Daytrips from West Kilbride
I think Scotland is the prettiest country I’ve ever visited. It has so much to offer! Even in the area where we live there is a lot you can do. The weekends give us great opportunities to go out and explore this beautiful land, together or alone. I put down some lovely trips from West Kilbride I’ve done myself and which you can easily do in a day.
Mountain walking on Isle of Arran
Arran is basically all the good of Scotland put on one island, just across Firth of Clyde. It has dramatic mountain ridges, beautiful waterfalls, whiskey distilleries, wildlife and amazing surroundings: the perfect place for a good hike. Together with a friend I climbed Goat Fell, the highest mountain on Arran, which was great. It took us almost all day to walk from the ferry up to the summit and down to catch the last ferry back to Ardrossan. The next day my muscles were pretty sore, but I would totally recommend anyone to hike up Goat Fell! Another day I took one of our DTS trainees to the island. Instead of climbing the mountain, we walked through the glen. Sounds like it was an easy and flat walk. Most part of it indeed was quite easy, except for ascending the mountain ridge which is called ‘The Saddle’. The climb up was doable, but the side we went down was really steep. The scenery was definitely worth it though. On top of The Saddle we could look over Glen Rosa on the one side and Glen Sannox on the other side. Apart from this there is so much more you can do on Arran. You could hire a car for a nice tour around the whole island. Also it’s pretty easy and safe to hitchhike on the Island. The people that live there are used to hitchhikers and it probably won’t take you long to get a car stop for you and take you to the next jaw-dropping place.
Mouth-watering ice cream in Largs
A ten minutes train ride or a twenty minutes bus drive will take you up to Largs, a picturesque town on the west coast of Scotland. It has nice hills you can walk up, little shops you can visit and a beach that looks over Great Cumbrae, a small island you can to with the ferry. The first day I went to Largs with some people from the base, we had been told to go to Nardini’s for some tasty ice cream. So that’s what we did. We stared at the ice cream counter for a long time, asking for little scoops to try. There were so many flavours and the way they displayed it made our mouths water. It was a great time of fellowship and deliciousness.
Charity shopping in Saltcoats
One of our lovely community members took the girls out for a little workshop about colour types in Saltcoats. We went there in the morning, had breakfast, then sat down with a book and a bunch of scarves in all different kinds of colours, to see which type of colours work best with our skin tone, hair and eye colour. All equipped with a personal colour advice, we went to different charity shops to practice what we learned.
I was surprised about the amount of charity shops in one little street! We only got to see two of them but we found so many cool clothing items for such good prices. We felt like real YWAM’ers that day. It’s amazing to see that is doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money to find good clothes. When you know what colours, shapes and patterns make you look great instead of good, you’ll get pretty far with only charity shops!
City trip to Glasgow
There is a direct train going from West Kilbride to this famous Scottish city which is well known for its architecture. Personally I loved to blend with this vibrant crowd of people for a day, just to see everything was going on in the streets. When I went to Glasgow I just walked around all day. It was a great sunny day and I wanted to see as much as I could. I really enjoyed visiting the big cathedral. I also walked to the Necropolis, a Victorian cemetery on a low but prominent hill in Glasgow. From there I had a wonderful view on the city. A walk alongside river Clyde brought me to the point from which I could see Clyde Arc, the bridge I saw in many Scotland travel guides. I was too tired to walk all the way up to the bridge, so instead I went to one of Glasgow’s coffee shops to enjoy a well-deserved cappuccino.
Bus drive to Greenock
Whenever I take the bus northbound, I take the one with Greenock as its final destination. I was so curious about what Greenock looked like so one day I decided to just go there. Again I was very lucky with the weather. The drive up there was amazingly beautiful. Greenock itself was okay but I found it a little bit too industrial for a nature admirer like myself. I decided to walk to the very north of Greenock to see across the water. There I walked the esplanade all the way to Gourock. It was a long walk but with the blue water, the bright sky and the sun warming my skin, I felt free like a bird. At the end of my walk I sat down for a Frappuccino with the most stunning panorama ever.
I love to go out and explore. I’ve never been a big fan of walking but Scotland changed it just like that. It’s all due to the scenery! On top of that, I’m a real fan of special coffees. A wee coffee break just adds a new dimension to my day out, especially when I get to share it with my precious YWAM friends. When I’m back at the base after a long day, all tired and satisfied, the welcoming atmosphere and the feeling of being home again is just the finishing touch to my day out, the cherry on top!
What are your favourite daytrips on the west coast of Scotland?