Goat Fell Isle of Arran
Where: Goat Fell, Isle of Arran
When: June 2013
Who: I Parker
Why: Good weather so a day out
Distance: about 7 miles
The image below is of the Arran ferry
Caledonian Isles arriving at
Ardrossan. This image was taken from the
ferry car park at Ardrossan pier. It costs
about £11 per person for a day return on
the ferry, and about £70 per return for
a car, so many people park here for a few
pounds per day, rather than take the car. If
you are taking a car at weekends or in the
school holiday season, it is best to
pre-book, as the ferry can be fully booked
Ardrossan Train Station is situated less
than half of a mile south of the ferry
terminal. You can normally buy train/ferry
tickets together with a discount. Train/Ferry
The first ferry normally departs Ardrossan
at 07.00 and the next at 09.45. Afternoon
ferries leaving Brodick are normally 16.40
and 19.20. In summer, there is also a smaller
fery that runs so there will be more
crossings available. Price checks and
timetables for the ferry can be found at the
The image below is of one of the
restaurants on board the ferry. I was on the
first ferry at 07.00, and it takes about 1
hour to cross to Brodick, so had to have the
The image below is from the ferry looking
at the 2,866 ft Goat Fell mountain sitting
high above Brodick Castle. The line shows
roughly the tourist trail to the top.
The tourist trail departs from the
Wineport Bar & Bistro at Cladach, under 2
miles north of Brodick, follows a well marked
woodland path up onto the side of the
mountain, climbs steady up a path to the east
ridge, then goes up the fairly steep and
rocky east ridge.
The image below is from the ferry as it is
approaching Brodick on the Isle of Arran. The
bus station is situated right next to the
ferry terminal. Bus times north to Cladach,
Corrie, Sannox, Lochranza, round to
Blackwaterfoot and back to Brodick via the
road across the middle of the island are
about 10:55 . 13:40 . 16:20 . 19:05. Check
times Tel - 0141 332 6811. These buses are
normally timed to depart about 5 minutes
after the ferry has docked. There does not
seem to be a bus for the first ferry
In summer, there is also an Open Top Bus
that runs between Brodick Pier and Brodick
Castle to the north, and Lamlash and Whiting
Bay to the south, also a tour around the
north of the island.
There is also the Bay Garage at the
terminal that offers low cost car hire, phone
01770 302 839. If you do a loup round the
mountains and end up at the Corrie Hotel, or
Sannox Hotel, and the buses have not suited,
you can get a taxi back to Brodick. Or if you
are off the first ferry, a taxi may be the
only way out to one of the trails, other than
Bay Garrage also offer up to 8 seat mini
buses for Hiking Parties, Golf Parties, or
Island Tours. For more information, call
George on Mob: 07967 587 481 or Day: 01770
700 345 or Evening: 01770 820 286.
A.R.C. Private Hire are based in Brodick
with a price guide for up to 4 people of
about £5 between Brodick and Cladach,
£10 between Brodick and Corrie, and
£15 between Brodick and Sannox. Tel:
0777 608 2752.
Note the large brown building by the
terminal, that is the Douglas Hotel with a
popular beer garden, ideal for a refreshment
when waiting on the ferry. The white building
just to the right of the douglas, is another
hotel with a popular beer garden and bouncy
castle for kids.
The image below is of the Wineport Bar and
Bistro at Cladach, under 2 mile north of
Brodick. Behind the Bistro is the Arran
Brewery. The well marked Goat Fell trail
starts from next to the brewery shop, just
behind the bistro. There is a car park in
front of the bistro, and another car park
across the road. Map.
This image was taken early in the morning.
On my return in the afternoon, there were
many hikers in the beer garden here enjoying
cool beer made in the brewery next door.
The small sign next to this larger sign,
stated it was three and a half miles to Goat
Fell, so off I set up past the bistro and
brewery shop to the start of the trail.
Websites: www.mackenzieleather.co.uk .
www.arranactive.co.uk . arranpottery.co.uk . www.wineport.co.uk .
The image below is of the trail through
the woodland. Just keep going uphill and do
not turn onto any paths or roads leading off
this main trail.
The image below is of the Goat Fell Trail
after it clears the woodland. There is a
wooden hiking bridge just up from here, then
a gate through a deer fence. Once through the
deer fence, the path climbs steady up
alongside Goat Fell to the east ridge.
The image below is from the Goat Fell
trail as it reaches the east ridge. The path
goes straight up the east ridge, through
rocks for about 700 ft. The trail up here is
fairly straight forward most of the time, but
has a few spots that have about 3 or 4 feet
steps to climb up, so a number of places you
could easily loose your footing. This section
is so steep, it is normally hiked slow and
The image below is of the east ridge
getting close to the top. The path up this
section is fairly easy to follow, even in
The image below is of the final section of
Goat Fell mountain. The path winds its way
round to the left close to the top, up the
south side, then back to the east side as
seen in this image, for the final short hike
to the summit.
Try and remember this route and take a
compass reading from the east ridge, so if it
clouds over on top, you can find the path
back down safely. The trail on the final
section is faint, so is not easy to follow
back down in cloud. Most hikers caught in
thick cloud on the top, wait for a clear
spell before starting down off the top
section, as there are cliffs all around.
The image below is of the Trig Point and
Cairn on top of Goat Fell, looking northwest
to the 2,818 ft Caisteal Abhail, second
highest mountain on Arran.
There were a lot of girls and women on the
mountain, and they all seemed to know their
way over mountains. Not sure where any of
them were from, apart from one girl I met on
the route back down named Kylie from Perth in
The image below is of the route over past
the pointy 2,621 ft Cir Mhor to Caisteal
Abhail. Only seasoned hikers seem to use that
route, as Caisteal Abhail has a few dangerous
There is a local guide company that
provide tours of that range, Local
There is a trail from down on the lowest
part named The Saddle, that leads left down
Glen Rosa, back to the north end of Brodick.
The trail from The Saddle to the right, leads
up Glen Sannox to Sannox village. It is about
8 miles from Sannox to Brodick, about
£15 for a taxi. The Sannox Hotel has a
beer garden and the Corrie Golf Course,
situated on the north side of Sannox, has a
The image below is looking north from Goat
Fell to North Goat Fell. There are routes
back down over North Goat Fell to the
villages of Corrie and Sannox.
The image below is from the route over to
the 2,683 ft North Goat Fell and the 2,687 ft
Mullach Buidhe out and to the right of North
On the far side of North Goat Fell, you
can see a trail run down into the valley.
That trail runs to the south side of Corrie
village, named High Corrie.
I met hikers on top of Goat Fell that had
just hiked up the valley trail from Corrie,
and over North Goat Fell. They stated they
thought it was a lot tougher route than the
Goat Fell trail from Cladach.
The image below is of the trail back down
the east ridge of Goat Fell. Note the tourist
trail back to Cladach runs off the ridge and
down to the right.
Note over to the left in this image, the
valley trail back to Corrie village. There is
also a trail down off Goat Fell, at the
bottom of the east ridge, over to the Corrie
The image below is of the trail back down
to Cladach as it crosses the hikers bridge,
just above the woodland path. The trail back
down seemed longer than going up.
The image below is of a hotel in the
centre of Brodick, just south of the pier
with a beer garden, a popular spot for
refreshments when waiting on the ferry.
The image below is of another hotel
looking over the pier, another popular spot
for refreshments when waiting on the
The Goat Fell Map below shows the Tourist
Trail in Blue. The Green and Yellow dots show
good trails, and the Green and Brown dots
show the more difficult routes.
Goat Fell Range
The hike to Goat Fell was enjoyable and
fairly steady much of the way. The final 700
ft up the east ridge was probably as steep,
if not steeper, than many Munros. The rugged
tops of the mountains all around, make for
stunning views. The trail was dry and good
all the way in this warm dry spell, could not
see any places that could get soggy even in
wet spells. Many hikers were in shorts and
trainers. The granite rocks may be a bit
slippy in the rain though.
I took two and a half hours to get to the
top, so the hike to the top and back probably
averages between 4 and 6 hours. I had to wait
around on top for about 4 hours to get the
images I needed, as the cloud was slow to
clear. The wait was well worth it as the
views in the sun are increadible.
There is a bar or hotel with a beer garden
at the end of most of the trails, so that
certainly makes the hike even more enjoyable.
I really appreciate a cool glass of ale after
a long hike. I missed a cool glass of Arran
Blonde at the Wineport Beer Garden, said to
be a real nice drink after a hike, next
For information on Corrie and Sanox, visit
the Tour of Arran Page.