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simoburn: Track 4365 in area near Cnoc an Iolair (mullach thiar), Donegal NW (Ireland)
Arranmore Island Cycle and Hike
Length: 21.2km, Creator time taken: 4h33m, Ascent: 583m,
Descent: 585m

Places: Start at B68203 15815, Cnoc an Iolair (mullach thiar), end at Start
Logged as completed by 1

Arranmore Island Cycle and Hike
Donegal has a lot to offer every adventure seeking soul. I had been meaning for some time to visit more of the Islands off the coast of Donegal. Naturally Islands that sport some form of summit have an additional pull of interest for me. I would be travelling with Jo's (my better half) family and we had decided to cycle around the Island following the Arranmore Way and while Jo's family would have a lunch break both Jo and I would run up the two summits, the main one being Cluidaniller West Top at 227m.
Jo cycling the Arranmore Way.

The trip over to the Island via the ferry takes you through stunning coastal views which seem typical for Donegal. Approximately 25 minutes later you will find yourself on Arranmore. We rented the bikes on the Island and set off on our merry way. The weather was stunning allowing for great views. At the grid reference B 65968 15871 the bikes were stowed in the ditch (totally secure location) and a quick ramble off up to the summit Cluidaniller West Top. A return to the road was followed by an even quicker ramble to the minor summit of Cluidaniller which has the Trig pillar and is slightly lower than it's western summit.
Jo on the summit of Cluidaniller West Top.

Once back on the road and bikes we continue to follow the Arranmore Way to the Beaver Island Memorial and down to the Lighthouse and old Coastguard Station. The bikes sure made easy work but the wind was just short of blowing you off the bikes...great fun! Once at the Lighthouse (gates are locked) travel west along the wall down towards the cliffs to the steps (B 64128 18470) down to an old landing area. The sea was choppy and wild and well worth a look. Watch out on the steep steps, some are broken and slippery in places.
The steps down to an old landing just West from the Lighthouse.

After the Lighthouse we travelled back to the Beaver Island Memorial and took a wrong turn. The old Arranmore Way (as seen on the maps on the Island) was the route that we followed however the new marked way takes a left turn at B 65639 17384 when travelling back from the Lighthouse. This updated route section appears to be around the same length however on a rougher track and rejoins the road at B 66203 17886. Being rather anal about the details I felt like the Arranmore Way had cheated me from completing its route in its entirety, as per normal (for me) with many of the marked ways I have walked. Having said that, it was a wonderful day. The road from this point is mostly downhill with gorgeous views of Donegal in front of you...assuming you have good weather that is.
The Arranmore Way as marked on the tourist maps on the Island - out of date?

Overall, I can recommend doing the route clockwise and it keeps the uphill spread out and the trip down to the Lighthouse is well worth the extra few kms. Tagging the summit while on the island for the day, be it on foot or on bike is an easy outing. Some of the downsides to the day were that I found a lot of cars driving the loop road on the Island and so it may be best enjoyed off the Arranmore Way and more along the magnificent coastline and cliffs. Equally was the many signs of quarrying, peat cutting and general commercialisation of the upland - but don't let this stop you from a great day out exploring a wonderful Island. A final note, those looking to rock climbing the amazing Lighthouse Sea Stalk will certainly be in for an adventure...one which I hope to return to next year.
Lighthouse Sea Stack - middle of the photo - a climbers dream..next year hopefully!

Uploaded on: Mon, 17 Aug 2020 (15:26:14)
Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/track/4365/  
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NOTE: ALL information such as Ascent, Length and Creator time taken etc should be regarded as approximate. The creator's comments are opinions and may not be accurate or still correct.
Your time to complete will depend on your speed plus break time and your mode of transport. For walkers: Naismith's rule, an approximate though often inaccurate estimate, suggests a time of 5h 13m + time stopped for breaks
NOTE: It is up to you to ensure that your route is appropriate for you and your party to follow bearing in mind all factors such as safety, weather conditions, experience and access permission.

* Note: A GPS Height in the elevation profile is sourced from the device that recorded the track. An "SRTM" height is derived from a model of elevations for parts of the earth. More detail

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Some mapping:
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British summit data courtesy:
Database of British & Irish Hills
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