Just to praise CAL MAC

runnach

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We are heading over next month for 6 nights five wild one at the campsite in kildonan. Enjoy Arran.
We use to go around this time of year, specifically to get in and under the water with Basking Sharks. Look to the water too, and maybe catch sight of a slow moving dorsal fin!
 

Fisherman

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Having just spent a week on Arran, that review and itinerary is spot on. The only thing it doesn’t mention is advice to call into the Old Pier Head Cafe in Whiting Bay and get one of the best sausage rolls you will ever eat.

Meanwhile, at Kildonan....View attachment 73693
I think you are talking about the old pierhead cafe in Lamlash, at the entrance to were the holy isle ferry leaves. If you are we always visit this cafe and I can recommend it also. But what a stunning photo of an otter. If you head back into marganaheglish you would have found plenty of grey seals and otters they can also be found there. Lamlash bay has been a no fishing area for about twenty years now. Hence the amount of otters and seals in that area. I have even spotted dolphins in the bay, and orcas were spotted between Bute and Arran this year.
But kildonan is a lovely part of the island with plenty of spots for wild camping. The carpark for Loch Garbad and another across the road are two fine spots. And Loch garbad provides a lovely walk. If you do walk to Loch garbad make sure you visit the library, it is unique.
For the golfers on here Arran offers the only 12 hole golf course in the world in machrie. Arran has 7 courses and you can buy a ticket to play all of them for a very modest fee.
Please, if you do use the chemical waste points In blackwaterfoot and whiting bay, please leave a donation. The toilets are maintained by the locals at their expense. The council gave them all up two years ago. You can also get water from the toilets.
The campsite at kildonan is probably the best owing to its position. The views are gorgeous of pladda and it’s lighthouse with Alisa Craig in the background. Plus as this great photo of the otter shows there is wonderful wildlife there.

The outdoor shop in Brodick Arran outdoors is well worth a visit.
Also across the road from it there is a standpipe for water. It’s listed on the online maps on here. But I would not overnight in Brodick, it’s the one part of the island where I don’t feel completely comfortable.
 

landoboguy

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I also just came back from a few nights on Arran and while I have lots more that could be said, it has been covered very well already by "fisherman".

I Wilded on some of the many spots just toward Pimmel, and beyond then round over Sannox/corrie way.

I also stayed at an open all year round site near Shiskine called Bridgend Camp site to get disposal, plugged in showered and washed the van down. By the looks of it there arent too many that do open all year round. Jan and her fella who are the winter wardens gave me plenty advice and Id recommend the small site to anyone.

Heading North from Blackwaterfoot bay is The old Byrne visitor centre turn right a mile or so just past Machrie (hand knitted scarf for the better half) I ate a lovely home made soup in the little cafe there called cafe Thyme,I got my 7.5 metre van up the winding road to the cafe no problem.
Then on up to get some up close and pictures of seals fishing from rocks toward Pimmel.

Had many a paddle with the dogs in the may streams/rivers casacading down from the hills. Wandered round the distillery at Lochranza and tried the wee dram.

If you do stay at Bridgend Campsite, have a 100 yard wander to the old CLachan church down by the water through the graveyard and down the steps.
Ferry was by Calmac and was quick and efficient. 7.5 meter 55.00 return.

This was a quick last minute trip just myself and the dogs, but we will be going back for sure with my better half for a longer stay. the Island pic is Holy Island from Lamlash, and the site pic is Bridgend Campsite where I stayed and was looked after by Jan.
bridgend.jpg
holy.jpg
Seals.jpg
shiskine.jpg
 

runnach

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CalMac’s Lord of the Isles RoRo getting dry docked at Leith docks sometime next week.
 

peter palance

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I think you are talking about the old pierhead cafe in Lamlash, at the entrance to were the holy isle ferry leaves. If you are we always visit this cafe and I can recommend it also. But what a stunning photo of an otter. If you head back into marganaheglish you would have found plenty of grey seals and otters they can also be found there. Lamlash bay has been a no fishing area for about twenty years now. Hence the amount of otters and seals in that area. I have even spotted dolphins in the bay, and orcas were spotted between Bute and Arran this year.
But kildonan is a lovely part of the island with plenty of spots for wild camping. The carpark for Loch Garbad and another across the road are two fine spots. And Loch garbad provides a lovely walk. If you do walk to Loch garbad make sure you visit the library, it is unique.
For the golfers on here Arran offers the only 12 hole golf course in the world in machrie. Arran has 7 courses and you can buy a ticket to play all of them for a very modest fee.
Please, if you do use the chemical waste points In blackwaterfoot and whiting bay, please leave a donation. The toilets are maintained by the locals at their expense. The council gave them all up two years ago. You can also get water from the toilets.
The campsite at kildonan is probably the best owing to its position. The views are gorgeous of pladda and it’s lighthouse with Alisa Craig in the background. Plus as this great photo of the otter shows there is wonderful wildlife there.

The outdoor shop in Brodick Arran outdoors is well worth a visit.
Also across the road from it there is a standpipe for water. It’s listed on the online maps on here. But I would not overnight in Brodick, it’s the one part of the island where I don’t feel completely comfortable.
thanks ok pj
 

Fisherman

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I once booked two tickets from BA online for a Glasgow to Heathrow flight. I immediately realised I had booked Saturday night instead of Friday night. I went back online but I was being asked for a cancellation charge of £120 for two tickets I had just bought online for £80 five minutes ago. I went on the phone trying to explain my error to no avail. As it was cheaper to buy new tickets than cancel, that’s what I did costing me another £80. Cal Mac have charged me nothing, stating that they will honour my tickets when we are ready to head for Tiree.
 

2cv

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Their policy is more flexible now, certainly within the first 24 hours Link
In addition in the case quoted, most of the ticket price is taxes.
 

Fisherman

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Their policy is more flexible now, certainly within the first 24 hours Link
In addition in the case quoted, most of the ticket price is taxes.
That is better than before 2cv, but I booked my tickets with calmac 8 weeks before having to cancel not 24 hours. Also your comments about being subsidised are unfair. First of all the road tariff equivalent tariffs were brought about by the Scottish government to try to help the island economies. Currently I pay £47 return for my Motorhome and my wife and I. Without RTE that figure was £136 in 2004. It would be around £170 now without RTE, If cal Mac were not subsidised the island communities would suffer. The subsidies you comment on are more for the benefit of the islands than cal Mac.
 

runnach

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First of all, I'll state I have no affiliation to BA.

You can't compare BA (a FTSE company) to CalMac, who are owned by Scottish Government, which in turn, is owned by us who pay Scottish tax. So yes, CalMac is subsidised.

I have used CalMac over the decades and yes, the RET makes a huge difference to user cost, but hey, who is paying for the RET???
 

2cv

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I’ll not comment on RET, maybe it’s a good thing but it is paid for by taxes.
I’ll merely state that BA’s cancellation policies are competitive in the environment in which they operate, and it’s unfair to compare them with a subsidised Calmac operating as a monopoly. I recently bought a one way BA ticket from Glasgow to London for £37. The fare was £12 with the remainder being taxes and fees, contributing to the ability to operate the RET.
 

Fisherman

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Yes RET is paid for with taxes but it’s not a subsidy for CalMac, it’s a subsidy for the islands they serve.
Without these subsidies our western islands would not be what they are today. Take a look at Jura with a population of around 200, or Iona with around 60, gigha, muck, I could go on without subsidised ferries these islands could not survive, and the more populous islands would struggle. These subsidies are there to not only support Cal Mac, but the islands they serve.
Dont forget the history of BA who ripped us of for decades by charging fares that were way over the top. They put laker to the sword in the 80s when sir Freddie Laker tried to introduce cheaper fares, and tried to put virgin Atlantic into bankruptcy by stealing their customers. They were fined for this. I have many personal experiences of this company I could list on here, but it would take to long. My advice to anyone is if it starts with British try and avoid it. BA, BT or British Gas are amongst the worse companies I have had dealings with in my life.
 
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2cv

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Calmac undoubtedly give excellent service, my point in post #5 was simply that it was unfair to compare their policies with BA, who operate without subsidies direct or indirect in a very competitive environment.
Incidentally, Calmac is very profitable as is BA as part of IAG
 

Fisherman

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Calmac undoubtedly give excellent service, my point in post #5 was simply that it was unfair to compare their policies with BA, who operate without subsidies direct or indirect in a very competitive environment.
Incidentally, Calmac is very profitable as is BA as part of IAG
sorry 2 Cv But I did not draw any comparison with any company when I posted this thread on here. But without subsidies these ferries simply in many cases would not be financially viable. With dire consequences for the island communities.
 

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