Kings Cave Walk

AS Walking

Where: Kings Cave Walk on the Isle of Arran
When: July 2013
Who: J Parker
Why: A day out to Arran
Weather: Sunny
Distance: about 3 miles round trip

The image below is of the Arran ferry Caledonian Isles arriving at Ardrossan. It costs about £8 per person for a day return on the ferry, and about £33 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 walking.

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 here.

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 Map.

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:

Arran Ferry at Ardrossan image

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.

Arran Ferry Restaurant image

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.

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 parks.

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 Blackwaterfoot.

Bus Website

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.

Brodick from the Ferry image

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 Kings Cave.

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 of Blackwaterfoot.

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.

Blackwaterfoot Google Map

Arran Attractions Click On Map

Kings Cave Car Park image

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.

Large Image

Kings Cave Arran Notice Board image

The image below is from the woodland path going out the south side.

Kings Cave woodland path image

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 boulders.

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.

Kings Cave Trail image

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.

Large Image

Arran Caves image

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 walls.

There were Dinosaur Footprints found a few hundred yards south of the Cave, right in this image, now with a Sign showing where to find them, not sure if they are on Rocks on the Beach or on the Cliffs by the Beach, the Sign should make them easy to find.

Large Image

Kings Cave Arran image

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.

Kings Cave beach image

The image below is of the north trail back to the Kings Cave car park. This is a good trail with cracking views.

Kings Cave north path image

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.

Machrie Bay Arran image

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 Brodick.

Photo Tour of the Kings Cave Walk from Blackwaterfoot.

Photo Tour of the Machrie Moor Stone Circles.

For more information on Arran, Machrie and Blackwaterfoot, visit the Tour of Arran Page.