Happy Travel Tuesday!
I’ve not often been to the West Coast of Scotland – though you might remember my brief excursion to the western isles of Mull and Iona that left me in lots of tears but also when the kindness of strangers surprised me so much I felt overwhelming love for my host country. Well this good/bad experience continued on a day trip the Brit and I took to the west coast back in May.
I don’t know if you remember but the Brit and I got free train tickets for 3 days out and about in Scotland for the month of May and one of those pairs of tickets was to go to Largs.
Largs is a town in North Ayrshire of about 11,000 inhabitants. For those interested in history, there are three places in the town that I found fascinating: there is a Viking exhibition centre, the Vikingar, a neolithic tomb, and it is the birthplace of Sir Thomas Brisbane, who later became Governor of New South Wales in Australia and gave his name to the city of Brisbane.
I have a friend from St Andrews who is from Largs and he recommended a few places before our day out. We were so happy to have his local recommendations when we got there because upon our arrival we were overwhelmed by the town’s tackiness. Most of the people who got off the train with us seemed to be families from Glasgow and the surroundings and they all headed for the weird seaside children attractions and the fish and chips shops.
This shocked me a little bit because I had only really seen the Scottish seaside in Fife and it is quite relaxed and natural. It felt Largs had been pushed and commercialised to attract a family clientele on day trips and I wasn’t having any of it to be honest.
Thankfully we had my friend’s recommendations to walk towards the marina and it saved the day! Once you walked out of the town centre it was so peaceful and beautiful. People walking their dogs on small beaches, people cycling with their children, people sitting in the sun reading. Just pure happiness.
We walked all the way to the marina – it’s quite literally on the other side of town – and had a delicious lunch at Scotts, which was another recommendation. Absolutely worth the detour.
After that excursion we walked back into town, where we couldn’t resist queuing to get some ice cream from the famous Nardini’s ice cream parlour before heading to the train station to wait for the train back to Glasgow.
The lesson learned that day was definitely that a local knowledge of the place will always bring better experiences! Always ask for advice if you can!
Ever had local tips save a trip?xx