Walk of the Week: Ben More, Mull

Robin Howie explores a popular walk in Mull

Ben More, Mull (not to be confused with Ben More, Crianlarich, or Ben More Assynt) is the most popular choice of hill on which to complete a round of Munros. Perhaps it is the pull of the only island Munro outwith Skye, or because it’s a bit more tricky to get there during the course of a round, but research by Dave Hewitt, maestro of Munro minutiae, shows that something like 10 per cent of all completions occur here. Five hillwalkers completed on just one day, in August 1995.

The journey to Mull requires a ferry so there is a feeling of adventure about the expedition. A small ferry operates from Lochaline to Fishnish, more suitable for those travelling from the north, but the main service is Oban to Craignure, operated by Caledonian MacBrayne, with pre-booking for a car almost essential in the summer.

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Ben More is distinctive as being a hill that is beautiful to look at from afar and whose summit is a wonderful viewpoint, especially in the late evening. Take note though that Mull gets more than 100 inches of rain each year. Many travel the long way only to find the weather forecast was better than actuality, as happened to Jimbo, John and me.

We were a little too far west of the high pressure system and, while the bulk of the country sweltered in record-breaking March temperatures, we experienced a black and white day of no sun, but thankfully no rain.

More properly Beinn Mhor, this big mountain, while not massive at 966m/3,169ft, dominates the sprawling island which offers a choice of attractive ways to the top. My favourite start is from the south-east at Teanga Brideig, but on our day of strong winds, that route was abandoned for the safer and easier way to the top. The “tourist” route follows the Abhainn Dhiseig on its east bank, crossing to reach a well-formed zigzag path that easily leads to the small summit plateau.

Map

Ordnance Survey map 48, Iona & Ben More

Distance

6 miles

Height

950m

Terrain

Grassy slopes then zigzag path to stony summit

Start point

Off the B8035 by Dhiseig, map ref 494359

Time

4-5 hours

Nearest town

Tobermory

Recommended refreshment spot

Arlene’s Coffee Shop, Craignure