Route: Goatfell

Area: Scotland, Isle of Arran

Date of walk: 21st October 2021

Walkers: Andrew, Gilly and James

Distance: 7.5 miles

Ascent: 2,900 feet

Weather:  Sunshine and blue skies most of the time, one brief shower

Goatfell or Goat Fell (the former is preferred by locals) is the highest mountain on Arran and stands at a height of 2,867 feet or 874 metres. This has been the number one walk on our wish list since we arrived on the island six days ago, but low cloud and rain have ruled it out – until today, our last day here

We made an early start and parked in the Cladach Visitor Centre near Brodick. We passed by the Arran Brewery and started the long climb, which is initially through woodland and then across heather moorland, accompanied by various tributaries of the Cnocan Burn. The summit of Goatfell came into view at an early stage in the walk, and from then on it was never out of sight. There are no false summits on this route

The gradient was gentle for much of the way, but gradually increased as we climbed onto the shoulder of Meall Breac. From here the path swings more to the left, and the final push to the summit looks very intimidating seen from below. We’d read that there was some scrambling involved, so felt a little nervous about the final section. Our fears were groundless however. The final section is certainly steep, but there are no dangers and hands aren’t needed, thanks to a superbly crafted rock staircase

After a stiff climb we suddenly arrived at the small summit plateau, marked by a white trig point and a view indicator. The views over the surrounding peaks and ridges were awesome, and as an added bonus we had the place to ourselves

It’s possible to descend to Corrie from here and catch the bus back, but we were content to retrace our steps, enjoying some fabulous views over Brodick Bay along the way. It had been a wonderful walk – one of the very best – and a perfect ending to our short stay on Arran

Click on the icon below for the route map (subscribers to OS Maps can view detailed maps of the route, visualise it in aerial 3D, and download the GPX file. Non-subscribers will see a base map)

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