Thursday, 21 March 2013


The String Road, which I mentioned at the end of my last post, comes out at Blackwaterfoot on the west coast. Blackwaterfoot is a small village with a tiny harbour and a pebble beach on the shore of Drumadoon Bay. Just to the north of the village is Drumadoon Point, where there is an Iron Age hill fort, and beyond that is a cave known as King's Cave where, according to some theories, Robert The Bruce had his famous encounter with the spider. Also to the north of the Point is an impressive geological feature known as the Doon, a set of basalt cliffs with the characteristic columnar structure. As well as the hill fort, Drumadoon Point is the location of what is regarded as one of the best golf courses in Scotland, the 12-hole Shiskine Golf and Tennis Club. Yes that's right, I haven't made a typo, there really are only 12 holes. This unique golf course started off as a 9-hole course, then work got underway to expand it to 18 holes, but due to the ravages of the First World War 6 of the holes fell into disuse, and it remains a 12-hole course to this day.

Shiskine is also the name of a village along the String Road just inland from Blackwaterfoot, which those approaching Blackwaterfoot from this direction may want to take a look at. The village has an unusual church called St Molios, which is also known as the "Red Church" due to the striking red hue of the stone used in its construction. St Molio was an Irish monk who, in the 6th century, lived a hermit's life on Holy Island in Lamlash Bay on the east coast of Arran. The interior of the church is notable for the woodwork on its ceiling, pews and wall panels, while its windows are graced with Romanesque arches, and there is some lovely detailed stonework - quite an elaborate interior for a church which has only been in use since 1889.

Map of the area.

Drumadoon Point. Photo by Anne Burgess, via Wikimedia Commons

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