This unique mountain journey through the Inner Hebrides takes us to five idyllic islands and their highest peaks.
These unspoiled islands stretching along Scotland’s western coast, are a haven for wildlife, from otters to white tailed sea eagles and golden eagles. Even before we reach the mountains, we will experience enchanting boat journeys with curious puffins on surrounding seabird colonies and seals, dolphins, minke whales and basking sharks swimming just off the coast. Once ashore there are grand castles, quaint villages and Mull’s charming town of Tobermory, known for its colourfully painted houses set amongst some of the world’s most beautiful white sandy beaches, turquoise water and wild beauty.
We have chosen five magical islands: Arran, Islay, Jura, Mull and Rum, for you to enjoy mountain walks with expert guides to the highest peak on each island. Every island stop comprises a wilderness walk combined with magnificent scenery, special wildlife and great boat journeys - a true adventure.
Arran is an island of two halves, the north rugged and mountainous, contrasting with the gentle moorlands of the south. Goatfell is Arran’s highest point at 874m and forms a fine pyramidal peak in the heart of the island’s dramatic mountain landscape. The peak affords superb coastal views over the Firth of Clyde and Kintyre Peninsula, the majestic Cir Mohr neighbouring peak, and down to the glacial valley of Glen Rosa. We take a circular route to the summit by the magnificent and less frequented north ridge route with some sections of easy scrambling along the granite ridge. The island is rich in wildlife and bird life, so we can expect to see red deer, red-throated divers and (if we’re lucky!) a golden eagle. Although not technically part of the Inner Hebrides, Arran is the perfect first stop and too good to miss!
850m of ascent, 8 km/5 miles, 5-6 hrs
Islay is the stepping-stone to Jura, and is best known for its nine whisky distilleries, its extensive golden sand beaches, stunning coastal scenery and large bird populations. Islay is a beautiful island and on a clear day you can see across to Ireland. The ascent of Beinn Bheigeir (491m), the highest hill on Islay, will be a relaxed affair before our big day on the Paps of Jura. Alternatively if you prefer, you can opt out for a distillery tour or beach visit.
500m of ascent, 5 km/3 miles, 3 hrs
The Southern Hebridean island of Jura is one of the wildest places off the Scottish coast and features the famous Paps of Jura, formed by three cone-shaped peaks. On a clear day the views are unforgettable on this remote, untamed island where deer outnumber people by 30 to 1. With seals basking in secluded bays, the chance of dolphins offshore and eagles soaring overhead, hiking is the best way to explore Jura’s fantastic rugged wilderness. We will walk a traverse of all three summits, including Jura’s highest point of Beinn an Oir, the Mountain of Gold, at 785m.
1400m of ascent, 16 km/10 miles, 8-10 hrs
Mull’s highest peak Ben More, 966m, is the only island Munro (a mountain over 3000 ft) outside Skye. What makes this walk very special is the summit view, arguably the finest island panorama on the whole of the west coast of Scotland. Our ascent will be via the classic A’Chioch ridge, involving some scrambling in places. Mull is a destination for wildlife enthusiasts with the opportunity to spot otters, seals, sea birds, dolphins and whales, as well as the island being the best place in the UK to see white-tailed sea eagles and golden eagles.
1255m of ascent, 14 km/9 miles, 7-8 hrs
The big challenge is the ‘Rum Cuillin traverse’, which takes us over the 5 major summits on Rum, arguably one of the most exciting hill days out in the Inner Hebrides. Clear skies permitting, we will be rewarded with breath taking views across the Hebrides. Rum is Scotland's finest National Nature Reserve and is of international importance for many of its plants, habitats and birds.
1800m of ascent, 21 km/13 miles, 9-10 hrs
* A deposit of £150 will be required at checkout.
Travel from Glasgow to Isle of Arran, climb Goatfell
Island of Islay
Island of Jura
Transfer to Isle of Mull
Isle of Mull
Transfer to Island of Rum
Island of Mull
You will need a few key pieces of equipment (* these items can be hired):
A full kit list will be supplied on booking.