If you live in Newcastle you can't fail to have noticed the Baltic on the…
We made a day trip to Largs to discover some of the things you can find in this Scottish town.
A little while ago we went on a dog friendly holiday in Scotland. We stayed at a caravan park in Wemyss Bay which is just off the west coast of Scotland overlooking the Firth of Clyde. While we were there we explored the local area and found a number of dog friendly things to do in and around Wemyss Bay.
We were only there for a long weekend but managed to fit in a couple of day trips. One trip was to the Isle of Bute. You need to take a ferry to get there but there is plenty to see on the island once you arrive.
The other was a trip along the coast to the town of Largs. It is just a short drive from Wemyss Bay to get there but the scenery along the way is gorgeous. There are lovely views across the Firth of Clyde to Bute and the coast seems popular with fishermen.
Largs Viking Heritage
Largs is a small bustling seaside town that has a wide choice of places to eat as well as coffee shops, ice cream parlours and amusement arcades.
It is also the town where the battle of Largs took place, a battle that ended Viking dominance of Scotland. The Norwegian King Haakon had gathered together a large fleet of ships and was determined to gain control of the Hebrides. By the time he reached the Clyde he had a large force at his disposal and demanded that the Scottish King give up his claim to the islands. By a strange quirk of fate he was caught up in a sudden and violent storm and his fleet was scattered and some were driven aground.
When he attempted to send men to rescue his ships at Largs they were set upon by the Scottish army. The battle was fierce and the Norweigan King ended up returning to Orkney. He died that winter and his son later negotiated a peace with the Scots. Largs still celebrates its Viking heritage with a Viking festival every August and a large Viking can be seen beside the beach.
At the leisure centre you can visit Viking, a Viking experience where you can journey back in time and find out how Vikings used to live. You will also learn about their gods and see a film about the 500 years of Viking raids and history in Scotland. The shows are on at different times during the day so it is worth checking the times before heading into Largs.
At the south end of the Prom, near Largs Marina you will find The Pencil. This is a monument which was build in 1913 to commemorate the Battle of Largs.
Take a walk along the Promenade
There is a car park on the promenade at Largs and parking is £3 for the whole day. There may be a small wait to get into the car park but it is worth waiting. Next to the car park is a small fair ground and the promenade. The promenade is wide, car free and tree lined. There are a number of sign posted routes along the way and it makes a pleasant walk with scenic views.
When we were there a vintage car was waiting to get into the car park so we stopped to take a couple of photographs of it. My son loves vintage cars and really enjoyed the vintage car rally at Kielder Water. He was quite surprised to see one just driving around the streets.
Largs Yacht Heaven
Largs is also home to a large marina which offers 730 berths. The marina is lovely and sheltered and makes a nice place to walk around. There are several restaurants and shops on the marina grounds as well as free wi-fi. In the car park we found an array of large anchors as well as a couple of buoys which we had to investigate more closely. It must be lovely to own a yacht and be able to set off out to sea whenever you fancy it.
Morris’s steakhouse restaurant
By this time we were hungry and had a look for somewhere to get some lunch. We found Morris’s steakhouse restaurant on the main street. This was a lovely 1920’s themed restaurant which celebrated the Morris Minor. There was plenty to chose from on the menu from steaks to pies to fish and lasagne.
We chose to order from the Travellers menu which is served from noon until three thirty. On this menu you get two courses, a starter and a main plus tea or coffee for £10. The starter is either home made soup or fruit juice. You can choose from six mains, home made steak pie, gammon steak, roast beef, ham salad, cheese salad, macaroni or deep fried haddock. These come with chips or potatoes and vegetables. The soup was split pea and it was rather tasty. The mains were nicely cooked and plentiful. The service was quick and they were attentive. It was a nice place to stop for a bite to eat.
If you are in the area Largs is well worth popping into for a look around. I would love to go back for the Viking festival. Have you ever been to Largs? Do you have any suggestions for things to see in the area?