Certain to get your heart racing and your knees trembling,
exciting mountains take your breath away. Whilst Munro-baggers may whizz up the
M74 without turning left, missing out the Arran
hills because of their lack of a few metres is a bit like getting married
without the wedding night.
So what makes the
Arran hills so seductive?
1. A magnificent profile: from all approaches, the distinctive mountain skyline of
Arran commands your gaze,
with its soaring peaks and pinnacles. The towering of Caisteal Abhail is known as the
Sleeping Warrior- see the photo. (He’s wearing a helmet and he has a firm chin!) east ridge
2. In a vigorous embrace:
Arran is only ten miles wide so wherever
you are, you’re never far from the encircling presence of the waves. From the
summits, you can get 360 degree sea views- to Northern Ireland, the Kintyre
peninsula, the Paps of Jura, Mull, the Arrochar Alps, Cowal, Bute, Ayrshire and
3. No boring introductions: you won’t find long walk-ins on
Arran. Unless you keep going in
circles round the coast, the only way is up, but taking things one step at a
time you’ll be amazed at the height you can achieve in a relatively short time.
The apparently vertical climb up Cioch na h'Oighe is a good example of this -
it’s still a walker’s route though a head for heights and sure-footedness will
4. Fill up your senses: waterfalls stream over
Arran’s shoulders, sliding down chutes and plunging into deep,
ferny chasms. The background music of water accompanies every Arran
walk. Glen Catacol especially is a great place for waterfall hunters.
5. Hands-on experiences: once you’re on the ridges you won’t be able to resist some exciting hands-on scrambling on the satisfyingly rough-textured tors of pale grey granite.
6 An untamed character: whilst the
Gulf Stream caresses
Arran with warm currents making palm trees
flourish round its coastline, the mountain tops are survivors of fierce battles
with Atlantic weather. Apart from Goatfell, the hills of Arran
are uncrowded and perfect for walks on the wild side.
7. A fascinating past: walks on
Arran reveal hints of the
ancestors in ancient ,
stone circles and the remains of prehistoric hill forts. The echoes of Viking
rule are in the names of the coastal settlements. cairns
8. Beautiful creatures: Arran’s most famous wild creatures just happen to be very good looking ones too: there are the pure-blooded, elegant red deer for example, as well as majestic golden eagles, tufty-eared red squirrels and lithe, playful otters to select but a few.
Arran walks are adventurous and the end of
adventure satisfaction factor as you enjoy your meal in one of Arran’s independent restaurants is off the scale
10. Enduring and elemental:
enjoys worldwide celebrity status in geology circles for its amazing rocks. The
island represents a coming together on a titanic scale of highland and lowland.
The mountains themselves burst into being as an exploding volcano. Today, the hills are a rocky heaven with
pebbles, boulders, outcrops and crags in every imaginable and lovely shade of
All photos are copyright of Lochranza Campsite