Arran Coastal Way – Including The Goat Fell Range
In 2009 we decided to walk the Arran Coastal Way. The Arran Coastal Way, relatively short at 65 miles, is deceptive as it involves some rugged walking over boulder fields and mountain paths.
Every year for the past 10 years, our small walking group have taken on a least one long distance walk or National Trail. In this time we have completed the Coast to Coast Walk, the West Highland Way, the Southern Upland Way (Scotland’s Coast to Coast), the Rob Roy Way, the Offa’s Dyke Path, the Arran Coastal Way, the Pembrokeshire Coast Path and the Pennine Way. Some of the trails have been split over 2 years and we did the Pennine Way in 4 sections, some over a long weekend.
This was my third visit to the island of Arran and it is not called Scotland in miniature without reason. It is a beautiful island with terrific mountain walking, wildlife and scenery to match. Unfortunately the accommodation leaves something to be desired, with many hotels still in the 1960’s as far as facilities are concerned.
However it was an enjoyable week even though it rained most of the time and although the Arran Coastal Way was fine in parts, it cannot really be called a coastal path as there’s quite a lot of road walking. Having said that the mountain ranges are highly recommended, especially the Goatfell and Cir Mhor ranges. On a good day with clear visibility, some stunning views make the climb worthwhile.
Ireland, the islands of Islay and Jura can be clearly seen from the Goatfell summit at 874 metres/2,866 ft and if you are lucky you may see one of our nuclear submarines in the Clyde. It could be returning or leaving it’s base at Coulport where the Trident warheads are loaded. There are a number of walking guides devoted to the Arran Coastal Way for anyone who wants further information.
Depending on which translation you use Goatfell gets it’s name from the Gaelic – gaoth (the mountain of wind), or the Norse – geita (goats mountain). The video shows a variety of views and also conditions underfoot.