Arran, Islay & Jura Guided Island Hopping Holiday

A large rock tower sits on a grassy field at the tip of the Oa Peninsula on the island of Islay in Scotland.
Duration: 9 nights
Type: Island Hopping
Walking Grade: 4
from £1,749pp £1,699pp

The Inner Hebridean isles of Arran, Islay and Jura provide a wonderful contrast with each other. Arran’s pink granite peaks and lush woodland are a perfect foil for the wilderness of Jura’s west coast, while Islay’s rugged cliffs and extensive sandy beaches are different again. Famous for their distilleries, these islands provide a wonderful range of contrasting walks and amazing wildlife. Several walks are accessed by chartered boat, adding an extra dimension to the holiday.

Holiday Highlights

  • Climb Goatfell and visit Holy Island on Arran
  • Visit the RSPB Mull of Oa Nature Reserve and walk the remote coastline on Islay
  • Walk to the northern tip of Jura and enjoy a chartered boat trip to explore the Corryvreckan whirlpools 
  • Sample a wee dram of whisky at the distillery and perhaps see a Golden Eagle as you walk

What’s included

  • Full Board en-suite accommodation
  • Experienced HF Holidays Walking Leader 
  • All transport to and from the walks including ferry journeys between the islands
  • Luggage transfer between accommodation 
  • Return transfers from Glasgow Central Station
  • All chartered boat trips

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

We travel by train from Glasgow to Ardrossan and then by ferry to Brodick. The hotel minibus will transfer you to the nearby Auchrannie Hotel.

Auchrannie Hotel, Arran - Arran, Islay & Jura

Located in the village of Brodick on the Isle of Arran, the Auchrannie Hotel offers the free use of the leisure facilities, including indoor pools, sauna, steam room and solarium. All rooms have a fridge, tea and coffee making facilities, TV, hairdryer, use of an iron and ironing board. Wifi is available.


We take taxis as far as Corrieburn Bridge, just south of Corrie village, and walk west following Corrie Burn up into the high corrie above which rises the Goatfell range. We continue ascending to North Goatfell. A lovely ridge walk follows round the Pinnacles to the top of Goatfell (2,866 feet). On a clear day, our efforts are rewarded by magnificent views of the Arran Mountains, and the Scottish mainland hills. We take the main track down to Cladach and walk along the beach back to our hotel.

6½ miles (10km) with 2,800 feet (840m) of ascent.

Auchrannie Hotel, Arran - Arran, Islay & Jura

Located in the village of Brodick on the Isle of Arran, the Auchrannie Hotel offers the free use of the leisure facilities, including indoor pools, sauna, steam room and solarium. All rooms have a fridge, tea and coffee making facilities, TV, hairdryer, use of an iron and ironing board. Wifi is available.


Our walks today provide quite a contrast. We visit Holy Island, a Buddhist retreat, with its fantastic views back to the main island. We’ll walk to the summit of Mullach Mor at just over 300 metres and return along the coast. If time allows, the second walk of the day takes in the Giant’s Graves (which are actually Neolithic burial cairns - fragments of pottery and arrowheads have been found here) and the fabulous Glenashdale waterfalls, now best seen from the purpose-built, dramatic viewing platform. The descent passes an Iron Age Fort, so there’s plenty of historical interest to go alongside the views and the delightful woodlands. The order of the walks will depend on ferry and tide times. Holy Island distance: 4 miles (6.5km) with 1,050 feet (320m) of ascent. Giant’s Graves: 3 miles (5km) with 850 feet (255m) of ascent

Auchrannie Hotel, Arran - Arran, Islay & Jura

Located in the village of Brodick on the Isle of Arran, the Auchrannie Hotel offers the free use of the leisure facilities, including indoor pools, sauna, steam room and solarium. All rooms have a fridge, tea and coffee making facilities, TV, hairdryer, use of an iron and ironing board. Wifi is available.


Today we travel across to Islay, but not before enjoying a final morning walk from Brodick up the Glen Rosa Valley surrounded by impressive mountains and a chance of seeing a golden eagle, before ending at the Saw Mill with the option for refreshments and to visit the local brewery. 5 miles (8km) with 620 feet (190m) of ascent. We meet the minibus which drops us to our ferry and we cross to Claonaig on the Kintyre Peninsula. A short road journey leads to the opposite coast and the ferry terminal at Kennacraig, from where we leave for Port Askaig on Islay. Once here, you can settle into your hotel and enjoy a look around the tiny harbour.

Port Askaig Hotel, Islay - Arran, Islay & Jura

Port Askaig Hotel is a picturesque, family run Highland Inn on the shores of the Sound of Islay, overlooking the pier at which daily car ferries berth on arrival from the Scottish mainland. Bedrooms have tea and coffee making facilities. Hairdryer and iron available on request. TV is in the bar and residents lounge (not in bedrooms) and WiFi is in the reception area and limited elsewhere; as is mobile phone reception.


Today’s walk takes in some of the spectacular coastline of the RSPB Mull of Oa Nature Reserve on the southern end of the island. What you can see here (in addition to the fantastic scenery) depends on the time of year. The bird life is worthy of special mention, with a huge variety of nesting seabirds often visible along with possible sightings of choughs and maybe a golden eagle. There are wild goat herds on the cliffs.

7 miles (11.5km) with 1,750 feet (535m) of ascent.

Port Askaig Hotel, Islay - Arran, Islay & Jura

Port Askaig Hotel is a picturesque, family run Highland Inn on the shores of the Sound of Islay, overlooking the pier at which daily car ferries berth on arrival from the Scottish mainland. Bedrooms have tea and coffee making facilities. Hairdryer and iron available on request. TV is in the bar and residents lounge (not in bedrooms) and WiFi is in the reception area and limited elsewhere; as is mobile phone reception.


Weather and sea conditions permitting, we’ll be using a charter boat to take us out to the slipway at Rhuvaal Lighthouse from where we’ll walk on deer tracks and descend to the beach of Bagh an Da Dhoruis before walking above and below coastal cliffs to the sands of Gruinart Bay. Not many people have the opportunity to walk this wonderful section of coastline without it becoming a much bigger undertaking – the use of the charter boat makes it possible.

13 miles (21km) with 1,640 feet (500m) of ascent.

Port Askaig Hotel, Islay - Arran, Islay & Jura

Port Askaig Hotel is a picturesque, family run Highland Inn on the shores of the Sound of Islay, overlooking the pier at which daily car ferries berth on arrival from the Scottish mainland. Bedrooms have tea and coffee making facilities. Hairdryer and iron available on request. TV is in the bar and residents lounge (not in bedrooms) and WiFi is in the reception area and limited elsewhere; as is mobile phone reception.


Weather and sea conditions permitting, a charter boat will take your luggage to the Jura Hotel, before continuing with the group out to the east coast of Jura and dropping us at Lowlandman’s Bay. We visit the crofting township of Ardfernal before returning to Craighouse - taking in views of the Paps or Jura on our way. This is a great area for seeing hen harriers and red deer, and you might see adders along with a range of coastal wildlife.

8 miles (13 km) with 860 feet of ascent (170m).

Jura Hotel - Arran, Islay & Jura

In a sheltered setting in the village of Craighouse, The Jura Hotel has breathtaking views across the water and is next to the world-famous Jura Distillery. This family-run hotel reflects the island with its relaxed and friendly atmosphere. There are two lounges for guests' use; one with TV (there are no TVs in the bedrooms), free WiFi, tea and coffee making facilities, hairdryer and iron and ironing board are available.


This is built in as a free day to allow for a change in the schedule should it be required. You may wish to go on a local walk or relax around the harbour area and visit the distillery.

Jura Hotel - Arran, Islay & Jura

In a sheltered setting in the village of Craighouse, The Jura Hotel has breathtaking views across the water and is next to the world-famous Jura Distillery. This family-run hotel reflects the island with its relaxed and friendly atmosphere. There are two lounges for guests' use; one with TV (there are no TVs in the bedrooms), free WiFi, tea and coffee making facilities, hairdryer and iron and ironing board are available.


The final day’s walking and another one on which we hope to use the chartered boat – this time to bring us back at the end of the walk, though tide, weather etc could make it a drop-off rather than a pick-up. The northern tip of Jura overlooks the Gulf of Corryvreckan – famous for its whirlpools. Our route follows “the Long Road”, passing Barnhill, where George Orwell wrote 1984, out to the Gulf and explores some of this amazing, remote coastline before our charter boat takes us back to Craighouse Bay near the hotel, passing the Corryvreckan whirlpools if conditions and tide permit.

8½ miles (14km) with 1,200 feet (373m) of ascent.

Jura Hotel - Arran, Islay & Jura

In a sheltered setting in the village of Craighouse, The Jura Hotel has breathtaking views across the water and is next to the world-famous Jura Distillery. This family-run hotel reflects the island with its relaxed and friendly atmosphere. There are two lounges for guests' use; one with TV (there are no TVs in the bedrooms), free WiFi, tea and coffee making facilities, hairdryer and iron and ironing board are available.


We take the charter boat across the Sound of Jura into Loch Sween, and Tayvallich, with its tiny, sheltered bay. From here we travel by coach back to Glasgow Central Station.

 


What to Bring

Essential Equipment

To enjoy walking/hiking comfortably and safely, footwear, clothing and equipment needs to be suitable for the conditions. Safety and comfort are our priorities, so our advice is to come prepared for all eventualities.

  • Footwear with a good grip on the sole (e.g.Vibram sole) is the key to avoiding accidents
  • Walking/hiking boots providing ankle support and good grip are recommended (ideally worn in), and specialist walking socks to avoid blisters. Trekking/approach shoes are not recommended for this trek
  • Sturdy sandals for any river and stream crossings. This is most relevant to the June departure
  • Several layers of clothing, which can be added or removed, are better than a single layer (include spares)
  • Fabrics (lightweight and fast drying) designed for the outdoors are recommended
  • Waterproof jacket and waterproof over trousers
  • Warm hat and gloves. Gaiters are an optional but useful extra
  • Denim jeans and capes are not suitable on any walks
  • 35-40 litre rucksack with a waterproof liner
  • Water bottle (at least 1.5-2 litres)
  • Spare high-energy food such as a chocolate bar
  • Small torch
  • First aid kit – your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication or blister kits (such as Compeed)

Optional Equipment

  • Walking poles are useful, particularly for descents and for crossing streams and snow patches
  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun cream
  • Camera

Guest Reviews

All holidays are subject to availability and prices are subject to change.
Non-member associate fee: £10 per person.

Holiday Prices

Date (Start - End) Version Price Status Trip Notes Book
2020
04 May - 13 May 2019 Itinerary £1,749 £1,699 Save £50 Per Person Book Now
31 Aug - 09 Sep 2019 Itinerary £1,749 £1,699 Save £50 Per Person Book Now
Duration:
9 nights
Type:
Island Hopping
Walking Grade:
4

9 nights from £1,749pp £1,699pp

...or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

Add to wishlist Added to wishlist