The 2021 Festival is now over. Many thanks to everyone who took part and enabled it to happen in these difficult times. Hope to see you all next year!

Gaelic in the Mountains – Gleann Diomhan & Meall Mor

Understanding Arran’s many evocative Gaelic place names adds another dimension to walking in the island’s hills. On this walk, a local Gaelic speaker illustrates their descriptive nature and shares the stories and characters associated with them. In addition, this route has wildlife and scenic interest all the way as it winds its way up through two beautiful glens before taking to the little-frequented hills, giving vistas of Arran’s central mountain complex and over the Kilbrannan Sound.

 | Overview


Highest Point Gained
575m - Beinn Bhreac

Total Ascent

Walk Duration

Majority of walk on pathless, rough moorland, some of it boggy. Some steep ascents and descents. 

Technical Rating
Easy scrambling, elements of exposure, some rough terrain.

Endurance Rating
Sustained steep ascents and descents, long-distance, stamina required, suitable for fit walkers. Have you had recent experience of walking for 6-8 hours? Have you recently walked up (and down) a mountain of over 1000m (3000ft) in height without physical distress? Do you regularly play an aerobic sport pretty much every week? If your answer is "No", we'd guess you'd be happier doing a walk rated a level lower than the one you’ve just read! As noted previously, we're into FUN so we don't want you to miss out by overdoing it.


Sunday 16 May 2021

Meeting Time

Meeting Place

Catacol (exact location will be confirmed upon booking)

 | Photo Gallery

 | Walk description

The walk starts at the car park at Fairhaven in Catacol. It takes the path up Glen Catacol and then into Gleann Diomhan past the rare endemic Arran whitebeams to the top of the pass.

Here the route leaves the path & works its way up wild pathless terrain first onto Beinn Bhreac and then over to the heathery hill of Meall Mor, before stravaiging across the moorland to the trig point above Catacol. With few people frequenting these hills, there are good chances of spotting mountain wildlife.

There is a final steep descent to the public road & the short walk back to the cars.

Route Profile

 | Advised Kit List

Essential hill gear

  • NO jeans – anyone wearing jeans will not be allowed to start the walk, and no refund will be possible
  • Stout hill walking boots
  • Appropriate walking trousers, top layers and fleece – preferably no cotton layers
  • Waterproof (not showerproof) trousers
  • Waterproof (not showerproof) jacket
  • Spare layers
  • Woollen or fleece hat
  • Gloves
  • Packed lunch and drink - please consider the use of re-useable water bottles and food wrapping.
  • Any personal medicines

Other recommended kit

  • Sun cream and insect repellent
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • Spare socks
  • Blister plasters

The 2021 Festival is now over. Many thanks to everyone who took part and enabled it to happen in these difficult times. Hope to see you all next year!