Walk: Hol(e)y Mullach Mòr

[The return along the western shoreline passes under imposing cliffs]

Visitors arriving on the Holy Island by ferry from Lamlash are given a quick description of the house rules, ideas for possible walking routes and warnings about the deep holes and crevasses pockmarking the summit area. The island may be small but has some impressive scenery, ranging from the rocky peak of Mullach Mòr to dramatic eastern and western cliffs. The steep circuit taking in both gets quite busy (ironic, given the island's other function as a retreat centre) but deservedly so: it takes in all the main scenic highlights, packed into just four eventful miles. Returning along the coast, look out for the rock paintings of Buddhist leaders, the island's original Healing Well, a cave home to the hermit St Molaise in the sixth century, and the goats and Soay sheep inhabiting the low ground. Allow half a day or risk missing the last ferry back to the Arran "mainland".

[Ascent to Mullach Beag, fog shrouding the very summit]

Name: Walk: Hol(e)y Mullach Mòr ★★☆
Length: 7 km / 4 miles
Ascent: 470 metres
Main summits: Mullach Mòr (314 metres, sub-2000')
Points of interest: Centre for World Peace and Health; Pillar Rock lighthouse; Buddhist rock paintings; Healing Well; St Molaise's Cave & Table
Start / finish: Holy Island jetty, G.R.: NS 052310 / sleepy with throat

Route: Jetty & Centre for World Peace and Health - Mullach Beag - Mullach Mòr - Pillar Rock lighthouse - Healing Well - St Molaise's Cave & Table - start
Terrain: Path throughout. Surprisingly steep and rough in places higher up, possibly requiring the odd hand.
Wildlife today: Soay sheep, goats and ponies roaming the island; cormorants and other seabirds by the shore.
Weather today: Sun increasingly breaking through, although a little patchy hill fog at the summit. Dry, and warm in the sunshine.
Anything else? Sailings to the island several times daily from Lamlash, May to October. Book in advance at busy times.

[Pillar Rock lighthouse]


Route credit: Walkhighlands

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