Isle of Arran Walks
Date: 11th Sept 2006
Distance: 4.50 miles
Ascent: 1130 feet
Time: 2 hours 20 mins
Start Grid Ref: NS053309
This walk on Holy Island, accessed via a boat trip from Lamlash, was a unique and rewarding experience.
Route Summary: North Jetty - Mullach Beag - Mullach Mor - Pillar Rock Point - White Point - North Jetty
1. Looking across Lamlash Bay to the Clauchland Hills
2. The ponies we saw on the way up on to Mullach Beag
3. The top of Mullach Beag looking to Lamlash
4. Whiting Bay
5. The top of Mullach Mor
6. A distant view of Ailsa Craig
7. Lisa descending Mullach Mor
8. The south eastern coastline of Holy Island
9. One of the numerous Buddhist rock paintings we saw
10. Holy Island from Lamlash
Walk Detail: It was quite a gloomy start to the day and we’d initially decided to do a driving tour of the southern half of Arran before going to Brodick. By the time we got to Lamlash the skies were beginning to improve so we decided to catch the ferry over to Holy Island.
The 'ferry' itself was in fact a small boat and apart from me and Lisa there was only one other passenger on the outward-bound leg. We were greeted by a chap from the Tibetan retreat who gave us a quick talk about the island before we set off through the woods, bracken and purple heather aiming firstly for Mullach Beag.
About half way up we encountered a large group of ponies that showed little sign of being bothered by our presence. Although not a particularly difficult climb Lisa was quite pleased to have a break when we reached the top of Mullach Beag. At this point the top of Mullach Mor was still covered in cloud but fortunately it soon blew over and we reached the top after a short but fairly stiff climb to be bathed in sunshine.
The top itself was very small in extent and the trig point was draped in rather tatty prayer flags. As the top was quite exposed and the wind had really picked up we sheltered in the lee side of the summit and ate some food and relaxed in the heather before attempting the steep and rocky descent to the southern end of the island.
After a quick visit to look at the lighthouse at Pillar Rock Point we returned along the coastal path on the western side of the island. Numerous Buddhist rock paintings dotted about beside the path added interest to this section. The highlight though was the dramatic and beguiling sight of gannets diving like into the sea catching fish. It was something I could have watched all day.
While we did not get the weather required to see much of Arran from the top of Mullach Mor we did spot Alisa Craig and considering the weather the rest of the week we did pick the right time to do this rather nice and very different little walk.