Friday, November 11, 2011

Fairlie Castle

We discovered this castle a few days ago! There’s a pleasant walk to it from Fairlie Station or the corner of Castlepark Gardens – you can go up one way and down the other (as we did).

Facing the station, turn onto the narrow footpath to the left, over the bridge, turn right by Argyll Cottage, through a gateway and then follow the path uphill. It’s rocky and a bit slippery when wet with a bit of a drop on the right hand side down to the burn, so take care! You’ll pass lovely little waterfalls and see many wild flowers and birdlife – not to mention the beautiful views back down over the Clyde.

Partway up the path (you can actually continue for a longer walk but I don’t know how far it goes) you’ll come to Fairlie Castle – actually a keep of four levels. There’s no access to the interior as the entrance is blocked up. Now roofless, it’s a plain rectangular tower built in the 15th century. It measures 45ft 5ins by 29ft – I looked that up as I didn’t take a tape measure with me! ;-)

Apparently it was the Ross family who built the Castle; they lived there until the 17th century but by the end of the 19th century, unfortunately, it was nothing more than a ruin.

Below are some of my photos taken along the walk to the castle:

Fairlie Castle at last!

Views from near the castle

There were many wild flowers along the path despite it being November!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Doulton Fountain, Glasgow

At a height of 46 ft and with a 70 ft basin at the bottom, this is the largest terracotta fountain in the world! Lord Provost Liz Cameron described it in 2005 as “an enduring symbol of Glasgow, Glasgow Green and the redevelopment of the East End”.
Found on Glasgow Green just north of the People’s Palace, this was gifted to Glasgow by Sir Henry Doulton to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. It was actually made by students from the Lambeth School of Art for the International Exhibition of 1888. It was originally sited in Kelvingrove Park but moved to Glasgow Green in 1890.
There are five tiers above the basin. There are several groups of statues representing the diversity of the British Empire, and the armed forces. A statue of Queen Victoria stands right at the top – actually a different one to the original which was struck by lightning in 1891.
Over the years the fountain has been renovated, including a £4m refurbishment in 2002.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Glasgow: St Andrew's Suspension Bridge

What a lovely footbridge this is! We walked over it a few times the other day and took photos, but couldn’t find the name and it wasn’t on my map. I asked a man who was walking his dog. He became very embarrassed when he told me that he had no idea of the name despite living very close to it for over 50 years! However, we both set off in different directions, found plaques nearby bearing the name and doubled back to inform each other!!

It was built in 1856 for factory workers and replaced a small but very busy ferry across the River Clyde, connecting Glasgow Green to the north and Hutchesontown to the south. The engineer was Neil Robson. The chains, pylons and deck are iron and the four fluted Corinthian columns nearly 20ft high. There is a span of 67 metres.

It has apparently been refurbished many times over the years, the most recent being in 1997 when the timber decking was also replaced.

Painted blue in the colour of the St Andrew’s flag, this is altogether a beautiful bridge and well worth a visit! 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Clyde Views

Thanks to my friend, Alvan, who recently sent me these lovely photos from his collection, all taken in August 2010!

The beautiful Isle of Arran across the water

Mid-river looking towards Gourock and Dunoon in the distance

The Waverley Paddle Steamer berthed at Rothesay Pier

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A. J. Cronin Biography Update

As it would be A J Cronin's birthday today (he was born 19th July 1896) I wanted to give an update about the wonderful new biography by Alan Davies. I now have my copy!! It is skilfully written and extremely interesting for anyone who loves Cronin's works. You will not find more details or more fascinating photos of his life anywhere else and I can highly recommend this book.

Please see my previous blog about this which shows some of the places where you can buy your own copy - click here

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Greenock Cut Waterfall 2011

Wow, what terrible winds there were in Scotland on the 23rd May this year!! We went to the Greenock Cut for a walk with a friend and were nearly blown away. It was really dangerous and we almost fell into the water. Then we had a lot of trouble getting back to Largs in the car because of all the branches which had blown across the road.

Here's a short video of the waterfall before the wind became too strong - we could still stand upright at this stage!! I was going to add music but then thought I'd leave the wind noise! Unfortuately I wasn't able to take more photos as we just wanted to concentrate on getting home safely.

"FREAK winds tore down trees, knocked out power supplies, and caused travel chaos and structural damage across Inverclyde yesterday. Gale-force gusts battered the district throughout the day, leaving a trail of debris in their wake, and causing a catalogue of problems. The Met Office issued a weather warning as gusts of up to 70mph hit the area. A spokesman described the weather across the west coast as 'exceptionally windy', adding that some particular exposed areas experienced gusts of up to 80mph." (Source: Greenock Telegraph)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Gourock: Cardwell Bay 2011

I really enjoyed going to Cardwell Bay again to take some photos!
This is a mixture of shots from the railings, down on the sand and some views across the water.

It was a bonus to see the rainbow!

The steps were of great interest to me - I recognised them as the old steps we used to access the beach way back in the 1950s! Click here to see them in my photos from the old days.

Largs: New Pier

It was wonderful to be back in Largs last week! Here are some of my photos of the new pier, opened in August 2010 by HRH Princess Anne.

Above: from the pier looking across to Cumbrae

View of Largs from the pier

Below is a great video (I hope it will remain available for some time) showing the grand opening of the pier:

Click here for my photos of the old pier taken on my previous visit to Largs

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Innellan: The Snug

Where we stayed a couple of years ago - a few miles down the coast road at Innellan. A very comfortable little detached house, ideal for a couple wanting to 'get away from it all'!

The lounge and kitchen are upstairs, with the bedroom and bathroom downstairs. Everything is clean, well equipped and comfortable with bedding and towels provided. We searched for ages for a self-catering place on this side of the Clyde and could find nothing as good as this (or at such a good price)! There is a TV/DVD player, radio and lots of extras too, including books and games for rainy days or cosy evenings!

Below: the lane leading to The Snug

The coast road beside Trinity Lane
and, looking in the opposite direction, the wonderful Clyde view

I'd definitely recommend The Snug as a lovely quiet place to stay!

See the owners' website - click here