Following on from the first bits of Irvine, I walked from Puffers Cafe towards the coast, via the edge of the Scottish Maritime Museum. This whole area was regenerated in the 1990s with some substantial Georgian-style buildings.
Past Boyd’s Automatic Tide Signalling Apparatus, there is a cracking big beach. It was wet and windy, so I stuck to the beach park – a wide open area in between the beach and the town that feels like it’s waiting for the fair to arrive.
I watched a crowd of widgeon on the pond, caught a rare Pokemon, and walked around the crazy golf course.
The old, properly crazy golf courses seem to be disappearing or turning into ‘adventure’ golf, so I’m always happy to find a relic. There didn’t seem to be a way of playing without bringing your own clubs, but maybe it springs to life in the summer.
Barnhill, where George Orwell wrote 1984 is beyond the end of the public road, as is Corryvreckan, the third largest whirlpool in the world. Jura is covered in private estates, so we couldn’t see where the KLF burnt a million quid (YouTube) either. Ah well!
At the end of the road we did find Lussa Gin, a gin distillery run by three local women. Claire, who kindly gave us a tour first came to Jura with the KLF. There’s not much work for women on Jura, so three friends started Lussa Gin.
The botanicals are all grown locally (right outside the door!) and it tastes gorgeous.
A new book, called Sign Here is now available in the shop. It’s the fourth in a series of photobooks – a collection of signs – old and new, from the hand-lettered and beautifully drawn, to the idiosyncratic and frankly falling-apart. This was the first book I started laying out, as I like signs and have been photographing them for years, but for some reason the other three books jumped the queue.
This the main road on Jura that runs from the west coast to Ardlussa on the east. There isn’t a lot to see, but the wilderness is part of its charm. George Orwell wrote 1984 here, calling it an ‘un-gettable’ place.
What you can’t miss is ‘the Paps’ of Jura. These three mountains are visible for miles around, and make the island’s skyline easy to identify from any direction. Even though they are omnipresent, they are also strangely out of reach.