I woke up today and had an email from my "mother-in-law" saying her car had got stuck in the snow in Kent - 500 miles south of where I am. It's normally the other way around.
All the papers are warning about the weather over the next few days: "STAY IN DOORS".
So there are plenty of reason not to go running :)
But as I was saying last week, planning the run the night before makes it much easier. I did that, and it was a 14 mile trail run from Lamlash to Whiting Bay around King's Cross and then back to Lamlash that was the task for the day. The photos below speak from themselves...
This is a cracking run. And a half marathon race waiting to happen! Starting off from Lamlash, you head up towards Dyemill car park and take the trail over the bridge and you'll see a sign post for "Urie Loch 1.6 miles".
Run along for a bit with the Monamore Burn on your left and then take a left down towards another bridge which you don't go over - instead you go right.
This trail takes you upwards to a wee pond and then around by Lagaville Village (an old ruin) and Meallach's Grave.
The trail ends at the Forest Path, which you join. The "path" is basically a gritted road for logging trucks to get up and down.
Run on this for about three miles or so. If you can resist the temptation of turning around to see the views of The Ross behind you then you'll get them on the way back, which at mile 12 might give you a wee boost :)
After about three miles on the Forest Path, you see a sign post for Whiting Bay (and Kilmory in the other direction). Take the Whiting Bay route, which will take you by Glenashdale Falls and down on to the main road at Whiting Bay.
Turn left when you get to the main road (the bowling green should be on your left). At the end of the beach in the distance towards Holy Isle, you'll see the coastline rises a little. That's King's Cross where you'll get "holy shit!!!" views of Holy Isle, Lamlash and Goat Fell.
So to get there...
Just follow your nose, along the main road, over the football "pitch" on the right and around the coast a bit. There is a 200m stretch on pebbles. After that, you'll see a sign post for King's Cross point. Follow it on to the boardwalk and then up a stoney path and you'll end up at an old Viking fort from 800AD.
I'll just repeat that...
You'll end up at an old Viking fort from 800AD.
From there, follow the Arran Coastal Way signs down and along the coast, through some trees and it will lead you up a hill by a large house on the right. As you get to the top, you arrive at King's Cross - a damn sight better than the one in London :)
At the top, head right on to the road, then left and follow the path that is sign posted for Sandbraes. This takes you back to the coastline where you came from and into Whiting Bay.
Go back the way you came on the main road until you get to the school on the right hand side. If you get to the church then you've gone too far. On the right of the school there is a small road that winds up the way. Follow it until you see a tight trail on the right - beware of the barbwire at the sides of the path.
It climbs up and through some gorgeous cottages on to a track. Turn right and you'll head up by Knockenkelly Farm. You'll smell the manure.
After you've run by some more cottages on your right and a small waterfall on your left, you'll get to a path signed posted "Forest Path" on your left. Take this path, and it will take you on to the gritted road (Forest Path) you were on earlier. Turn right.
The road goes up and down for a couple of miles. You'll eventually be rewarded with amazing views of The Ross and beyond. It's all downhill from there. Yay! Follow the road towards Dyemill car park and down into Lamlash. Job well done.
You'll need trail running shoes for part of this. And providing you can handle a half marathon distance then it's a great run for all levels. The views at many parts of the run are spectacular.