The Cobbler (Ben Arthur) Walk

Difficulty
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Hard
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
4.5-6.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
11.0 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
920 m
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Directions to Trailhead
The Cobbler (Ben Arthur) Walk

Explore the central and north summits of Ben Arthur on the exhilarating Cobbler (Ben Arthur) Walk, featuring the most distinctive-shaped mountain in all of the Southern Highlands. This fantastic hill walk begins in Arrochar and unfolds on a clear path consisting of some steep and rocky sections and a gruelling descent between the Cobbler’s two prominent peaks. Panoramic views from the summit across the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park make this a beloved climb by hillwalkers near and far.

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Route Description for The Cobbler (Ben Arthur) Walk

The Cobbler, also known as Ben Arthur, is an 884 m mountain near the head of Loch Long in Scotland’s Argyll and Bute region. The Cobbler (Ben Arthur) Walk is one of the shorter hillwalks in the area and features an exhilarating climb to both main peaks followed by a formidable descent. Although the path is clear (much of it waymarked in red) and relatively easy to follow, rocky terrain and steep sections (especially on the descent) make this a walk best reserved for those seeking a challenge. Proper footwear is a must, and if tackling this walk during the winter when snow is present, an ice-axe and crampons are highly recommended.

The shape of The Cobbler lays claim to having one, if not the most well-recognized outlines of all mountains in the Southern Highlands. Beyond its elegant structure, the mountain path system has also been updated in recent years, making for an enjoyable walking experience. The views from both summits are extraordinary, and we definitely recommend this walk if taking in some of the best panoramic views of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park is high on your list.

From the Succoth car park, just off the A83, park to begin the walk. Head for the road on the opposite side of the car park, where you’ll note a fox carving. Make for the expansive path that climbs the hillside up into the trees, following a weaving trail. Enjoying views of Loch Long as you ascend, continue the path until you reach a bench where you’ll make a left, joining a forest path. Turn right up the next stretch of path, admiring the summit of Ben Lomond, rising triumphantly in the distance.

Once you emerge from the path, reaching the stream, maintain a straight course headed upstream to your right. As you continue, the three mighty peaks of The Cobbler come into view, beckoning you forward. The uphill track continues to unfold, beginning to incorporate some large rocks that you can use as stepping stones to approach the Narnain boulders. The series of boulders were once used as shelters for climbers long ago, a low-maintenance accommodation where they could catch some sleep after a day of climbing.

When you reach the fork, veer right and continue the climb up the valley. Follow the Allt a’ Bhalachain, soaking up the views of Beinn Narnain on your right, as you approach the small lochan and a junction on the route. Turn left, and pursue the series of seemingly never-ending stone steps up towards the summit. Reaching the ridge between the north and central summits, make a right to explore the central peak. Following the path to continue higher still, you’ll reach the summit, a small plateau opening to panoramic views in every direction. Spotting the rock pinnacle, you’ll have laid eyes on the true summit of the mountain, which you may climb by way of a scramble if you feel up to the challenge.

Set out from the central peak summit, back down the same path you climbed to reach it, then take the trail up the other side to take in the superb north peak, marked by a small cairn. The dramatic views from the second summit are astounding, with a spectacular perspective of the central peak from here as well. To descend, retrace your steps back down, remaining vigilant with your footing, as the path is rocky and steep. Enjoy views of the Cobbler’s cliffs as well as the south peak, as a brief scramble down a gully leads to a well-defined path. Continue the path to cross the stream and rejoin the main trail. Turn right to take the outward way, following it back to the start point where the walk began.

Trail Highlights

The Cobbler (Ben Arthur)

Found near the head of Loch Long, The Cobbler, also known as Ben Arthur, stands 884 m high and is included in the list of Scotland’s Corbetts (Scottish mountains between 2,500 ft and 3,000 ft). The peak takes its name from the supposed likeness of the mountain’s shape to that of a cobbler at his workbench. The mountain is particularly popular with rock climbers and is always a favourite among hillwalkers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Ben Arthur also known as The Cobbler?

The shape of Ben Arthur Mountain is perceived by many to look like a cobbler bent over at his workspace. In the 19th-century, the mountain was often called “The Cobbler and his Wife.”

What are the risks of climbing The Cobbler?

Although many people reach the summit of The Cobbler successfully, the climb does pose risks and is rated as a difficult climb. It’s essential to have proper footwear and if tackling the hill during winter months, only do so with the adequate gear required and when visbility is good.

What other adventure sports are popular on The Cobbler?

Other adventure sports frequently enjoyed on The Cobbler mountain are mountain biking and rock climbing.

Insider Hints for The Cobbler (Ben Arthur) Walk

  • There are no toilets at the Succoth car park, so it's best to stop in town at Arrochar for washroom facilities
  • The car park often gets busy early on, so the earlier you arrive at this walk, the better.
  • Parking at the Succoth car park costs £1 per hour up to a max of £9 per day.
  • The village of Arrochar, where the walk begins, boasts great mountain views and a cozy vibe. It's a great place to pop into a small pub either before or after the walk.

Getting to the The Cobbler (Ben Arthur) Walk Trailhead

To get to the Succoth car park where The Cobbler (Ben Arthur) Walk begins, from Arrochar, head north on the A83 toward the A814, continuing for less than a mile, then turn left to enter the Succoth car park where the walk begins.

Route Information

  • When to do

    Year-Round Access

  • Backcountry Campsites

    Wild camping (permit required)

  • Pets allowed

    Yes

  • Family friendly

    No

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    High

  • Route Type

    Lollipop

The Cobbler (Ben Arthur) Walk Elevation Graph

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The Cobbler (Ben Arthur) Walk Reviews

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