The Doctor’s Bath

Just what the physician ordered

David Milloy

One of Arran’s lesser-known attractions is, er, a bath. And, no, we don’t mean the pleasure of hopping into a soothing tub of hot water after a hard day’s sightseeing; the bath we’re thinking of lies outdoors, is totally exposed to the elements and isn’t exactly noted for the warmth of its water. Also, there’s every chance that you might end up sharing it… with swans.

The bath in question is known as The Doctor’s Bath. You’ll find it on the foreshore at the village of Corrie on Arran’s north-east coast, roughly about halfway between Brodick and Lochranza, where it’s been a feature since 1835.

Cut out of the reddish sandstone on the instructions of a physician, Doctor McCredy, the bath is approximately 12 feet long, 5 feet wide and 5 feet deep. Access to it is gained by means of steps cut into the sandstone, and channels leading into the ‘bath’ ensure that it fills with seawater before the incoming tide actually reaches the same level as it.

It’s understood that Dr. McCredy, who originally hailed from the mainland, was of the view that bathing in salt water was beneficial to health. To that end, he seems to have made frequent use of the bath, near to which stood a wooden hut in which he changed into his bathing attire. The hut is long gone but the observant visitor will notice a series of small holes which were once used to anchor it.

These days the bath is rather less frequently used, at least by humans. It tends to fill up with seaweed and other debris brought in on the tide, although local people clean it out every now and then. Its most frequent users, at least according to a video on YouTube, would now seem to be swans who take advantage of its calmness as compared to the waters of the Firth of Clyde.

The Doctor’s Bath is situated at the southern end of Corrie adjacent to a parking place, at one end of which lies a telephone pole. It’s not signposted so is very easy to miss. Our advice would be to take the 324 bus from Brodick to Lochranza, alight at Corrie and enjoy a stroll down the foreshore to The Doctor’s Bath before heading back up to the Corrie Hotel for some refreshments. It’s a nice, healthy way to spend a day. We suspect that the good Doctor would approve.