The 2022 Festival is now over. Many thanks to everyone who took part and enabled it to happen. Hope to see you all next year!

Holy Isle Mountain Walk

Please note that there is an additional charge of £17 for the ferry service across to/from Holy Isle.

A great opportunity to get magnificent views across Arran and parts of the west of Scotland from the highest point of Holy Isle, and to find out about Arran's pioneering No Take Zone and its fascinating underwater life. Run in conjunction with the Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST), this walk will provide you with an insight into COAST’s campaigning and marine conservation work, which has resulted in the designation of the South Arran Marine Protected Area.

The island is a Buddhist retreat, so the walking route will be clockwise over the high points of the island returning to the ferry by the shore. Smoking, vaping, alcohol and other drugs are not permitted.

 | Overview


Highest Point Gained
314m - Mullach Mòr

Total Ascent

Walk Duration

Rough hill path, some clambering over rocks, some steep ascents/descents

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

Endurance Rating
Long distance, some steep ascent and descent, moderate amount of stamina needed in bursts, suitable for reasonably fit walkers. Have had recent experience of walking for 5-7 hours? Have you recently walked up (and down) hills without physical too much distress? 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.

£18 plus ferry cost (£17pp, payable in cash on the day)

Saturday 14 May 2022

Meeting Time

Meeting Place

 | Photo Gallery

 | Walk description

Holy Isle, although only three kilometres long, dramatically rises to over 300 metres in height. It is home to Buddhist monks, seabirds, feral ponies, sheep and goats and boasts a diverse history.

Following the ferry crossing, someone from the Buddhist centre will welcome you to the island.

From the pier the route heads uphill, firstly through pasture, woodland and bracken before following a rough path onto open moorland to Mullach Beag, the first top of the day. A further ascent along a broad ridge and onto Mullach Mòr, the highest point on the island, is rewarded with magnificent views across the Clyde and north towards Arran’s mountains. The descent down to the coast is steep, with cliffs on either side.

The much gentler coastal path back to the ferry is dotted with several traditional Buddhist rock paintings.

At the Buddhist centre, there may be the opportunity to purchase refreshments and handmade crafts, as well as explore the organic vegetable garden.

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 2022 Festival is now over. Many thanks to everyone who took part and enabled it to happen. Hope to see you all next year!