The 9th of May 2015 was a special day for me as I finally succeeded to do one of my most desired walks on Islay, the walk up Beinn Bheigeir from Claggain Bay. Beinn Bheigeir, which is Gaelic for mountain of the vicar, is with 491 metres the highest hill on Islay and consists of two tops, the south top which is 456 metres high and the trig point on the other top to the west which is 495 metres. In between is a ridge which is around one kilometre long.
Often the walk was impossible in the past due to bad weather, a bad back or other circumstances which prevented me from going up and it was actually the day before that I met up with a friend and we agreed that we should “do that mountain” some time together. When I arrived home he suggested to go straight away as the weather forecast looked quite good so the decision was quickly made. In the morning at 9am we left Port Charlotte for the drive to Claggain Bay, the starting point of our walk. We took off around 10am and basically followed the track right from the Claggain river all the way up to the end. From there we set off up the shoulder of the hill which takes you to the first cairn, a few hundred metres from the south top. From there we walked over the ridge to the real summit with trig point. Needless to say, the views along the way and on the top were absolutely amazing or maybe I should use the word spectacular.
We could see all the way from the Isle of Mull to the Ben Nevis range and along Argyll, the Isle of Arran and Kintyre all the way down to the Antrim coastline in Northern Ireland. We were so lucky with the weather and the conditions were perfect, what a day! We reached the top at 11:45am and we stayed there for almost an hour, taking in the fabulous scenery, the complete silence, the passing sailing boats in the far distance, the calm sea and of course a bite to eat.
The return walk was done in less than two hours and around that time more clouds appeared from the south. We had picked the perfect time and we considered ourselves very fortunate to live on such a wonderful island and to be able to do such an amazing walk.
Below are some more of the amazing views we enjoyed.