we have indicated. We shall hastily sketch the principle objects embraced in the entire circuit of this interesting island
The village of Brodick is scattered along the margin of a beautiful bay opening to the east. The fore-ground of this bay is finely diversified with clumps of trees, houses and cottages, interspersed with patches of cultivated ground and glittering sand. The back-ground to all this consists of a noble ampitheatre of hills, rising gradually from either extremity of the bay, and receding inland until they reach an elevation of nearly 3000 feet, in the serrated ridges and peaks of Benhuish, Ceim-na-cailliac, and Goatfell. Between the shoulders of the mountains, the eye traces several noble glens the finest of which is Glen Rosa. On the north side of the bay the battlements of Brodick castle are seen rising above some fine old trees which clothe a considerable portion of the rising ground in this quarter; and beyond and above all towers the elegant conical summit of Goatfell. Goatfell may be ascended by a good pedestrian in about two hours from the door of Brodick inn. We spent three and a half hours in ascending it from Glen Rosa. Some prefer ascending it from the Corrie. A guide should be taken from whatever point the ascent is made otherwise a stranger will probably incur much useless fatigue and perhaps place himself in some danger. The altitude of this mountain is stated in the 'statistical account of Scotand' at 2840 feet. From the summit of Goatfell the tourist may proceed along the ridge at the head of Glen Rosa and down into Glen Sannox. From Sannox he may return by the shore - a beautiful road - to Brodick where there is an excellent inn. The distance of Brodick from Lamlash is about 5 miles. The road commands some very fine views particularly looking back upon the mountains above Brodick, and at the point at which the bay of Lamlash first comes into view. Whiting Bay, beyond Lamlash, is a fine bay. The road along the coast here presents many beautiful points. If the tourist chooses to circumnambulate the island he can easily do so, as there is an excellent road, generally pretty close along the shore. On the first day he may reach the Blackwater foot, where he will find comfortable accommodation. The second day's journey will bring him to Loch Ranza, where there is also a decent inn; and the next day he can proceed to Brodick, either by the coast road winding along the shore, or by the middle road which crosses the mountains, and enters the head of Glen Sannox. The principal objects in the first day's route are the fine and ever present views which occur along the western and southern coast. On the second day, after leaving the Blackwater foot, he should visit the point of Drumodune and the celebrated caves a little beyond it, which are said to have afforded shelter to the Bruce. The neighbourhood of Loch Ransa will also afford him an evening's amusement. The third day's tour, whether he take the inland or the coast road, will present to him some of the finest marine and sylvan scenery in Scotland. A good pedestrian should not fail to ascend Glen Sannox, cross over the ridge at its head, and descend upon Brodick by Glen Rosa.