Beinn Lora

By Colin Hogarth

Rising from the shores of Ardmucknish Bay, Beinn Lora is by no means a big hill but it offers arguably some of the best views in the west of Scotland. Tall conifers, interspersed with leafy patches of oak, birch and rowan, carpet the hill's northern slopes. The summit, however, stands proud from the pines, providing panoramas as reward for a strenuous ascent from sea level.

A path begins in the Forestry Commission's Lora Forest car park, located on the southern edge of the village of Benderloch. Follow it into the trees and carry straight on, avoiding a turn off leading up the hill to the right. Let blue waymarkers guide you as the path climbs gently at first. It curves up to the right and the walking becomes ever more demanding as the gradient increases. A bench at the top of the steepest section provides a welcome resting point and an excellent view north over Loch Linnhe to Kingairloch and Morvern.

The path flattens out slightly here but continues to rise through a break in the trees to another viewpoint. Here it meets up with a path descending into the forest. Carry on making your way up, following the blue posts. The route climbs steeply once again and continues to ascend until it reaches the edge of the forest. Just before this, however, there is a chance to visit the Eagles' Eyrie viewpoint which is signed off the path and well worth the short detour.

Back on the main route, the way emerges from the forest on to open moorland. Here there is a picnic table and a kissing gate in the high deer fence through which you must pass. Again there are more cracking views, this time down the Firth of Lorne towards Oban.

An obvious trail strikes out over the heather. Initially it descends a little before climbing on to craggy Beinn Lorne. Conditions underfoot are inclined to be a touch marshy on this stretch. When you arrive at the top a short distance on, you'll find a trig point and, on a clear day, more wonderful views. To the north, beyond the sprawling forest, is Loch Creran and, to the south, you should be able to see the yachts moored at Dunstaffnage Bay marina. Over to the west is Ben Cruachan and Loch Awe.

Make your way south from the trig point to the edge of the summit and Connel and its cantilever bridge, spanning the Falls or Lora and once conveyance for both road and railway, come into view.

When you're ready to head for home, return to the forest by the same path and follow it down. When you reach the bench encountered early in the walk, turn left and the way loops back to the car park.


Distance 3 miles/5km.
Map OS Landranger sheet 49.
Start/parking Lora Forest Walks car park (next to fuel station), Benderloch (grid ref 905378).
Grading A short but strenuous forest and moorland walk over good paths.

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