Friends of 2019 AMF can Book Online Now
Booking is now open for Friends of 2019 AMF only and from 21st December for all others.

Whitebeams & Wildlife of the Western Hills

This walk gives an opportunity to learn about the Arran Whitebeams, as well as experiencing a range of mountain wildlife. Arran is home to three species of tree which do not occur anywhere else in the world, the Arran Whitebeam (Sorbus arranensis), Cut-leaved Whitebeam (Sorbus pseudofennica) and Catacol Whitebeam (Sorbus pseudomeinichii).

 | Overview


Highest Point Gained

Total Ascent

Walk Duration

Some rough mountain paths and steep sections; no scrambling but potentially hard going on pathless, wet and tussocky moorland  

Technical Rating
Some hands-on clambering over rocks but no exposure, generally on good paths, occasional rough or muddy ground underfoot. This is the easiest technical grade we offer, but we recommend that you have at least some hillwalking practice before you arrive.

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.


Saturday 18 May 2019

Meeting Time

Booking Link

Meeting Place
Apart from the Goatfell night walk, all walks start and finish at Arran Adventure, located next to the Playbarn in the grounds of the Auchrannie Spa Resort in Brodick. Transport is provided from there. Click here for a map.

 | Walk description

Starting at Catacol, this route uses the path up Glen Catacol and into Gleann Diomhan. Look out for adders along the way! You will spend some time there looking at the Arran Whitebeams, which are Scotland’s rarest native trees. Whilst the Arran Whitebeam was first recorded in 1897, the Catacol Whitebeam was only found as recently as 2007. In global terms, they are officially classed as dangerously close to extinction.
From there, you will leave the path and head steeply up onto Beinn Tarsuinn, the highest point of the walk at 556m, and the haunt of golden plovers, golden eagles and red deer. You will continue across wet, pathless terrain and descend to Loch Tanna under the scree slopes of Beinn Bharrain, where you may see some early sundew and cotton grass. The route then rises from the loch to reach Coire Fhionn Lochan where we can have a paddle before heading down the path to Thundergay, enjoying the wonderful views out over to Kintyre and beyond.

 | Advised Kit List

Suggested Hill Clothing
  • 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
Suggested minimum daysac contents
  • Waterproof (not showerproof) trousers
  • Waterproof (not showerproof) jacket
  • Spare fleece (in addition to one being worn)
  • Spare socks
  • Woollen or fleece hat
  • Gloves
  • Packed lunch and drink
  • Any personal medicines
  • Sun cream and insect repellent

Friends of 2019 AMF can Book Online Now
Booking is now open for Friends of 2019 AMF only and from 21st December for all others.