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Fitness
Hiking trail

Lagg to Whitingbay (High Route)

Hiking trail
Responsible for this content
Macs Adventure Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Ailsa Craig in the distance
    / Ailsa Craig in the distance
    Photo: Sam Todd, Macs Adventure
  • / Coastal marker
    Photo: Sam Todd, Macs Adventure
  • / Escape route signpost
    Photo: Sam Todd, Macs Adventure
  • / The view to Kildonan Castle from the beach
    Photo: Sam Todd, Macs Adventure
  • / The view from Whiting Bay
    Photo: Sam Todd, Macs Adventure
0 150 300 450 m km 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18

The high route alternative avoids the challenging low coastal route from Lagg to Whiting Bay, and heads inland from Bennan Head with great views out of the sea, pass Glenashdale Falls to reach Whiting Bay.  

moderate
19.9 km
5:30 h
369 m
398 m

This section of the Arran Coastal Way is the high route alternative on the Lagg to Whiting Bay strecth avoiding the boulder field scrambles at both Dippen and Bennan Head.  This variation on the route is longer and more undulating than the lower route and heads inland on reaching Bennan Head.  The final part of the route goes through forest and descends passing Glenashdale Falls on it's way into Whiting Bay.  

Only take the other low coastal route if you are fully up to date with the tide times and are confident scrambling/boulder-hopping for a significant amount of time over the boulder fields. If for any reason you don't feel confident once you near Bennan Head, you can follow this escape route option that taks you inland. 

The Dippin Head area has no little to no phone signal and is prolonged so only divert to the low route here if the conditions are calm and you feel you have the steady footing required to take you safely across the boulder fields.

Author’s recommendation

If you're a keen photographer there are amazing photo opportunites of the seals just before arriving in Kildonan.

Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
226 m
Lowest point
1 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

Only take the other low coastal route if you are fully up to date with the tide times and are confident scrambling/boulder-hopping for a significant amount of time over the boulder fields. If for any reason you don't feel confident once you near Bennan Head, you can follow this escape route option that taks you inland. 

The Dippin Head area has no little to no phone signal and is prolonged so only divert to the low route here if the conditions are calm and you feel you have the steady footing required to take you safely across the boulder fields.

 

Further information on the tides can be found at:

http://www.coastalway.co.uk/route/lagg-to-whiting-bay/ 

www.xcweather.co.uk/forecast/Brodick 

www.tidetimes.org.uk/lamlash-tide-times

Add or subtract the following minutes from the Lamlash high water times to calculate when high tide is for these other locations (the most important for your is Kildonan:

Brodick: +25 mins, Corrie +20 mins, Lochranza +15 mins, Blackwaterfoot +25 mins, Kildonan (for Black Cave) -5 mins, Whiting Bay – 2 mins.

Equipment

A sturdy pair of walking trainers are adequate for this route if you don't wish to wear hiking boots. Along with your usual kit for a day walking in the elements make sure you pack an extra layer, a wind/waterproof jacket in case the weather closes in, suncream and midge repellant spray!

Tips, hints and links

 

Points of interest

Pladda Island & Seals

Just off the coast after Bennan Head lies Pladda Island, although very small and uninhabited it unsually has it's own fresh water source. Between here and this section of coast you're liklely to see many harbour/common seals out fishing the waters and basking on rocks, along with an abundance of bird life.

 

Food & Drink

The Lagg Hotel can make you a packed lunch for the day's walk - make sure to give them enough notice, and take plenty of water with you for the day ahead.  On arriving in Whiting Bay you'll find a few restaurants, bars and shops to choose from.

Start

Lagg (20 m)
Coordinates:
Geographic
55.445653, -5.233880
UTM
30U 358702 6146654

Destination

The Coffee Pot cafe, Whiting Bay

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00 km – Begin with your back to the entrance of the Lagg Hotel and TURN LEFT to follow the main road.

0.13 km – TURN RIGHT at the signpost for Torrylin Cairn, and follow the gravel track through the trees.

0.25 km – BEAR RIGHT where the track splits, and in 400 m continue STRAIGHT ON passing Torrylin Cairn on your left-hand side.

0.70 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON at the metal gate.

0.86 km – At the next gate BEAR RIGHT to follow the descending trail towards the beach. This is signposted ‘Coastal Way’.

1.00 km – TURN RIGHT to follow the descending gravel vehicle track.

1.20 km – TURN LEFT at the signpost for ‘Kildonan 7.5 km’ and begin following the sandy beach.

1.90 km – If the tide is low it’s easy to continue your way along the beach between the rocks, if not then it’s best to BEAR LEFT towards the grass and follow a faint path instead.

2.30 km – At the end of the sandy beach BEAR LEFT towards a metal gate then cross a stile and continue STRAIGHT ON following the grassy track.

2.80 km – After a small stream cross another wooden stile and continue STRAIGHT ON. The ground can be very muddy here after wet weather, be careful with your footing too as there are a lot of cattle holes amongst the grass.

3.50 km – Go through the metal gate and continue STRAIGHT ON following the signpost for ‘Bennan Head & Black Cave’.

4.00 km – Here there's a signpost for the escape route, off to the left, to avoid the boulder field at Bennan Head. TURN LEFT to follow the path ascending the hillside.  

4.70 km – To continue following the path TURN RIGHT then in 100 m TURN LEFT and with West Brennan hamlet on your right-hand side continue until you reach the road. 

5.40 km – TURN RIGHT to join the road and follow the road for 3.8 km until Auchenhew Farm.  Take care when walking on the road and walk on the right-hand side into oncoming traffic, taking to the verge to give way if necessary. 

9.20 km – TURN RIGHT after the farm and pass the parking for Auchenhew Wood.  Descend towards the coast.

9.90 km – TURN LEFT to continue following the road in the direction of Kildonan. 

10.80 km – TURN LEFT away from the coast and ascend towards the hamlet of Drimlabarra. In 400 m TURN LEFT then Turn right again to pass through the hamlet. 

12.00 km – TURN RIGHT onto the C147 road then in 300 m TURN LEFT off the road onto the path through the trees.  Follow the path through the trees for 5.5 km. 

17.60 km – After following the path through the trees TURN RIGHT to head towards the viewpoints at Glenashdale Falls and follow the descending path with the river on your left-hand side. 

19.00 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON passing a path of to your right. 

19.60 km – At the T-junction with the main road TURN LEFT and follow the road into Whiting Bay.

19.90 km – Finish the day’s route outside The Coffee Pot café in Whiting Bay.  Pop in for coffee and cake or head straight to your accommodation for a well-earned rest. 

 

Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


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Difficulty
moderate
Distance
19.9 km
Duration
5:30 h
Ascent
369 m
Descent
398 m

Statistics

: h
 km
 m
 m
Highest point
 m
Lowest point
 m
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