Europe

Hiking The Cobbler (Ben Arthur) in Scotland

Ben Arthur is a mountain located in western Scotland in the Arrochar Alps. ‘The Cobbler’ refers to a specific rock formation on the summit of Ben Arthur. To stand on top of the Cobbler (pictured below) you must climb through a hole in the formation and climb up the side of it. Standing on the The Cobbler is certainly not required to complete this hike, it just adds some adrenaline for those seeking an additional thrill at the top. The views from the summit of Ben Arthur without standing on the Cobbler are stunning.

standing on the Cobbler on the summit of Ben Arthur

Length: 7 miles total roundtrip

Time to complete: allow 4-6 hours

Parking: Succoth Car Park, located in Arrochar on Loch Long, and costs £1/hour (in 2021), no overnight parking allowed in the lot – click for parking location on google maps

Terrain: easy path to follow entire way. The first part is gradually up through woodlands, the middle part is relatively flat through a large open valley, and the end part is very steep up the side of Ben Arthur to the top.


Step by Step Hike Information:

  1. The trail begins across the main street from the parking lot. Look for the green sign pictured below, it marks the beginning of the trail. Also pictured is the route of the entire hike with the red line.

2. You will then proceed to walk through the forest, gradually upwards for about an hour. The trail is very wide, easy to follow, and zig zags back and forth a bit as you go up. There is one bench about halfway through the forest for those that need one.. and at this bench be sure to turn left up the forest track. Once you reach the top of the treeline, you will be in a large valley.

just after coming out of the forest, looking back at it

3. You will next walk through the valley very gently upwards. It is here you will get your first glimpse of Ben Arthur in the distance.. and proceed to walk toward it the entire time. Ben Arthur actually has 3 peaks on it (pictured below). The smallest of the peaks is the middle one, which is the Cobbler. As you walk through this valley you will cross a few small streams and some very large boulders.

the 3 peaks of Ben Arthur

4. As you get close to the bottom of Ben Arthur, the path will split into 2 directions (pictured below). Both ways lead to the summit so you can go either way! Most people do go right though as the path stays very wide and very visible. The trail up to the summit on the right goes around the side of Ben Arthur and then has a steep set of well defined stone steps and trail upwards. Most people go both up and down the summit by this path on the right. However, it is technically a loop from this point and I went up the path on the left and then down the path on the right. The path on the left is much less defined and is more of a very steep scramble up stones and boulders. I hate retracing my steps so if you prefer a loop like I do, try doing a different trail each way.

where the path splits in 2 – BOTH lead to the summit.

5. Regardless which route you take from step 4 above, both are steep and both will bring you up to the center of Ben Arthur’s summit. The views walking up to and while up there, are absolutely stunning 360 degrees all around you.

6. **optional ** Standing on top of The Cobbler. In order to get to the top of it you have to “thread the needle”. This means climbing through the hole in the middle of the rock formation. After you thread the needle you then carefully climb up the outside side of the formation. If it is windy or rainy I do not recommend doing this. We lucked out with a beautiful sunny day.

7. Last, head back to the parking lot! Enjoy different angles of the views around you on the way back 🙂


If you have any other questions feel free to email me at KellyNicoleTravel@gmail.com, comment on this blog post, or message me on Instagram @kellynicoletravel 🙂

*** For more beautiful hikes in Scotland, Click here ****

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