One of the places well worth visiting on the isle of Arran is Lochranza. At least, in my mind, that is what I thought before I went there. Lochranza has been in my mind for years with no good idea of what to expect. The castle there has been mentioned in so many different sources, I thought it might be spectacular.
And, it was. Though I would not say it was what I expected. For one, it was considerably smaller than what I had thought. For another, it was more magical than anything I had expected.
Situated in a glen and surrounded by hills, washed by the sea, the spectacular nature of the castle can only have sparked the imagination of the local people.
I did not get a good view of the sea from where I was because I arrived at low tide, but I imagine that at high tide, seeing the sea surround the castle on three sides can only be a wonderful experience. Similarly, to have experienced a storm in the centuries gone by in that castle, overlooking the sea with the fury of Earth straining against the masonry of the castle…
Lochranza wasn’t what I expected; it was better than what I expected.
Sir Walter Scott also wrote a few lines about this:
On fair Lochranza streamed the early day,
Thin wreaths of cottage smoke are upward curl’d
From the lone hamlet, which her inland bay
And circling mountains sever from the world
— Sir Walter Scott, ‘The Lord of the Isle’