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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Uploaded on: Mon, 17 Aug 2020 (15:26:14) Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/track/4365/ To download GPS tracks you must be enrolled and logged in. See "Login or enrol", top right - quick and easy.
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