Friday, June 13, 2014

Tourists but no spiders, Kings, saints or Picts in these caves.

As we turned Drumadoon Point on Arran's west coast, we got a fine view of The Doon's rock columns. It is part of a huge basalt sill which was....

 ...used as a large Iron Age hill fort. It certainly had a commanding position with fine views...

of the Kilbrannan Sound from its large flat summit.

 North of here the shallow sea was clear as crystal and... doubt the lobster fishing was good.

 A large series of caves and arches announced our arrival at...

 ...The King's Cave. It is one of many throughout Scotland and Ireland where King Robert the Bruce was apparently inspired to continue the struggle against the English after watching the repeated efforts of a spider trying to spin a web. However, the historical veracity of the spider is somewhat dubious as it was probably a literary invention of the novelist Sir Walter Scott. There is no easy landing at the King's cave so any fugitive would have time to escape on foot from any pursuers in boats. The caves have been used for shelter long before Robert the Bruce hid here. There are early Christian and Pictish drawings on the cave walls. When we passed there were only some bank holiday tourists who had braved the rough walk in.


  1. I will be visiting (from western Canada) SW Scotland near Loch Ken in the middle of July and am looking for any sea kayaking opportunities in the area. Can you point me in the right direction?

    1. Hi Mike, there is a watersports cenrtre in Loch Ken but they have only basic river kayaks. Les Kirkpatrick from the Kircudbright canoe club offers guiding on the Solway Firth you will get his phone number on this page. There are no outfitters near Loch Ken but Karitek hire sea kayaks. They are based in Trabboch 45 miles NW of Crossmichael at the bottom end of Loch Ken. I wish you a great trip. :o)

  2. Many Thanks Douglas. That is exactly what I needed. I had seen the Loch Ken spot, but also figured that I would not like their boats! Karitek is an OK distance away, so they are probably the best bet. Now I will need to browse your blog for good locations to paddle in the area.