|Beinn Mhor from
|Estimated net time||1½-2 hours|
|Drinking water||No access to drinking water.|
|GSM coverage||Coverage around trail head and at the summit. Sporadic coverage throughout the route (May 2009).|
|Parking||Room for many cars at the car park at trail head.|
|Start height||100 metres|
|Vertical metres||230 metres for the roundtrip|
|Trip distance||5.0 km|
|Route photo||Start of the route to Beinn Mhor, at the car park at Killeyan.|
From Port Ellen on Islay drive north on road A846. Turn left where signed for "Mull of Oa" just before the Port Ellen malting site. Drive 1.6 km and turn left, again signed for "Mull of Oa". Continue 7.4 km on this road and then turn left where signed for "American Monument". 800 metres later you get to a car park on the right hand side of the road.
Start walking by crossing the road and walk through the gate. Continue south on the path, making sure you stay in the general direction of Beinn Mhor. When the path turns east after approximately 550 metres you should proceed off-path down into the valley that lies below you. From the bottom of the valley continue directly towards the summit. The terrain offers easy walking, and towards the end you will find a track made by animals.
The descent is easiest done by following the ascent route.
02. May 2009
This was our second day at Islay, and it was a nice Saturday morning. I was considering making a second go at Beinn Bheigeir but decided instead to visit the highest point on the Mull of Oa. Without having had a breakfast I first drove to Port Ellen to buy a map of Islay, and then drove directly to Killeyan. At 10:10 I started my hike, and I really was enjoying myself being out on my own.
I followed the path I found at trail head a little too long before I concluded that it did not lead to the summit. But in the easy terrain the small de-tour didn't make much of a difference, and I found it just as easy to hike across the short grass and heather.
The views from the summit of Beinn Mhor is not dominated by big mountains, but the waves of the Atlantic Sea slamming against the rocks of Oa is also a fascinating view, and despite the haze I was still able to see Ireland in the distant.