Machrie is a village situated on the West Coast on the Island of Arran. The signposts direct you to an off road car park. The walk takes you across the fields and past (friendly) grazing sheep. It is not long before you are caught up in the beauty of the surrounding hills and the sound of wildlife. There are plenty of opportunities to take stunning photographs. There is even a good view over the land and out towards the sea.
Machrie Moor is a historic site and you will be pleased to know that there are various informative signs to help you understand the significance of the history of the area. One of the signs in particular gives details from around 2000BC when people lived in roundhouses and how the farmers looked after their land.
The stone circles may have been associated with religious and even burial ceremonies of the Neolithic and Bronze Age farmers on the Moor.
Some of the structures you will see date back to approx. 4500 years ago. The Standing Stones date back to approx 2500 years ago.
More information can be found at http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/
Heather can be found growing wild on the Scottish moors, glens and highlands. It is a low growing hardy shrub. In some areas of Scotland it is controlled by occasional light burning. We saw heather burning on the hills as we travelled along the road from Fort William to Mallaig and it did create quite a considerable amount of dense smoke. You may also see deer, sheep or cattle grazing on the plant.
The flowers in the wild Heather are mainly a stunning purple shade, which show their beauty in late summer / early autumn. It is quite a sight to look at the heather covering the hills and creating what looks like a purple blanket over them.
You can get other colours of heather and there is a particular saying in Scotland for the white heather which was never so readily available:
“Lucky white Heather – get your lucky white Heather here”!!
Over the years Scots have had so many uses for Heather. Even today it is made into jewellery, used in honey and even beer.
For more information on Heather visit www.all-about-heather.com