The mysterious stone-carved bath of Arran

THE Isle of Arran is often referred to as '˜Bonnie Scotland in miniature'. This is especially true on the coastline near the village of Corrie, where the locals can enjoy their very own mini outdoor baths.

The Doctor's bath, Corrie. Picture: Copyright Tony Page/Wikimedia Commons

Situated at Corrie on Arran’s northeast coast, the ‘Doctor’s Bath’, as it has come to be known, has long baffled outsiders who stumble upon it.

Carved into the distinctive pink sandstone at the shoreline, the mysterious-looking bath dates from 1835 and is among the isle’s most fascinating - if little-known - curiosities.

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It is believed to have been dug out at the request of a Doctor McCredy who, it’s said, wanted a curative bath built in order to treat his patients using saltwater therapy.

McCredy was from the mainland, but is understood to have lived on Arran since the time of the Battle of Waterloo.

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Measuring around 12ft long by 5ft wide and 5ft deep, the Doctor’s Bath could accommodate several patients at any one time.

It fills up naturally on a daily basis with the ebb and flow of the tide and can be accessed via a short flight of man-made steps.

Close to the steps are a series of drilled holes where it is thought the doctor’s changing hut once stood.

Sheila Gilmore from VisitArran described the Doctor’s Bath is one of the island’s hidden gems.

“Most people don’t know about it it’s one of these kind of hidden gems. In a way it’s quite quirky and it’s nice to have these kind of things for people to come and visit.

“There’s nobody local that I know of who goes in for a ‘Doctor’s Bath’, but there have been plenty tour groups who have jumped in.

“The doctor came from the mainland and was maybe used to having a large house with running water, so perhaps that’s why he had it made.”

Echoing Sheila’s comments, Jim Lees, a resident at nearby Sannox and former chairman of the local village association, said: “I have heard that he (the doctor) had been told that bathing in salt water was a sure-fire way to live longer, that sort of thing. He seemingly used to bathe there every morning

“The Doctor’s Bath has sort of channels in it that allow it to fill up when the tide is at a certain level. This allows the bath to fill up before the tide actually reaches the level of the bath itself.

“It’s one of Corrie’s curios and people do come along and look at it. We have in the past cleared it out and it’s actually quite a depth when it’s cleared out, but the problem is, with high tides and what not, it soon fills up again with all manner of detritus.”

Aside from the odd visitor, eager to test the bath’s ‘curative’ powers for themselves, there aren’t too many people out there prepared to take the plunge.

However, judging by one video uploaded to YouTube, the Doctor’s Bath has proved to be a big hit among the local swan population.

• How to get there: Catherine at Walkaboots says visitors should head towards the southern part of the village of Corrie until you find a house with red railings. From here, drop down from the passing place and explore the coast to your right.