UK Road Trip: Cairnryan to Ardrossan
Scotland: Islands and Highlands
The 4 am ferry from Larne, Northern Ireland pulled into the dock at Cairnryan, Scotland at dawn. We hadn't slept well knowing we needed to be on a 4 am ferry, and the upright seats on the ferry hadn't allowed more than some brief nods. I pulled the campervan into the nearest rest stop and we slept for several more hours, eventually waking in the late morning, ready to start exploring Scotland ... a soon as we found some coffee! ATB#1 (Approved Travel Buddy) and I were on a grand adventure caravanning around the UK. We had picked up our beast of a campervan (painted with fearsome eyes and zebra stripes) in Dublin and had spent the last 10 days or so exploring the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Our plans in Scotland were going to start by exploring some of the Scottish Islands and had a rough itinerary that would begin on the Isle of Arran the following day. We headed north along the coast towards Ardrossen where the Caledonian MacBrayne (Cal-Mac) ferry would take us to Brodick. The route would take us through several towns along the way.
The first town we stopped in was Ayr. Ayr is an ancient market town on the edge of the Firth of Clyde on the west coast of Scotland. Ayr has been a tourist resort since the mid 1800s mainly due to the beautiful sand beach, golf centers, and for fans of Robert Burns, the poet. It is also the home of the annual Scottish Grand National Equestrian Steeplechase and the Scottish International Airshow.