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North Sannox to Brodick via Beinn Tarsuinn

By Ian Tupman   

on March 22, 2018    No ratings yet.

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

North Sannox to Brodick via Beinn Tarsuinn

Further Details

Route Summary:

A tough, high level route taking in some of the main peaks on the island

This walk includes the 3 Corbetts of Caisteal Abhail, Beinn Tarsuinn, Cir Mhor

Route Start Location: North Sannox bridge/Brodick ferry terminal

19.17 km 1214 m 6-8 hours

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

Activivity Type: Hard Walk

Summits and Places on this Route


The usual facilities are to be found in Brodick but none en route.


Some boggy ground in North Glen Sannox and again on the descent into Glen Rosa

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 : Not applicable

Not applicable

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


North Sannox to Brodick via Beinn Tarsuinn Ordnance Survey Map and GPX File Download

Download file for GPS

North Sannox to Brodick via Beinn Tarsuinn

A long, north to south linear route on the Isle of Arran with much ascent and descent as it includes three of the highest mountains on the island.

Route Description

From the ferry terminal, take the 324 (via north island) bus and ask for the car park at North Sannox bridge on the A841 Lochranza road. From the car park, take the good path heading west and continue through the forest.

Emerging from the forest, the path turns south on the left bank of the burn. Cross the burn and head towards the bottom of the crags which run north-south between Garbh Choire and Coire Nan Ceum.

North Sannox to Brodick via Beinn Tarsuinn
Approaching the second burn crossing and heading for the broad ridge on the right

Cross a second burn and make your way up the pathless ridge to Caisteal Abhail.

North Sannox to Brodick via Beinn TarsuinnCaisteal Abhail summit far right

The ‘Castles’ as they are known comprise two granite tors and it’s worth scrambling onto at least one of them for the superb views.

North Sannox to Brodick via Beinn Tarsuinn
The view south from Caisteal Abhail

In poor visibility it is easy to become disorientated when leaving the summit but make your way on a roughly south-west heading being careful to avoid the steep drop off into the corrie on the left.

On a fine day the view across the corrie rim to Cir Mhor is one of the best on the island. Follow  the path to its lowest point and then climb steadily over bouldery ground towards Cir Mhor.

(Our route by-passes Cir Mhor but if time allows, a detour to its summit is well-worth the effort)

Look for a feint path on the right which traverses the western flank of Cir Mhor and continue to the col at the head of Fionn Choire. If fatigue has taken hold, the path down into Glen Rosa provides an escape route to avoid what is to come.

Climb gently south-west towards A’Chir, looking  for a drop down to the right over a large boulder and pick up the path which falls and rises as it runs below the west face of A’Chir. Water can normally be found emerging from the ground in a couple of places to the left of the path – very welcome on a warm day.

The path eventually rises to the col at Bealach an Fhir-bhogha. Continue south-west and climb the steep but good path to the summit of Beinn Tarsuinn.

North Sannox to Brodick via Beinn Tarsuinn
Looking towards Beinn Nuis from Beinn Tarsuinn

Leave the summit and head south-south-west along the excellent, broad ridge. Look out for the Old Man of Tarsuinn, probably the oldest (and grumpiest!) island resident.

North Sannox to Brodick via Beinn Tarsuinn
The Old Man Of Tarsuinn

The views from the ridge are superb with the Goatfell massif to the east and the Mull of Kintyre to the west. Climb steadily to the summit of Beinn Nuis.

From the summit, take the steep path down the south-east ridge until reaching the  easier but boggier ground above Garbh Allt.

North Sannox to Brodick via Beinn Tarsuinn
Crossing the boggy ground on the descent from Beinn Nuis

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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