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Last updated on March 25th, 2021
With a peak of 966 metres (3,169 feet), Ben More is the highest mountain on the Isle of Mull.
Located on the shores of Loch na Keal and Loch Beg, it offers spectacular views from two very different approaches on the north and south sides.
Review of Ben More
No visitor to the Isle of Mull can fail to be slightly awestruck by the enormous mass of Ben More. As the highest mountain on the island (rising to an impressive 3,169 feet/966 meters), this mountain (actually a Munro) dominates the landscape for miles around and offers amazing views from the summit.
Not only is Ben More the highest peak on the island but it’s one of the highest in the entire Inner Hebrides with only the peaks on the Isle of Skye beating it for height.
But although the mountain can’t take credit for being the tallest I personally think it wins the award for having the best hiking experiences, with the view from the top encompassing the Sound of Mull, the islands of Staffa and Ulva, the Isle of Skye, and the Highlands over on the mainland.
There are two routes to reach the top of Ben More, one from the shore of Loch Na Keal on its northern side and the other from the shore of Loch Beg on its southern side. Both are equally enjoyable although the second route from Loch Beg is much steeper.
Both routes will take you approximately 4 hours to get to the summit and it would be a good idea to have prior mountain walking experience before you attempt the climb. One word of warning – the mountain is formed from magnetic volcanic rock so compasses might not work in certain areas.
Things to do at Ben More
As the only Munro on Mull, Ben More offers a perfect opportunity to get your boots on if you’re into Munro bagging.
The trails leading into the mountain are few and far between but once you get towards the summit you’ll be rewarded with the best viewpoint on the entire island.
One of the attractions of this mountain is that it has such a diverse landscape. On your way up you’ll find a mixture of thick grassland, waterfalls, muddy bogs, scree-strewn cliff faces, woodland (at the bottom), rocky tracks and car-sized boulders, and there’s a fair amount of wildlife to keep an eye open for as you make your way past each section.
Remember to bring your binoculars with you because there are several herds of wild red deer roaming about the lower sections of Ben More while at the summit you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of white-tailed eagles on the hunt for their next meal.
Although the route to the summit is relatively easy heading from the north on the Loch Na Keal side, you can follow the much more challenging route from Loch Beg on the south side if you really want to go wild.
And when I say wild I really do mean it – I didn’t see another person during the entire day I visited Ben More so this difficult ascent might be worth making the effort if you fancy getting away from it all for a few hours.
Beware that it gets very boggy in places so unless you’ve got a good pair of walking boots you’re going to find this walk nigh-on impossible, and forget it if it’s summer and you’re wearing flip-flops.
My advice would be to pack for every possible scenario because the weather can dramatically change in an instant once you get near the top so make sure you’ve got a decent map with you as well.
On a clear day you’ll get fantastic views across to the smaller islands of Ulva and Iona and the mighty Ben Cruachan mountain can also be seen on the mainland.
- The views across Mull from the summit of Ben More are amazing.
- There are lots of different landscapes to discover on this walk and you’ll likely see eagles and deer during the ascent.
- It’s worth making the journey even if you don’t get all the way to the top and there are several flat plateaus that offer good places to stop and get the camera out.
- This route from Loch Beg is very tough due to the steep and rough terrain. Don’t attempt it unless you’re reasonably fit.
- Much of the route is very boggy. Make sure you’ve got a good pair of walking boots.
- It would be easy to get lost without some form of navigation so take an OS map with you. Buy OS Landranger maps direct from Ordnance Survey.
Things to do near Ben More
- Loch Na Keal. Large sea loch to the north of Ben More. The loch is a popular destination for cyclists thanks to the B8073 and the B8035 that follow the waters edge to the north and south respectively.
- Dun da Ghaoithe. Isle of Mull PA65 6BB. A 766-metre-high curving ridge that looks over the ferry terminal at Craignure. Relatively easy-going although the rough path is unmarked.
- Loch Spelve. Inverlussa, Isle of Mull PA65 6BD. A sea loch that is almost landlocked apart from a narrow opening to the Firth of Lorn. Easily accessed via the A849. Due to its protection from the sea, Loch Spelve is often used by kayakers and it makes a good location for paddleboards to explore the Southeast region of Mull.
- Aros Castle. Isle of Mull PA72 6JP. A ruined 13th-century castle that mostly comprises a few walled sections. Good views across the firth to the mainland. There are lots of paths that follow the coastline to the north and south.
- Loch Scridain and Loch Beg. Sea lochs that cut into the south-west tip of Mull. The larger loch, Scridain, is over nine miles in length and stop at a small peninsula that separates it from Loch Beg. There are a multitude of walks in the area especially to the south on the Ross of Mull.
Address and map
Isle of Mull,
Isle of Mull
Car park co-ordinates: 56°23’41.4″N 6°01’17.5″W
Tickets and opening times
There is no fee to enter the Ben More area. The car park at Loch Beg is free to use.
Access to the mountain is 24/7, 365 days a year.
Be advised to check the weather forecast during the winter months and prepare accordingly. Phone the Benmore Estate (01680 300229) Aug – Oct for dates of deer stalking – no stalking on Sundays.
- Telephone: NA
- email: NA
- Website: NA
Photos and video
More places to visit in Scotland’s islands
- The Isle of Tiree: Complete Visitor GuideThe Isle of Tiree is the most westerly island of the Inner Hebrides and although small at only 20 square miles it has become increasingly popular with tourists thanks to its golden sandy beaches and shallow bays of crystal clear water.
- The Isle of Islay: Complete Visitor GuideThe Isle of Islay is one of the largest west-coast Scottish islands and has the nickname ‘The Queen of the Hebrides’ – a title that’s been passed down the generations for hundreds of years by the proud people who live there.
- The Old Man of Storr – Isle of Skye: Complete Visitor GuideLocated in Trotternish, around 6 miles north of the main town of Portree, The Storr is the remnant of an ancient landslide which resulted in a dramatic cliff-face backdrop with the ‘Old Man’ sitting in a prominent position on its own looking out across the stunning landscape of Loch Leathan and the Sound of Raasay.
- The Fairy Pools – Isle of Skye: Complete Visitor GuideIf you visit the Isle of Skye then you have to visit the Fairy Pools, the beautifully clear crystal-blue pools of water that lie at the foot of the Black Cuillin hills.
- The Quiraing – Isle of Skye: Complete Visitor GuideThe Quiraing is an outstanding area of natural beauty on the northernmost summit of Trotternish on the Isle of Skye that was formed thousands of years ago by a series of monumental landslips.