Driving north out of Brodick you soon come to the Arran cheese and Arran aromatic centre on your left. Park here (free). Directly opposite is a rough track. Walk along the track (past a house on your right and a lake on your left) until you reach the tarmac road. Turn right and you will shortly see two metal field gates opposite each other. The 3 stones can be seen in their respective fields from these gates.
I left Karen and the children to browse the shops, sample cheese and sniff smellies whilst I walked along the track to the see the stones. The day was dry but it was cloudy and rain threatened - as it often does on the Scottish islands.
I first peered over the gate to my left and easily spotted the single stone, the smallest of the three. There was no crop in the field but it was like a bog all around the gate and getting any closer to the stone would have meant trudging shin height in mud. I settled for the view from the gate.
I then crossed over to the opposite gate and was rewarded with a stunning vista. The field was golden, full of wheat, and out from it stood the two tall standing stones. The stones were surrounded by hills which had clouds of mist swirling around. It was all very atmospheric. No wind and no noise other than a bird of prey shrieking somewhere in the trees and mist in the distance.
I walked along some tractor tracks to get as close to the stones as possible without damaging the crop. Once I got as close as I could I just stood and stared and tried to take it all in. Wonderful, simply wonderful. This is what makes Scotland the special place it is and why I save up all year in order to make my annual pilgrimage to sample some of its delights.
The sign at the visitor centre proclaims that you can 'experience' of Scotland by buying the cheese or the smellies. No my friend, you get a real 'experience' of Scotland by crossing the road and visiting the stones and taking in the wonderful scenery.
The simplest way to approach these stones is to drive North out of Brodick towards Corrie. Pass by the Cladach Retail Outlet Village and continue along the coast road for a few hundred yards till you get to the vehicle entrance to Brodick Castle on your left.
Drive up to the Castle Carpark (there is no charge for parking or for simply passing through) and then exit the car park (there is a one way traffic flow system through Brodick Castle grounds) and continue through the castle grounds. You will pass a house on the right called Kennels Cottage and then descend to a small bridge at the start of a stretch of road bounded by Beech Hedges on either side. Pull in here and park. The field with two stones is on your right. The solitary stone stands in the field on the left. They are seperated by the Castle driveway exit road.
The largest stone A is about twelve feet high, stone B thirty yards away is 9 feet. Stone C in the next field is nearly eight feet (and leaning!)The three stones seem to form some kind of an alignment, but with the Beech hedges and road in between it is difficult to judge precisely what. There is sufficient space for two intervening stones. The Brodick Heritage Centre has on display, a cist which was found on the same alignment, thirty yards from stone B towards stone C. It was ploughed up in 1980 and contained an intact food vessel.
These fields are under barley almost every summer and usually you cant get near the stones till after the harvest. It is now under grass and yesterday was full of jumpy inquisitive stirks. Thankfully they have been moved elsewhere today and I can get right up close to these big stones. The tallest one has the traditional Arran Sandstone fluted and weathered top. The site reeks of having been something bigger originally but this flat, fertile land is at a high premium here in the more Northern end of the island and has been under the plough for many centuries. It is easy to imagine that there was once much more to this site than the three surviving roughly aligned stones and the cist. However it is what we have left and for that we should be glad.
We got a bit confused trying to find these intially.
The road we thought we needed to drive up said "private roadway no entry" so we drove by and realised that we had missed it! If you carry on until you see Arran Aromatics on your right you can take the unmade road directly opposite (think there was sign for a cement or gravel factory?) and carry on down here. Turn right when you hit the tarmaced road and the stones are on either side of the road behind the HUGE hedges.
We went last week and the corn was really high in the field on the left where 2 of the stones stand - it made for an amazing picture, with the stones rising out the amber waves of grain. There are gateways all along the hedge and each one gives a unique perspective of the stones...lovely.
The stone which stands on it's own in the 2nd field looks somewhat neglected and sad. Maybe they should plant corn around it too, to add to the ambience?