Glen Rosa skyline and Goatfell on Arran

Isle of Arran's Corbetts

Routes on Goatfell and the Glenrosa peaks


Beinn Tarsuinn (826m)
Cir Mhor (799m)
Caisteal Abhail (859m)
Goatfell (874m)


2200m (7,200ft)


21km (13m)


walking : 9hr*, running : 4:20hr
 *Naismith's rule : 4km/h distance + 600m/h ascent

Main route summary

Arran is a popular tourist, cycling, hillwalking and golfing destination, but get away from the honeypot that is Brodick and you'll find quietness and tranquility. Including popular Goatfell, the circuit of peaks around Glenrosa on Arran is famed for views, walking, scrambling and climbing.

A well maintained network of paths in the glens leads to defined routes up the hills and along the ridges and therefore navigation is fairly straightforward. Some tricky and exposed scrambling can be enjoyed on the crests or easily by-passed if desired.

start/finish Glenrosa campsite
(grid ref : NS001377)


GPS data download GPX file of this route

easy Tracks and faint paths lower down, ridges higher up difficult
easy Straightforward testing
easyA longish day out long day
ok Superb views all round stunning
meanings Goatfell :
  'hill of wind'
Beinn Tarsuinn :
  'transverse hill'
Cir Mhor :
  'big comb'
Caisteal Abhail :
  'castle of the ptarmigan'
main route outlineprint route
Getting there
  • From Brodick, aim northwards and where the road takes a sharp turn east, head left, then right following a sign pointing to Glenrosa.
  • 1km up this narrow road, park by the campsite entrance, tho it is possible to drive along a rutted track for another 500m and park by a walkers sign (for Brodick) and gate.

Beinn Tarsuinn
  • On foot (or bike) head up the track for 1.5km to a bridge over the Garbh Allt. You may be tempted by a faint path 200m before the bridge heading diagonally uphill - don't as this is just following the old pipe to the delapodated weir and is rough going thru thick grass.
  • Once over the bridge, turn sharp left and strike uphill on the obvious path. The path quickly becomes rough, but can be readily traced following the burn.
  • Higher up the path crosses the burn, heads thru a protected plantation to the foot of Beinn Nuis. Ahead the ground steepens abruptly, but the path also becomes more distinct to follow to this hill's summit. The views all around are thrilling.
  • The path follows the grass covered and bouldery crest north then northeast and reaches Beinn Tarsuin without event. Superb views.

  • Looking north, the slabs and rocky outcrops on A'Chir look intimidating. There doesn't appear to be a straightforward way up.
  • If you're a competent climber, you'll make easy work sticking to the crest, however for the rest of us there is an easy alternative. From Beinn Tarsuin, pick your way down the path to Bhealach an Fhir Bhoghla, the path the branches - take the by-pass heading left and continue for 500m until a small grassy area is reached.
  • From there strike directly uphill on heather with occasional faint traces of path to the summit. The summit boulders will still need negotiating, but there's nothing too difficult or exposed.

Caisteal Abhail
  • Return initally the same way, then aim down a fine scree run to pick up the path below 150m north of where you left it. On the path continue north, then north-east without difficulty to the bealach before Cir Mor.
  • Start aiming up Cir Mor and when a cairn is reached, take the path heading northwards by-passing Cir Mhor. This path travels thru the boulders to the next bealach, then on more grass covered ground, climbs easily up to Caisteal Abhail.
  • The summit is the tor and looks daunting from this approach, however a path takes you to the northern side from where the tor is easily conquered.

Cir Mhor
  • Return to the bealach between Caisteal Abhail and Cir Mhor, then this time stick to the path on the crest and climb directly and easily to the cairn on Cir Mhor's summit.

  • Getting off Cir Mhor down to The Saddle along the east ridge can be difficult to begin with. The initial exposed scrambling is followed by a defined path leading to the col.
  • Alternatively a longer but easier route can be made by returning to the col between Cir Mhor and A'Cir, descending on a recently re-constructed path for a bit, then picking up a faint path heading east through heather around Cir Mhor to The Saddle.
  • From The Saddle, climb the winding path over grass, loose scree and around boulders to North Goatfell.
  • The path continues south along a crest called Stacach, avoiding some difficulties by keeping to the east side of the ridge and ends up on Goatfell's summit. This is a popular peak with superb vast all-round views.

  • The obvious return is by the tourist route down to Brodick Castle. Due to this route's popularity, the path is well maintained by the NTS and therefore easy to follow.
  • To return to the road in Glenrosa will need either an additional 1km walk on road, or, to take a more direct route, a wade across Glenrosa Water !


Steven Fallon
31 Argyle Place
Edinburgh EH9 1JT


© 2021 Steven Fallon