We’ve still got our eyes on some hills through the winter, but we thought it might be an idea just to go for a walk or two. Nothing too demanding, just a walk.
We had found a few loops on Walk Highlands – while great for info on Munros, there are plenty of less arduous routes available. I liked the sound of one walk in particular, as its start and end point is the ice-cream capital of west-central Scotland.
The Knock hill circular walk starts in the centre of Largs, on Scotland’s west coast, and takes the walker through some farmland, and up to the remains of an old Roman Hill fort, before casting you back on a wide sloop back into the town centre. 8 miles of gentle up & gentle down.
The walk has two notable high points. The first one is obvious – the view from the Roman hill fort. At just a few hundred feet to climb, the views on a clear day are a real treat & you’d be hard-pressed to find a better one for such gentle effort. The island of Arran’s frosted craggy peaks dominate like something from a Jules Verne adventure.
The second high point, for me, is to be found at sea level. It is the institution that is Nardini’s.
My memories of Largs’ Art Deco ice-cream palace are among my earliest memories.
Wedged in between my grandparents in golden wicker chairs at a glass-topped golden wicker table, I can always remember it as being summer, and good.
We had a corner table, near the windows, and I remember my grandpa’s delight at the arrival of his Banana Split in it’s stainless steel gondola. My granny was diabetic, so it was obligatory for her to take a forefinger swipe out of the whipped cream before he could get a spoon near it. And then she might give him a slap for what he was about to enjoy. Still makes me laugh!
But his Banana Split looked like a slow boat to my eyes, compared to the rocket that was my ice cream soda. Out of this world!
Another time on a birthday weekend visit to Nardini’s, my grandparents ordered me a Knickerbocker Glory. I can’t put into words how good it was. To this day I cant bring myself to order one – I don’t want to spoil it.
After we finished our Largs walk, we changed out of our boots, and went in to Nardini’s to warm up.
We were seated at a corner window and while we ordered our tea & scones from the waitress, I quickly scanned through the desserts before handing back the menu, with a smile.