Firth of Clyde
To the north we have the Firth of Clyde with its islands - the wonderfully mountainous Isle of Arran, famed for its hill-walking and mountaineering; the Island of Bute, a rich and fertile island with the famous Victorian Mecca that is Rothesay, and the West Island Way, a walk the length of the island that gives wonderful panoramic views of the Firth. Separated from the mainland by the magical Kyles of Bute the island has become a Mecca for yachts now that it boasts two marinas and lots and lots of visitors moorings tucked away in its sheltered beaches and inlets.
There is Great Cumbrae and Little Cumbrae both reached by a short ferry crossing from the mainland. Great Cumbrae has a golf course, from the top of which can be seen the entire Firth with its small towns and islands.
Lying to the south west of Troon is the long peninsula of the Mull of Kintyre (remember Paul McCartney's song of the same name) and the island of Sanda.
Gateway to the west coast the Mull is the last major headland to be passed before continuing on toward the West Coast and its hundreds of islands, surely one of Scotland's best kept secrets.
A short distance to the south of the Mull is the north coast of Ireland, the island of Rathlin and numerous marinas and small harbours await the sailors from Scotland, not to forget Ireland's most famous export - Guinness.
Here you are always assured of a warm welcome and the live music and craic in the local hostelries is not to be missed. This northern coastline boasts the Giant's Causeway, a wonderful example of columnar basalt foreshore, a close relative of An Sgurr, the basalt mountain on the Island of Eigg to the north.