The Cobbler, which is also known as Ben Arthur, is an incredible mountain and part of the Arrochar Alps. The name is due to the distinctive rocky summit which supposedly emulates the shape of a cobbler leaning over at work.
The Cobbler is an extremely popular destination for avid mountaineers and rock climbers! Reaching the top of The Cobbler, there are spectacular views out to the Firth of Clyde, Ben Lomond and other mountains surrounding Loch Lomond. Not a very high mountain at all, The Cobbler hill path is more than pleasant to climb up. The Cobbler is located very near the West Highland Way, why not divert your route? Experience some even more amazing Scottish scenery. Make the most of the beautiful landscapes while you can! This is the perfect opportunity to stop by and visit the charming loch side village of Arrochar. Incredibly easy to access, the starting point of the ascent is Succoth car park.
If you choose to climb up The Cobbler, throughout the walk you will be exposed to some history of the Scottish countryside. The path you will be walking on is the route used by people who wanted to climb The Cobbler in the late nineteenth century. However, in a later time of the 1930s, unemployed people from Glasgow’s shipyards and factories climbed The Cobbler. Hoping to practice and perfect their climbing skills. Travelling often by foot, bicycle or public transport. Further along your way, you will come across large rocks known as Narnain boulders. These were used as sleeping shelters and meeting places for those who did not have any alternate place to stay.
The Cobbler has three different peaks. There is a straightforward path between the central and north peaks. The central peak is the highest of the peaks. Reaching the top of the central peak the views are spectacular. From there it is possible to access the ‘true summit,’ however to do this there is scrambling required. The south peak is much harder and so is only able to be reached by rock climbers. A summit which is just as incredible as the north and central peaks, there is a view from this peak back to the central one, an amazing sight!
It is a given to take great care when on descent from the peaks. The walk takes you through different terrains. On the ascent, there is a maintained path, easy to recognise and keep to. Further up, during the climb you are taken through forestry areas, crossing streams. Then alternately you will be walking through the typical countryside. You are provided with amazing views and a different walking environment from the West Highland Way.
Diverting your West Highland Way trip to include climbing The Cobbler, is easily achieved. A couple of miles from Invernanan, which is on the West Highland Way route, Arrochar is a perfect place to stop before your climb. Arrochar is a quiet and idyllic village right beside Loch Long. The still water of Loch Long reflects the plush surrounding scenery. In no way will you be able to miss such views! Arrochar has some local points, perfect to prepare and start planning for the short climb of The Cobbler. From Arrochar there are railway and bus links, so there is every chance for you to explore Scotland even more! The views you will experience after climbing The Cobbler will only increase your love for the west coast. Once you fall in love with Arrochar, you will definitely want to come back. By climbing up The Cobbler and incorporating it into your West Highland Way plans, your experience of the Scottish countryside will be massively improved.
By incorporating The Cobbler into your West Highland Way route, there is so much more Scottish wildlife to see. Beginning your journey from Succoth car park, located at the head of Loch Long, watch out for seals and dolphins! Loch Long is a sheltered sea loch which means that as well as there being a variety of fish native to the Loch, there are also seals and dolphins. You might also be lucky enough to see Osprey, flying over from Loch Lomond! During your time in Arrochar, along the Loch Long shore, there are often gannets diving for fish. Red and Roe Deer are often spotted on the hillsides of the Arrochar Alps, it is not uncommon to spot them making their way down to nearer the village. As well as black and white eider ducks. The Cobbler is also home to an abundance of mountain wildlife! Throughout the forestry parts of the path, with any luck you might catch some red squirrels. During your climb look out for grouse and ptarmigan. Of course it is always worthwhile to keep an eye out for a golden eagle!
In Scotland, the weather can be very unpredictable. It is very worthwhile to consider when you are going to be walking the West Highland Way and climbing up The Cobbler. In Winter, no doubt the weather will be either icy or snowing. Planning the trip in the warmer months will make sure you are able to carry out your plan successfully. Hill walking in winter is extremely dangerous and the person doing it should have training. Safety is crucial! Not only will there be better views in summer and spring, there is more of a chance to enjoy the overall experience of climbing up The Cobbler and walking the West Highland Way!
What You Need to Know
- Starting point for the climb is Succoth car park in Arrochar, located just off the A83.
- The main path is fairly easy however there are some rocky sections on the way down.
- Consider the weather when you are planning the trip.
- In total the distance of the walk is 7 miles.
- Time taken for both ascent and descent is 4 to 6 hours.
What’s the point in missing out? If you would like to know more about how we can help you to incorporate The Cobbler into your West Highland Way experience, contact us!