A sunny morning in Glasgow – so Adele and I decide to go for a wee jolly up Ben A’an. Reasons being – I’ve never been up Ben A’an before, it is small enough to do in a short afternoon and Adele told me she’d never climbed a hill before. Say what!
I’d heard about Ben A’an through a string of people who have told me its the best wee hill in the Trossachs for a short walk with great views, and it’s not far from Glasgow.
Ben A’an has its own car park at the foot of the hill which is just off the A821, you cross the road and are immediately onto the track. The walk begins with a lovely steep incline to ease those seized hips into action, up and out into the open.
The path is extremely well maintained – and although most surrounding trees have been felled recently (which is kinda ugly) there is a nice breeze the whole way up.
The rest of the walk provides a fantastic view of Ben A’an’s pointed summit. A good indication of how far you have left to stumble, and gives plenty photo ops!
Onto the rocky summit of Ben A’aan – and Adele has ticked off her first hill. Wayhay!
Almost the full length of Loch Katrine is in view from up here with Ben Venue in the distance.
Overall, Ben A’an – perfect for a short walk, great for beginner hill walkers, ideal for kids and a nice one to ease yourself back into hill walking if you’ve not been out in a while i.e., me!
Thanks for reading – keep up with all my adventures @ronamcmillan
First Bothy adventure of the year - UAGS
Unless approached by sea, Uags Bothy is at the end of an extremely boggy scramble from Toscaig (south of Applecross). We (Callum, Ewan and I) did plan to paddle there in sea kayaks – launching from my mums front garden in Kishorn and exploring the coast line until we reached Uags. Typically the weather came in, and the wind would’ve made it impossible for my wee arms to manage the 10 mile paddle – Ewan and Callum would’ve been fine, but they kindly joined me for the walk instead!
We left Kishorn in Ewan’s new van, excitedly arriving at Toscaig at 4pm – we expected to be over the hill and at the bothy for sunset.. which we almost made; if only the path didn’t keep disappearing from under our feet!
Arriving at Uags, we saw the very last of the sun dip behind the Cuillin mountains on Skye – which the bothy looks straight out to. January adventure meant darkness at 5pm, so we set up camp inside the Bothy and began prepping dinner – steak, rocket, peppers, broccoli, camembert cheese? Possibly THE poshest bothy dinner ever, but so delicious! The rest of the evening was spent huddled round the small fireplace, listening to the flames crackle, we chatted and told stories – and once the Jura was finished we hunkered down for sleep.
I can’t say it was the best sleep I’ve ever had; Callum convinced me the Bothy was ghost infested and the creaking of the building warming up with our presence totally spooked me… I think i’ll sleep in a tent next time! In the morning Ewan went beach scavenging for fire wood (to restock what we had used the night before) as Callum and I swept, and tidied up the inside of the Bothy.
We walked back to Toscaig – following the correct path this time, and headed home for a bowl of mums soup! Great adventure with the best people!
- Leave the Bothy in as good (if not better) condition as you found it
- Take ALL rubbish home
- Don’t leave food – this encourage mice and other hungry rodents
- Double check all the windows and doors are closed tight before leaving
- Bring some extras to leave behind – maybe a lighter, some candles, fire lighters etc
- Collect fire wood for the next visitor – and stack indoors to allow it to dry – but don’t cut live wood!
- Respect and welcome other people visiting the Bothy at the same time as you!
- Roll mat
- Sleeping bag
- Candles + matches/lighter
- Firewood + firelighters
- Pan + spork + sharp knife
- Bin bag
- Hip flak/whole bottle
- FOOD + water
- Waterproofs + boots + socks (with spares) + LOTS more warm stuff
Thanks for reading!