Goatfell Walk

With the good weather continuing, I decided to walk up Goatfell in Arran. I took the train from Glasgow Central to Ardrossan in Ayrshire then caught the ferry to Arran. The train was one of the new 380 class, which First Scotrail have introduced and is very comfortable.

The ferry journey was uneventful and I arrived in Brodick at the scheduled time of 10.40. I took a bus to the start of the path at the Wineport Bar and started the climb to the top. It was very warm and sunny, so had 2 litres of water with me and plenty of food.

Start of the Climb

Bottom of Climb
Bottom of Climb

The path was quite busy, no doubt due to the warm sunny weather and many people had brought their dogs with them.

The first part of the climb is on a well-defined path which is easy to walk on, but is fairly steep.

As I walked up, I passed a number of people taking a rest, but I kept on walking, drinking plenty of water to keep me hydrated. It is very important to keep drinking fluid during exercise to avoid dehydration.

Scenery Below
Scenery Below

Occasionally, I would turn round to admire the scenery below and had good views of Brodick and beyond.

The surface of the path continued to be good and this helped me keep my pace up.

Busy Path

Many people were walking down the hill, as I walked up it and so it got quite congested at times. With about three-quarters of the climb completed the path changed from a good surface to a rocky one and was less well defined, as well as being harder to climb. It also became much steeper.

View from Top Looking West
View from Top Looking West

Fortunately, the rocks were dry and not slippery, as it would have been much harder to climb in wet weather.

My progress at this point was much slower than before and I could see the people in front of me also moving more slowly than before.

Golden Eagle

As I neared the summit, the path seemed to get less steep and the rocks formed small steps which made the last stretch a bit easier. A bird of prey was hovering near the summit and looked like a golden eagle, but as I didn’t have my binoculars to get a closer look, I could not be sure. Golden eagles are known to frequent the area so it probably was one that I saw.

View from top
View from top

Soon I was at the summit and able to enjoy the spectacular views of the surrounding area and hills.

The Cumbrae Islands, Jura and Islay could also be seen. The climb had taken me 2.5 hours.

Lunch at the Top

I had lunch at the summit before making my way down the hill again. This was a bit tricky in places and I wished I had brought walking poles with me. I managed to get to the bottom without falling, although I did slip a few times.

View from top
View from top

I walked back to Brodick and spent some time there before catching the ferry back to Ardrossan.

Conclusions

The walk was fairly easy, as the path and rocks were dry. If it had been wet it would have been far more difficult and dangerous, especially near the top of the climb and on the descent.

I was also surprised at the number of people who only had small bottles of water with them and a small amount of food. With the warm weather and the heat, a small bottle was probably not going to be enough.

At the top, I saw a young boy with a bottle of water which was nearly empty. If that’s all the water he had he may have had hydration problems on the way down.

Map of the Area

Further Details
Height – 874 m, 2867ft
Grid Ref –  NR991415
OS Maps – Explorer 361 1:25,000, Landranger 69 1:50,000

Ferry Details – http://www.calmac.co.uk

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