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Local Walks & Hikes at Isle of Eriska and further Afield!

  
  
  
Beinn Lora - Isle of Eriska

As we do have a considerable wealth in terms of nature and scenic landscapes we wanted to share some of our walking routes with you, perfect for the full day trip, the holiday challenge, and some of the smaller ones near and around our beautiful island!

For the leisurely strolls there are plentiful walks within a short distance of Eriska whether it be the circular walk round the Island of Kerrera or the energetic climb up Ben Cruachan, the office at the hotel can offer guidance, maps and even a Garmin Handheld GPS to insure you are fully equipped.

Ben Cruachan - 14km /8.5 miles - 7 hours - 9 hours


Ben Cruachan is one of the finest Munro's in the southern Highlands, its pointed peak towering above its rocky satellites giving great views. Ranging 1376m above sea level it is quite a challenge. The ridge walk to Stob Daimh makes a great circuit around the Cruachan reservoir. It consists of steep and rocky paths with a small section of easy scrambling. The descent is a grassy slope which can be boggy in the final sections.

The walk...

The video above shows off some of the incredible views and the challenge of getting to the top and back down the Stob Daihm route. 

Getting there...

Only a 30 Min drive from Isle of Eriska, following the A85. Should you wish to use public transport, Ben Cruachan is available by train and bus. Get the train from Connel Ferry to Falls of Cruachan Station (summer only) or the bus service to Ben Cruachan Power Station Visitor Centre.

What to bring...

This one of the more challenging hikes and would be in need of some planning depending on the season, navigation skills and much more! Some of the basics are as follows;

Food & Drink

The actual amount of energy needed depends on a number of factors: your body weight, age, gender plus the distance and total height gain of the walk. In hill walking, your muscles need both carbohydrate and fatty acids. If the available carbohydrate is reduced too much, then you will have to slow down. Good food also provides the motivation to complete - and enjoy - your expedition.

The most important requirement is water. When we exercise, our body temperature is controlled by the evaporation of sweat from the body surface. If your body is dehydrated, then heat can't be dissipated in this way. This can result in the rapid onset of heat exhaustion.

Other Essentials

There is definately more planning in these long walk and some essentials are needed;

  • Suitable clothing and footwear
  • Suitable map, compass and a route plan
  • Basic first aid kit
  • A watch

Remember that the essentials may vary depending on season! There is much difference between getting heat struck and snow and ice! 

Walking on Isle of Lismore (Achnacroish and Salen Circuit) - 9.5km / 5.75 miles - 2.5 hours - 3.5 hours

Lismore from the airLismore, long, narrow, low-lying and fertile, sits neatly in Loch Linnhe in the south-western end of the Great Glen. The island is tranquil and unspoiled, and surrounded on all sides by stunning mountain scenery, from Ben Nevis in the north (snow-covered in winter) and the Glencoe hills, round, in a clockwise direction, to Ben Cruachan, the hills of Mull to the south and Morvern to the west.

There is a network of little-used old footpaths which criss-cross the island and make possible a variety of different routes. All could be done in a day from the mainland.

The walk...

This fine circuit starts at Achnacroish, the 'capital' of the beautiful island of Lismore and landing point for the Oban car ferry. It follows sections of both the southeast and northwest coastline of the island and offers wonderful views as well as a cafe at the half way point. 

First section of path can be boggy but the rest of the walk follows tracks and minor roads. A short section of track at Salen can be impassable at very high tides. For detailed walk descriptions follow this link

Getting There...

Only a 20 minute drive from Isle of Eriska is Port Appin where the ferry takes you over to Lismore. Leave the car on the main land and the ferry takes you across for £1.60 per person every full hour and leaves back every half hour

What to bring...

Good shoes although it may be mainly flat, good shoes are a walker's best friend! A small rucksack with an extra dry layer is always recommended. Halfway through the circuit you will reach the Lismore Heritage Centre and cafe where you can enjoy tea and cakes. If you are more of the packed lunch kind of person the hotel can provide packed lunches with fruit and sandwiches. 

Beinn Lora - 5.5km / 3.4 Miles or 15.5KM / 9.6 Miles  - 2.5 hours - 4.5 hours

Beinn Lora may only be 308 metres high but its position means that the magnificent views from its summit match those from many a Munro. The approach uses way marked forestry walks but the section before the final pull up to the top is a swamp. If you have four legged friends bring them with you, they are good help on the steepest parts and excellent walking company. 

Getting There... 

The walk can be started from the hotel or from the Beinn Lora car park in Beinn Lora which is part of Barcaldine. Benderloch is the nearest town or village. The car park is situated next to Ledaig Motors filling station or 'Pink Shop' in the centre of Benderloch on the A828 Oban to Fort William road and the sign for Beinn Lora is visible from the road. This is the start of two woodland walks with steep climbs but fantastic views over the Lynn of Lorne.

Only 4 miles from the hotel, following the A828, one can be at the foot of Beinn Lora within a swift 10 minutes by car or approximately 1 hour if one decides to walk from the hotel. 

Beinn Lora   lismore in the backThe walk...

When starting from the car park one can start by walking left or right (both taking you up to the same point), the only difference is that the path to the right will be steeper t first before it becomes flatter midway, the path leading left will start off slightly easier but become steep at the top. Personally we believe the best views are from the path to the right! If you follow this link, it will take you through the walk step by step. On a sunny day you look straight onto Lismore in the background. 

Isle of Eriska - Beinn LoraWhat to bring...

Good shoes, some areas of this walk is quite rocky and a solid thick sole in your shoes will help a lot. A small rucksack for a packed lunch is essential, and should you have a sweet tooth the 'pink shop' is conveniently placed at the bottom for those who like to bring that little extra treat. Your camera! This 'little' hill has some stunning views not to be missed! Also do you have four legged friends bring them too, they are great for pulling you up the hills!

 

 

KerreraWalking on Isle of Kerrera - 9.65km / 6 miles - 2.5 hours - 3.5 hours

Take a trip to Kerrera to hike around the circular 6 mile route cutting across to the other side of the island to enjoy views of Mull and Lismore. Kerrera is the island which is visible directly from Oban Bay. Kerrera is quite a large island and can be compared with Scarba, Seil and Luing, it is however scarcely populated and provides excellent shelter for the Oban harbour. The current population is around 35 people. 

The walk...

Starting from the ferry terminal, this route heads south along the east coast of the island. The bay on your left-hand side here is called Horseshoe Bay. It was here in 1249 that King Alexander II died while attempting to re-take western Scotland from the Norwegians.

On reaching the south of the island the route passes a tea shop, the only source of refreshments and public toilets on the walk, then leaves the main track to visit Gylen Castle and the southern shore of the island, with good views out to sea. 

Gylen Castle on KerreraGylen Castle (the name means 'Castle of Fountains') has a shorter history than most Scottish castles: built in 1582 by MacDougalls of Dunollie (just north of Oban), destroyed by the Covenanters under General Leslie in 1647 and restored in 2006, the work being financed by Historic Scotland and the worldwide MacDougall clan.

The return route, still with plenty of interest and good views, starts parallel to the western shore of the island, but a little higher on an old drovers' road, before cutting across the hilly interior of the island to return to the ferry terminal

Getting there...

It takes only 20 minutes by car from Eriska following the A828 to Oban. The Kerrera Ferry Time Table can be found here or you can get the small shuttle from Oban to Kerrera.

What to bring...

If you are out for the day, a packed lunch is good to have - if you let us know in advance we can provide some lovely packed lunches for the whole family. If you check in advance, Kerrera Tea Garden may be open and can offer traditional and home cooked foods, including their own baked bread and cakes - the perfect place for a treat after a walk.

 

Isle of Eriska Walking on Isle of Eriska - From 30 mins to 1.5 hours

Eriska itself is a 300 acre paradise. The Island sits at the mouth of Loch Creran, a Marine Site designated Special Area Conservation. Part of the charm of Eriska is the ability it offers to explore the estate and enjoy the island as if it were your own. From the formal ground to the western seaboard to the rugged hill side, the whole estate has a charm and is genuinely interesting and exciting to explore whether you are a nature and wildlife devotee or simply keen to walk and wander the many paths and trails in search of peace and tranquillity. 

It is easy to do simply walk till you meet the sea, turn left or right and when you reach the bridge or the Pier simply head back to the main house. Alternatively pick up a map of the island and guide yourself around using the white posts which mark the trails and stop off at the information points to learn about the flora, fauna and wildlife as you explore Eriska.

A map of the island is available from reception but also through this link

Isle of Eriska The Easy Walk 

Mainly flat, and will not require much preparation. You can walk down to the pier, across the golf course, or past the driving range, walking towards the west side of the island. Terrain is mainly flat with accessible paths.

 

 

Isle of EriskaThe Moderate Walk 

The moderate option would take you down to the heronry, back up to the cairn and down the path above the hotel. In this loop the paths are easily recognisable with some hills and uneven surfaces as you go along. 

 

describe the imageThe Scrambly Walk 

Takes you along the shoreline on the west side of the island and down towards Mrs B's house. You can start by walking down to the pier and along the shoreline, or walk through the putting range and down the path following the white signs (this one is slightly easier to walk). Further down you will see Wache, he sits on the stone watching over the island and its guests. For this walk, keep an eye on the tides!

 

 

 

Hill Skills Summary

For the shorter walks on the island

Like most walks in the countryside always let people know where you go, dress for the weather and, bring a camera, borrow a pair of wellies from the main entrance if you were so unlucky to forget shoes or misinterpret the weather for your stay (nearly impossible if you follow our West Coast Weather blog each week). Is the weather warm, remember to bring a bottle of water with you! Follow these simple 'rules' and you will, without a doubt, enjoy your walk! 

For the longer walks

Food & Drink

In hill walking, your muscles need both carbohydrate and fatty acids. If the available carbohydrate is reduced too much, then you will have to slow down. Good food also provides the motivation to complete - and enjoy - your expedition. If you in advance are planning to go for hill walks while you are here let us know and we can provide packed lunches with delicious sandwiches, fruit and a bottle of water. The most important requirement is water! When we exercise, our body temperature is controlled by the evaporation of sweat from the body surface.

Footwear & Clothing

Walking boots should be like a good friend - supportive without being irritating. Your shoes for the longer walk should therefore be; 

  • Water proof
  • High enough to support your ankle.
  • Padded - the insole and upper lining should give a firm but comfortable support to the whole foot.

Always bring the appropriate layers depending on season and destination! Having extra dry layers can make such a difference. 

Some of the Essentials

  • Suitable map, compass and a route plan
  • Basic first aid kit
  • A watch
  • A torch

For more information on hill skills visit the British Mountaineering Council!

Comments

Great post! There is so much variety in what can be done in Argyll!
Posted @ Friday, September 27, 2013 7:10 AM by Stramash
Thank You, Stramash! There is not enough time to do them all in one go, but each walk is different in length, has different terrain and scenic landscapes and is an excellent 'excuse' to revisit the beautiful west coast!
Posted @ Sunday, September 29, 2013 1:23 PM by Christina Jacobsen
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