(Isle of) Arran

Coire Fhionn Lochan

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“Probably the best wild swimming spot on Arran”

Location

Park off the A841 and do the c. 2km walk in past the wonderfully named Mid Thundergay.

Grid ref

NR903/459

Features

With a lovely beach and plenty of open water this is probably the best wild swimming spot on Arran.

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The stony beach at the east end of simply divine!

Hazards

None. Unless you count being too nice to leave!

Date of swim

3rd July 2015


Gleann Eason Biorach

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Location

Walk in from Lochranza (you could park in the distillery although they don’t really like that unless you promise to buy a bottle of Whiskey!)

Grid ref

NR948/483

Features

I think this is the only swimming spot in this valley and I had previously visited when “young” on a geology trip from school. Its got fairly easy access and fresh water!

Hazards

None but the obvious.

Date of swim

4th July 2015


 Glen Catacol

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Location

Either walk in from Catacol Bay or Mid Thundergay and walk in along the reasonably well used track/paths. There are plenty of lovely pools along the river.

Grid ref

NR920/480

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Features

This valley is lovely and there are lots of pools in the river. Unfortunately, when I visited (July) most were only really big enough for “bathing” not proper swimming, but they are still good spots.

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Hazards

Don’t dive in!

Date of swim

3rd July 2015


Iorsa Water

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Lovely pleasant valley

Location

This river is in a pleasant valley which ultimately stretches from the west to the north coast of Arran. We parked c. 6km south of Pirnmill near Dougarie Lodge and followed the footpath which runs along the valley bottom except where it takes a detour near the Lodge. There are quite a few person-made pools (presumably for fishing), but a few of these are suitable for swimming

Grid ref

NR896/380

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Features

Easy access, deep and shallow water.

Hazards

Inevitably due to the adjacent grassland quite a few insects will descend on you when you come out of the water.

Date of swim

30th June 2015


 Loch Iorsa

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If you look really carefully you can see a blob in the water (that’s me!)

Location

This Loch is on the west side of the island c. 6km south of Pirnmill and c. 3km from the coast. Its a pleasant valley walk in once you have gone on the annoying footpath diversion around posh people who live in Dougarie Lodge and presumably don’t like people walking past their house.

Grid ref

NR913/378

Features

Lovely view, easy access and plenty of deep water.

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Despite what you might think, the red ball/buoy isn’t with us! Torin looks a natural wild swimmer once he lets his arms get cold.

Hazards

None really.

Date of swim

30th June 2015


Un-named Lochan on Meall Bhig

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Location

Park off the A841 and do the c. 2km walk in past the wonderfully named Mid Thundergay.

Grid ref

NR908/467

Features

Ok while it looks lovely this isn’t a great “swim” as it was too shallow when I visited. I’m told there is a better Lochan up there but couldn’t find it!

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Hazards

Watch out for adders (ask Ruth what it feels like to accidentally stand on one!).

Date of swim

3rd July 2015