Hillwalking on the Isle of Arran
Arran is a very scenic, small, mountainous island just off the West Coast. It is relatively near to Glasgow and there is plenty of climbing for the the enthusiast or the serious Winter Climber. There is also plenty to do for hillwalkers and mountaineers.
Being an island you can only really get there using the Caledonian Macbrayne ferry service. If you're taking a car it's expensive but many walkers and climbers prefer to park at the ferry port and simply take their bicycles onto the ferry. The island is very popular with cyclists and the roads seem to be in quite a poor state so drivers don't present as much of a danger here...
There is loads to do in summer. Most of these routes will be accessible to walkers but some provide quite difficult scambles. The map I have used for any references is OS Explorer 361, Isle of Arran 1:25000.
- Glen Sannox
Glen Sannox is actually a nice walk on it's own. It's fairly flat up to the head of the glen (peat bog!) only gaining 200m in height from the sea-level start. On a good day the views of the surrounding ridges are superb.
- Cir Mhor, Caisteal Abhail & The Witch's Step
- North Goatfell
- Mullach Buidhe
- The Devil's Punchbowl
- Glen Rosa
Glen Rosa is reach from the road just outside Brodick. Again, though a longer walk, the trek up the glen is as flat as Glen Sannox to the north gaining less than 200m in altitude. The walk takes you beneath Goatfell (the highest peak on the island at 874m) and into the glen which has the prime climbing territory on the island. Beinn Nuis - Beinn Tarsuinn providing a multitude of rick outcrops, buttresses and slabs.
- Glen Catacoll
This glen provides some nice flat walking via a bird sanctuary. Lochranza (on the coast here) is also beautiful...
There are loads of good B&B's on the island. Lochside Guest House in Blackwaterfoot is probably the best B&B in the world. There is the Youth Hostel in Lochranza and the campsite there is lovely with unmetered hot water, lighting at night, space for caravans and a shop etc. The Glen Rosa campsite is handy but not very nice (only cold water, no showers, yuk!)
Blank is blank -surprise surprise- I don't
think there are any holds in the first 30ft! A truly great route
though, not to be missed. It would probably get VS in Wales (V Diff
Calibans Creep isn't that brilliant! - if the weather's good, go and try South Ridge Direct (it's not that hard, the climbing is the best on Arran and it's a route you'll remember for the rest of you're days).