Walking on Arran
The best low level walks and challenging mountain routes
By Paddy Dillon
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The 45 walking routes in this Isle of Arran guidebook range from easy 3km (2 miles) nature trails to long arduous mountain routes with scrambles (up to 32km) providing thorough coverage of Arran, including the ascent of Goatfell and nearby Holy Isle. Most routes are 10 to 15km long but many give opportunities to create longer cross-island walks.
SeasonsArran is good for walking year-round: be aware that the island's population triples in the peak summer period, and deer stalking occurs mid-August to mid-October.
CentresBrodick; Lamlash; Lochranza
DifficultyThis guidebook include a few easy, waymarked forest trails or low-level walks and a dozen or so moderate glen or hill walks. The rest require more effort, involving higher mountains, sometimes with hands-on scrambling. There are roads and forest tracks, hill tracks or paths, but many routes also cross pathless slopes and traverse rocky mountain ridges.
Must SeeWalk Goatfell, Holy Isle, Beinn Nuis, Beinn Tarsuinn, the Sannox Horseshoe, Glen Rosa and the Cock of Arran Over 40 routes giving thorough coverage of this wild but accessible Scottish island Varied walking includes all the island's best and classic routes
This guidebook presents a selection of 45 day walks on the popular and accessible Isle of Arran. The routes are between 2 miles (3km) and 20 miles (32km) in length, from easy waymarked forest trails to more arduous mountain walks, exposed ridge routes and scrambles. There are linear and circular walks to choose from, and opportunities to link routes together and create longer walks across the length and breadth of the island. With highlights including Goatfell, Beinn Tarsuinn, the Sannox Horseshoe, Glen Rosa and the Cock of Arran, there's something here to suit walkers of all tastes and all levels of fitness.
Often described as 'Scotland in miniature', Arran boasts a rich variety of landscapes, and walks have been chosen to showcase this variety. There are few roads but ample opportunities to explore the island on foot, or using the excellent bus network. For an island, travel to Arran is remarkably easy: it is not far to Glasgow, from where onward connections to the Isle of Arran are swift and frequent.
All the routes are clearly described with OS mapping, with extra notes revealing the archaeology, history and natural wonders of the island, along with background information on travel to Arran, public transport, and a useful Gaelic/English glossary.
The book includes a summary of the Arran Coastal Way, a complete coastal walk around the Isle of Arran – for more details on the coastal route see The Ayrshire and Arran Coastal Paths.
Getting to Arran
Getting around the island
Finding your bearings
A geology classroom
A turbulent history
Land ownership and access
Food and drink
Walk 1 Goatfell and Brodick
Walk 2 Brodick Castle and Country Park
Walk 3 Brodick and the Clauchland Hills
Walk 4 Sithein and Glen Cloy
Walk 5 Lamlash and the Clauchland Hills
Walk 6 Sithein and The Ross
Walk 7 Lamlash to Brodick
Walk 8 Holy Isle from Lamlash
Walk 9 Tighvein and Monamore Glen
Walk 10 Glenashdale and Urie Loch
Walk 11 Glenashdale Falls and Giants’ Graves
Walk 12 Lamlash and Kingscross
Walk 13 Eas Mòr and Loch Garbad
Walk 14 Lagg to Kildonan coastal walk
Walk 15 Kilmory forest circuit
Walk 16 Sliddery and Cnocan Donn
Walk 17 Tighvein and Glenscorrodale
Walk 18 The Ross and Cnoc a’ Chapuill
Walk 19 Shiskine and Clauchan Glen
Walk 20 Balmichael and Ard Bheinn
Walk 21 The String and Beinn Bhreac
Walk 22 Blackwaterfoot and King’s Cave
Walk 23 Machrie Moor Stone Circles
Walk 24 Dougarie and Beinn Nuis
Walk 25 Dougarie and Sail Chalmadale
Walk 26 Circuit of Glen Iorsa
Walk 27 Imachar and Mullach Buidhe
Walk 28 Pirnmill and Mullach Buidhe
Walk 29 Coire-Fhionn Lochan
Walk 30 Catacol and Meall nan Damh
Walk 31 Catacol and Beinn Bhreac
Walk 32 Catacol and Beinn Tarsuinn
Walk 33 Lochranza and Meall Mòr
Walk 34 Gleann Easan Biorach
Walk 35 Lochranza and the Cock of Arran
Walk 36 Lochranza and Sail an Im
Walk 37 Sannox and Fionn Bhealach
Walk 38 North Glen Sannox Horseshoe
Walk 39 Glen Sannox Horseshoe
Walk 40 Glen Sannox to Glen Rosa
Walk 41 Sannox, Goatfell and Corrie
Walk 42 Glen Rosa and Beinn Tarsuinn
Walk 43 Western Glen Rosa
Walk 44 Eastern Glen Rosa
Appendix A Route summary table
Appendix B Arran Coastal Way
Appendix C Useful contacts
Appendix D Gaelic/English glossary
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Few islands pack as much variety of terrain into such a small area as Arran, and it's very hard to beat as a walking destination. There's a growing tendency to follow the excellent coastal path, but to do only that would be to miss out on such marvels as wild, boggy Gleann Easan Biorach and the high, forbidding moorlands of Tighvein.
This is the perfect guide to take you down paths less obvious.
Scotland Outdoors, May 2016
Cicerone books are always compact, concise and have that attribute of giving confidence. One of the factors, applicable here, is the inclusion of enlarged sections of OS Maps. So the challenging mountain routes and the best low-level walks are put into spatial context and then complemented with good photographs. 44 walks are here to please all ages and conditions of walker.
Scottish Islands Explorer, May 2016
Paddy Dillon's comprehensive guide to walking on Arran is refreshed for 2016, with the latest information on access and facilities on the island, including upgrades to the Arran Coastal Way. The guide covers 44 walks of varying levels of difficulty, from popular strolls to wild moorland romps. Many of these take the walker far from the beaten path. The walks are accompanied by useful maps and text descriptions including notes of historical and geographical interest.
Most of the easier itineraries are classic 'must-dos', with visits to the enigmatic Machrie Moor Stone Circles and the short hike up to the beautiful Caire Fhionn Lochan high on the list for visitors. Others are challenges for the true connoisseur, such as the circuit of Glen lorsa, something that took me ten years to get around to, despite living locally. And with these tougher walks does come a note of caution - if the indefatigable Paddy Dillon says the walk is remote, arduous or boggy, then do expect all these things and more.
Adventure lovers will find plenty of interest amongst the craggy peaks and ridges in the north of the island, which punch above their weight for excitement and challenge. A handy table in the appendices summarises the routes by length and height gain for quick reference. The guide also includes a useful chapter with updated information about transpor links, history, wildlife and amenities on the island, all of which help to give a flavour of life on this rugged yet accessible isle.
Scottish Mountaineer, Spring 2016
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Paddy Dillon is a prolific walker and guidebook writer with over 90 guidebooks to his name, and contributions to 40 other titles. He has written for several outdoor magazines and other publications, and has appeared on radio and TV. Paddy is an indefatigable long-distance walker who has walked all of Britain’s National Trails and several European trails. He has also walked in Nepal, Tibet, Korea and the Rocky Mountains of Canada and the US. Paddy is a member of the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild and President of the Backpackers Club.