Where: Kings Cave Walk on the Isle of
When: July 2013
Who: J Parker
Why: A day out to Arran
Distance: about 3 miles round trip
The image below is of the Arran ferry
Caledonian Isles arriving at
Ardrossan. It costs about £7 per
person for a day return on the ferry, and
about £30 per return for a car, so
many people park in the large car park next
to the pier for a few pounds per day,
rather than take the car. If you are taking
a car at weekends or in the school holiday
season, it is best to pre-book, as the
ferry can be fully booked then.
I was giving relations a tour round the
south side of the Island to the Glenashdale
Falls at Whiting Bay, the Torrylin Cairn at
Kilmory on the southwest side of the
Island, then dropping them off at
Blackwaterfoot for the beach, so took the
car. I then went on to visit the Machrie
Moor Standing Stones and the Kings Cave
myself, as they are only a couple of miles
north of Blackwaterfoot. Doing the four
attractions in one day is a fair amount of
The image below is from the ferry car
park right next to the pier, it only costs
between 2 and 3 pounds per day to park
Ardrossan Train Station is situated less
than half of a mile south of the ferry
terminal. You can normally buy train/ferry
tickets together with a discount. Train/Ferry
The first ferry normally departs
Ardrossan at 07.00 and the next at 09.45.
Afternoon ferries leaving Brodick are
normally 16.40 and 19.20. In summer, there
is also a smaller ferry that runs so there
will be more crossings available. Price
checks and timetables for the ferry can be
found at the ferry website:
The image below is of one of the
restaurants on board the ferry. The
crossing takes about 1 hour to Brodick, so
we had plenty of time for breakfast.
The image below is from the ferry when
approaching Brodick. There should be buses
waiting at the Brodick Ferry Terminal for
the all the larger ferry crossings if you
do not take the car. Note, there are no
buses that run to suit the first early
The bus stops are right next to the
ferry terminal and there should be three
buses sitting waiting. One goes north to
Cladach, Brodick Castle, Corrie, Sannox,
Lochranza and round to Blackwaterfoot. That
is the bus you would need to get to take
you to the Machrie Moor or Kings Cave car
Another bus goes straight over to
Blackwaterfoot via the mountain road, and
the other goes south to Lamlash, Whiting
Bay, Kildonan, Kilmory, Lagg and round to
. Bus Tel: 01770 302 000
If you miss the bus, or are on the early
ferry, A.R.C. Private Hire are based in
Brodick. Tel: 0777 608 2752.
Lamlash based Taxi and mini bus hire
call George on 07967 587 481.
The image below is of the car park for
the Kings Cave walk. This is a scenic car
park specially built for the walk to the
It is 28 miles round the north side of
the island on the bus to this car park. The
route is nice and scenic. The map link
below will show the route straight over the
hill road, drag the blue line from the
middle, up to the north road at Lochranza
for the north map route.
The car park here is about 2 miles north
The car park for the Machrie Moor
Standing Stones is situated 1 mile north of
this car park. Many people take in the two
walks on the same day.
The image below is of an information
board in the Kings Cave car park. You can
see the two routes out to the caves. The
south route, left in the image, follows a
good woodland path most of the way. The
north route, follows a good path round the
side of the woodland. The north route has
great views over Machrie Bay and the
northwest mountains on Arran.
Most walkers go out one route and back
the other. I visited the Machrie Moor
Standing Stones first then got here in the
afternoon when the sun was round further
and shining on the caves.
The image below is from the woodland
path going out the south side.
The image below is where the south path
leads down to the coast, about 100 yards
south of the caves.
The cliffs in the distance, and golf
course next to the cliffs, are situated on
the north side of Blackwaterfoot. It is
about 2 miles to Blackwaterfoot from here
along a coastal path, round behind the
cliffs, then along a path through the golf
course. You can also go round the bottom of
the cliffs, although that is over large
A photo tour link for that route is at
the bottom of the page.
There is a narrow and fairly steep path
from here down to the shoreline.
The image below is of the first caves
you will see from the south route. The
entrance to the Kings Cave can just be seen
through the cave on the left, where the
walkers are going.
The image below is of the Kings Cave
with metal fencing on the front. The gate
seems to be open all the time, so you can
explore this cave, and all the others. You
need a torch to read the carvings on the
The image below is looking north to the
other route back to the car park. In
summer, the lower part of the trail is not
too easy to find, as there are a lot of
ferns each side of it, but leads up to the
side of the trees.
The image below is of the north trail
back to the Kings Cave car park. This is a
good trail with cracking views.
The image below is looking north from
the Kings Cave north path to Machrie Bay
and the 2,365ft Mullach Buidhe mountain on
the northwest of Arran. Machrie Bay has Golf, Tennis and
a Tearoom that is well worth visiting.
You follow the path from here back down
into the woodland at the car park, passing
a Hut Circle just before the car park.
The walk to the Kings Cave from the car
park is about half of a mile shorter than
the coastal walk from Blackwaterfoot.
If you are traveling by bus, you may
want to use the coastal route, as more
buses run between Blackwaterfoot and
Photo Tour of the Kings Cave Walk
Photo Tour of the Machrie Moor
For more information on Arran, Machrie
and Blackwaterfoot, visit the Tour of