6 things to do in the Arrochar Alps
Arrochar sits at the head of Loch Long in Argyll, facing the majestic mountain range known as the ‘Arrochar Alps’. It’s a hot spot for walkers, climbers and adventurers in the summer, but there’s plenty to do here in the winter too. Enjoy epic mountain scenery, take to the snowy hills, go for a woodland walk or discover the range of mountain bike trails in the area. You’ll find great places to stay and eat in Arrochar too.
Head to Loch Lomond & the Cobbler
The most iconic peak in the Arrochar Alps mountain range is Ben Arthur, commonly known as The Cobbler because of its summit that’s supposed to look like a cobbler bending over his last. At 884 metres (2,900ft) in height, it's only a Corbett, but the views from the top are stunning. It looks glorious covered in snow and offers some exceptional winter walking. But before you take to the hills, especially in winter, be sure to check out the safety guidance from Mountaineering Scotland to make your climb extra safe.
The Cobbler covered in snow, Credit: Wild about Argyll
Lower level walks
If you don’t fancy taking on the big peaks, that are some more accessible walks on offer, near Arrochar. These are a great way to experience the Arrochar Alps without actually having to climb any! You get to admire the snowy peaks from down below! The Succoth Circuit is a short circular way-marked route along forest paths and tracks. The Glen Loin Circuit is longer (11 miles) but fairly gentle, taking you to the north of Arrochar.
The Succoth Circuit, Credit: Wild about Argyll
Glen Loin woodlands
This lovely native woodland near Arrochar offers fabulous winter walking. It’s a Site of Special Scientific Interest and home to a huge variety of flora and fauna, including red squirrels.
Rest & Be Thankful
Head west on the road from Arrochar to the famous Rest and Be Thankful mountain pass. For centuries travellers have taken a break here to enjoy the stunning views out across Glen Croe to the surrounding hills. It's simply breath-taking, particularly on a bright winter’s day with the snowy peaks glistening in the sun.
Glen Croe, Credit: Wild about Argyll
Inveruglas and Sloy Power Station
North of Tarbet on the banks of Loch Lomond is Inveruglas, where you’ll find a café and visitor centre. Check out An Ceann Mòr, an eight-metre high pyramid ‘viewpoint’ installed in 2015 as part of the Scotland Scenic Routes project. Follow a short path from the visitor centre car park to the viewpoint where you’ll be treated to stunning elevated views of Loch Lomond and the surrounding snow-capped mountains. On the opposite side of the road giant pipes run down from Ben Vorlich driving the turbines of the Sloy Hydro-Electric Power Station. It was officially opened in 1950 and built with help from German POWs.
Sitting on the shores of Loch Long at the bottom of Glen Croe is Argartan, part of the magnificent stretch of rugged hill country that is Argyll Forest Park. There are some fabulous trails here, suitable for both walking and biking in the winter. Take a short stroll through woodland along by the Croe Water, or follow the 8km Cat Craig loop that winds through the forest and provides fabulous views over Glen Croe and the Cobbler. The 11km Coilessan Glen loop is another good route, while the 32km Ardgartan Peninsula Circuit is one for the fit and determined! There’s parking, picnic tables and toilets at Ardgartan.
One of the great things about Arrochar is how easy it is to reach. It lies on the West Highland Line, so you can get there by train in under an hour.
Mountain biking in Ardgartan, Credit: Wild about Argyll