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Arran Coast to Coast Walk

By Ian Tupman   

on March 14, 2018    4.5/5 (2)

Posted as a walk in – Europe, Isle of Arran, Scotland

Arran Coast to Coast Walk

Further Details

Route Summary:

A linear route with a gentle walk up Glen Iorsa followed by a steep ascent of Beinn Nuis and a descent across some boggy ground into Glen Rosa before a stroll into Brodick

Route Start Location: Dougarie slipway (west coast) and Brodick ferry terminal (east coast)

19.17 km 852 m 5-6 hours

Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.

Activivity Type: Hard Walk

Summits and Places on this Route


None until reaching Brodick


Iorsa Water has to be crossed, Midges can spoil your day June to September

Remember that we cannot outline every single hazard on a walk – it’s up to you to be safe and competent. Read up on Mountain Safety , Navigation and what equipment you’ll need.

Parking : Start - KA27 8EB Finish - KA27 8AU

Unless using two cars, parking is not necessary but is possible at both the start and the finish of the route.

Public Transport:

Ferries to the Isle of Arran are operated all year (subject to weather) by Calmac

The bus timetable on Arran (Mar 2018) revolves around the ferries and if making a day visit from the mainland, be sure not to miss the last boat!

Traveline for UK Public Transport

Recommended Maps


Arran Coast to Coast Walk Ordnance Survey Map and GPX File Download

Download file for GPS

Arran Coast to Coast Walk

There is something strangely satisfying about setting off from one side of an island and walking to the other. This west to east crossing of the Isle of Arran from Dougarie to Brodick provides a varied and satisfying day out.

Note that between June and September, the Highland midge can really spoil your day if you are not well-protected. There are various products available but Smidge  seems to be effective for most people.

Arran Coast to Coast Route

This is a linear route and unless two vehicles are used, the best option is to take the 324 (north island) bus from Brodick and ask to be dropped at Dougarie for the Glen Iorsa path. If on a day visit from the mainland, you will probably need to catch the 07.00 ferry from Ardrossan to allow sufficient time to get back to Brodick for the return ferry.

From the road, take the track signposted ‘Glen Iorsa’ and at a left hand bend, go straight ahead onto a path. The path soon joins a track from the right and passes through a wooden gate.

Entering Glen Iorsa

Continue on the track until it finishes at the boat house on the shore of Loch Iorsa. From here the ground may be boggy and it’s a case of picking your way along the left bank of the loch until you find a suitable place to cross to the right bank. There are several sand banks which may assist the crossing.

If the river is in spate it’s probably best to turn back or maybe change your route to take in the north-west mountains above Pirnmill and then catch the bus back round to Brodick.

Arran Coast to Coast Walk
A crossing point on Iorsa Water

Having dried your feet and had some refreshment, it’s time to start the ascent to Loch Nuis. Head south-east and keeping to the right of the burn, climb the pathless slope until it rises over the crest and head for the corner of the conifer plantation. Turn north-east and skirt the west shore of Loch Nuis.

Loch Nuis and Beinn Nuis

Continue north-east and climb the steep south-west slope of Beinn Nuis to the summit at 792m.

Admiring the view north from Beinn Nuis

The views are spectacular. To the west, the Mull of Kintyre and the north-western mountains. To the east and south, the hills behind Brodick. And to the north, Beinn Tarsuinn and the northern mountains beckon you toward them but that is for another day – our route takes us down the steep south-east ridge of Beinn Nuis until we reach easier but boggier ground above Garbh Allt. Enter a fenced area and cross to the east side of the burn where the fencing drops down to the water. Climb up the other side and pass through a gate.

Keeping to the left (north) side of Garbh Allt, pick your way across the boggy ground and descend to join the main Glen Rosa path.

Turn south, cross the wooden footbridge and continue on the track, passing the camp site on the left. Stay on the surfaced road now until it joins the main B880. Turn left and then right at the junction with the A842 and walk the remaining distance into Brodick.

Ian lives In Ardrossan and being only a fifty five minutes ferry crossing to Brodick, the Isle of Arran is his 'back yard'. He knows the mountains of the north of the island well and has walked every permutation of routes over the various summits. He is now spending more time further north exploring the Cairngorms, the far north-west and the mountains of the west of Scotland.

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