Following an unpleasantly early start, two minibus loads of Cranleighans embarked on the long drive north to Ardrossan to catch the Cal Mac ferry over the Firth of Clyde to the wonderful Isle of Arran. A very mixed group (in terms of both age and experience) soon gelled and made the most of what was on offer, enjoying high mountain walks and scrambles, climbing, kayaking, horse riding and exploring the history of the island. Wildlife abounds and everyone (except Miss Gibson) had success spotting seals, dolphins, red deer, red squirrels and numerous interesting seabirds. Additional wildlife interest was provided by the omnipresent midge, clouds of which drove the unwary to distraction, and shoals of jellyfish, which seemed determined to get washed up on every strand line. A visit to the Buddhist community on Holy Isle proved very popular, while, for many, a highlight of the trip was a tour round the cheese factory and dairy. The opportunity was also taken to spend some time “rock bothering” with the Geology AS group.
The evenings were spent fishing from the rocks below our bunk house in High Corrie and a few students were initiated into the art of “crabbing” with a length of fishing line and a piece of old bacon. One evening was spent with a campfire and barbeque down on the beach watching the colours change as the sun went down and the stars came out. Hard fought games of cards and Arran Monopoly rounded things off in highly competitive fashion.
This was an all too short week, during which a wonderfully enthusiastic group of students made the most of the remarkably kind weather to enjoy what was on offer. It was great to see everyone trying things for the first time, be it eating haggis, climbing a mountain or catching a mackerel. Let us hope that they will all return over the years to spend more time on the island.
Many thanks to RSG, LJJB and AMY for their enthusiasm and help in running the trip and to the students for being such good company.
Head of Outdoor Education