Monday 7 September 2020

Isle of Arran and… 2020 still sucks!

My second real hike of the year was supposed to be the big one, nothing too major but given all that’s gone on in 2020 still a good hike. I would start on the Isle Of Arran and walk the coastal path with a friend. Then, I would slowly hike north to Cape Wrath, by a little-known route. I was super excited to get started but once again 2020 had different ideas and a mixture of my father’s poor health, and an unexpected flood stopped the hike after only 4 days.

Still, those 4 days on Arran were excellent!


Glen Rosa

After leaving the ferry we headed straight for Glen Rosa to camp. Glen Rosa was lovely but the midges were terrible! The next day we headed up the Glen and onto the Saddle before taking the ridge walk to Goatfell. This isn’t the way the official coast path summits Goatfell but it is a much more interesting option and well worth the extra effort. From Goatfell we joined the coast path down to Corrie where we were pleasantly surprised to find a coolbox full of ice-cold drinks and snacks 🙂 We hiked on and camped near the old Fort, just passed Sannox.

Glen Rosa
Glen Sannox
Glen Sannox

North Goatfell

Mullach Buidhe
Ridgewalk to Goatfell


High Corrie
We then followed the official trail along the coast, passed the lovely Laggan Cottage, and around the Cock of Arran to Lochranza. With an almost flat sea, it was easy to spot pods of Dolphins fishing not far from the coast. That was a real highlight of the trip for me and we watched them for a long time. At Lochranza we stayed at the campsite.

Laggon Cottage

Cock of Arran
Loch Ranza

Lochranza campsite
Leaving Lochranza I was delighted to see some Deer on the Loch shores enjoying the early morning sun. The coastal path here spends a lot of time following the road as far as Pirnmill, but it’s a quiet road and still a fine walk. From Pirnmill you get off the road for a while to Imachar. It’s not the easiest of sections with a lot of rock-hopping but it’s wild and beautiful with a number of caves to explore, and surprisingly, a burial ground.

Whitefarland Point

Imachar Point

Machrie Stone Circle
While not exactly on the Coastal Path you can easily detour to the Machrie Stone Circles. There are a number of circles around here and it’s well worth a visit.

Final Camp

That evening I got the message my father’s health had deteriorated and he had been admitted to hospital. This was always a possibility and has been the reason I’ve not managed to do any long hikes for the last 18 months. I was going to have to abandon and head home.

On top of that, I also heard my storage locker in Perth had flooded after flash floods the day before. In that locker is a lot of outdoor kit, which would be fine, but also 30yrs of photos which I was more worried about. The photos had got really wet but they dried out well enough. I’ve since moved all my gear from Perth to much nearer home in Yorkshire.
Perth storage locker

Drying photo albums in a hotel room