Beinn Bhuidhe (948m, Munro 216)
1025m (3,350 ft)
17km (10.5 miles)
walking : 6hr*, running+biking : 1:55hr
*Naismith's rule : 4km/h distance + 600m/h ascent
Main route summary
Beinn Buidhe is a hill to leave for a fine day.
The views from the summit are excellent, but long approaches and sections of flat, pathless, grass and tussock covered ground will have you getting lost in misty conditions.
This solitary Munro sits just west of the northern end of Loch Lomond, so in theory could be accessed from various points.
The easiest accesses are however made from the south, via Glen Shira or Glen Fyne.
Both these glens have fine roads and tracks heading up them that are cyclable and both have pros and cons with regard to accessing the mountain. Glen Fyne can be cycled up to the base of a short walk (3km) to reach the summit, however as the track reaches a gate, cyclists are 'encouraged' to leave bikes and walk an extra 500m. Highland cattle are also present on this route and although docile, they may present a problem if you're taking a dog with you.
Glen Shira is longer, however, although there's a sign at the start of the road up, I've had no problem driving 6km up it. You takes your pick !
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On the A83, around 2km north-east of Inveraray a road heads up Glen Shira from the head of Loch Shira. There is parking at the entrance to the estate.
Beinn Bhuidhe via Glen Shira
- In the past it has been possible to drive up the road in Glen Shira, but this is now discouraged by no-entry signs at the glen entrance. There are no problems cycling up this.
- Head up the glen for 6km, past the firing ranges and farms to where a gate blocks access to the forestry land.
- Beyond the gate, cycle for another 3km up a tarmac'd road to a bridge over the Brannie Burn and leave your bike here.
- Cross the bridge, then enter the forest directly ahead.
- There is no escaping the initial thick forest and undergrowth, but follow the burn and a fire-break opens the forest up.
- Up by the burn and fire-break to open hillside and note the terrain and position of the fire-break in relation to the rest of the forest for the descent later.
- Turn west, and ascend, occasionally steep, grass covered ground.
- Pass under a line of wooden pylons, then over a fence-line and start to pick up signs of a faint path.
- The path becomes more distinct as Tom a'Phiobaire is reached, from where it's a pleasant, if long, walk following the path over several minor tops to finally attain Beinn Buidhe's main summit.
- The trig-point has long been broken from its base and there isn't much in the way of shelter on windy, wet days.
On fine days the views are superb though.
- You could just return the way you came up.
- Alternatively, particularly on days when wind and rain are blowing from the west (ie most days), you could try a quick exit down to Brannie Burn.
- To do this, from the summit, initially head east along the obvious worn path for a few metres, then turn south.
- Drop down 100m or so on very steep, grassy ground, then as the ground flattens turn south-west and pick up, and follow one of the Brannie Burn's sources.
- The ground is easy under foot and once the forest is reached a faint path can be picked up to follow to a track that continues back to the bridge over the Brannie Burn.
- The freewheel downhill makes the effort required for the uphill cycle worthwhile.