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A 1030ft hike up Mullach Mòr on Holy Isle

Holy Island, located off the coast of the Isle of Arran in the Forth of Clyde, offers a stunning backdrop to those anchored or on a mooring buoy in Lamlash Bay. The island is aproximately 3 kilometres long and approximately 1 kilometre wide and its highest point is the hill Mullach Mòr, at a height of approximately 1030ft.

Holy Isle

The island has an ancient spiritual heritage stretching back to the 6th century. There is a spring or holy well claiming to hold healing properties, the hermit cave of 6th century monk St Molaise, and evidence of a 13th-century monastery.

At the north of the island the Centre for World Peace and Health hosts a number of retreats and spiritual and wellness programmes throughout the year whereas at the south end of the island there is a closed Buddhist retreat, where retreats can last up to 3 years! Over the years the island has introduced Soay sheep, Saanen goats and Eriskay ponies, many of which roam freely.

Day visitors are welcome to enjoy the unspoilt beauty of the island and there is a floating pontoon/jetty where you can land your dinghy for exploring the island. Alternatively Lamlash Cruises run trips over to the island.

Jetty on Holy Isle

The hike to the top of Mullach Mòr took us around one and a half hours. The path is narrow in places with loose stones and the odd bit of scrambling! Decent hiking shoes or boots is recommended.

On reaching the peak you are rewarded with stunning views over Lamlash Bay and across the Clyde to Ardrossan and up to Little Cumbrae, Bute and beyond. Of course if you choose a day with poor visibility then the most you will see is clouds!

Mullach Mòr Peak

The descent back down the southern side is rather tricky in places with some careful navigating of steep boulders and loose rocks. Pillar Rock lighthouse soon comes into view on your left hand side and a little further down on your right you will see some unique accommodation pods built into the hillside!

The path soon opens up, leading down towards the waters edge. Along the way you will pass many Tibetan Buddhist rock paintings and St Molaise’s Cave. We opted to stop for a picnic at the healing spring, taking the opportunity to ground ourselves by dipping our feet in the cold spring water! 🙏

If you are in Lamlash Bay and the weather permits then we’d highly recommend this hike up the island, the views will not disappoint!


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