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Beinn Narnain: The Ultimate Munro Bagging Guide (2024)

Beinn Narnain: The Ultimate Munro Bagging Guide (2024)

Beinn Narnain (AKA Ben Narnain) is a stunning Munro in the Arrochar Alps in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. To reach the summit of this mountain, most walkers complete a thrilling circular walk. Although, many walkers combine climbing Beinn Narnain with climbing nearby Beinn Ime (AKA Ben Ime) – another Munro. That’s exactly what Beck and I did. To that end, in this guide, we’re going to talk about the Beinn Narnain Circular Walk and also the Beinn Narnain and Beinn Ime Walk.

About Beinn Narnain

The Arrochar Alps consist of a compact group of mountains, one of which is Beinn Narnain. Being 926 metres above sea level, this mountain is classified as a Munro. So, it’s a popular mountain to climb for walkers who are looking to bag Munros. Of course, with Beinn Ime (1,011 metres), another Munro in the Arrochar Alps, located not too far from Ben Narnain, many walkers will take the opportunity to bag two Munros during one single walk. In effect, the Beinn Narnain and Ben Ime Walk is a popular route option for bagging Beinn Narnain.

Of course, if you’ve landed on this page, you might be solely interested in just climbing Beinn Narnain. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! In the Beinn Narnain Routes section, we’ll detail both the Beinn Narnain Circular Walk and the Beinn Narnain and Beinn Ime Walk. We’ll also cover some other route options for those interested in doing something a little different!

Views of Beinn Narnain from Ben Arthur

Where Is Beinn Narnain?

This mountain is located in the southern highlands of Scotland, specifically in the Arrochar Alps. To help get your bearings, please click on the image below to access an interactive map of the area.

A screenshot a map showing the Beinn Narnain Walk

Beinn Narnain Routes

As mentioned, the Beinn Narnain Circular Walk and the Beinn Narnain and Beinn Ime Walk are the two most popular options for summiting Beinn Narnain. Let’s look at these two popular options in a tiny bit more detail.

  • Beinn Narnain Circular Walk: this is the most well-known and popular option for bagging this Munro without summiting any other mountains.
  • Beinn Narnain and Beinn Ime: this is another well-known and popular option for those wanting to bag two Munros. Indeed, it’s good bang for buck, as from Beinn Narnain, you’re not too far from bagging Beinn Ime.

Of course, there are other route options which include summiting Beinn Narnain. Let’s look at these below.

Loch Lomond Cruise

Loch Lomond boat cruise

A Loch Lomond cruise is an amazing thing to do in the national park. Make sure to do a Loch Lomond sightseeing cruise during your visit to the area.

Beinn Narnain Circular Walk Statistics

Because this guide is primarily about Beinn Narnain, we’re going to show you the trail specs, maps and details about the Beinn Narnain Circular Walk. But, as mentioned, Beck and I did the Beinn Narnain and Beinn Ime route. So, in the walk description, we’ll tell you about our experience sumitting Beinn Narnain, and then also climbing Beinn Ime.

Below, you’ll find trail specs for the Beinn Narnain Circular Walk.

  • Type: Loop
  • Distance: 10.3km (6.4 miles)
  • Time: 4.5–5.5 hours
  • Accumulated elevation gain: 945m
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trailhead: Succoth

Beinn Narnain Circular Walk Map (GPS and OS)

Below, you’ll find GPS and OS maps for the Beinn Narnain Circular Walk.

A screenshot a map showing the Beinn Narnain Walk

Beinn Narnain: Terrain and Profile

Initially, the Beinn Narnain Circular Walk involves walking through dense woodland with steep terrain. You’ll eventually leave the cover of the woodlands and reach an open mountainous area, where the trail remains steep and rocky.

Nearing the summit, there is some mild scrambling. But, there are often trails to avoid any additional scrambling. Descending Ben Narnain on its northern side involves a steep, rocky and sometimes less-defined trail. Soon, you’ll join a well-defined rocky path, leading you past Ben Arthur and back towards Succoth.

With around 945 metres of accumulated elevation gain, the Ben Narnain Circular Walk is quite physically demanding. Given the steep terrain, you’ll need to take care, especially after rain when the trails are slipperier.

Elevation profile for the Beinn Narnain Walk

Our Experience Climbing Beinn Narnain

During our ascent of Beinn Narnain, we didn’t enjoy good weather conditions. Unfortunately, at the summit of the mountain, we experienced a whiteout. This also occurred during our ascent of Beinn Ime afterwards. So, we don’t have summit photos showing the breathtaking views. I suppose, when you’re hiking as much as Beck and I do, you can’t always enjoy breathtaking weather and visibility.

Anyway, in the walk description below, our intention isn’t to explain the trail in a step-by-step format. After all, you can always use a map for precise trail instructions. Instead, we’ll provide a little insight into our experience doing the Beinn Narnain and Beinn Ime Walk, showing you some photos of the horrid weather conditions we encountered. After all, it’s Scotland, so you might experience the same conditions too!

Anyway, here is a map of the walk that we did and will talk about below.

A screenshot a map showing the Beinn Ime and Beinn Narnain Walk

Where to Start: Succoth

You’ll start the walk to Beinn Narnain from the shores of Loch Long in Succoth. When it comes to parking, there are two options. The most convenient option is Succoth Car Park, as it’s located opposite the trailhead. Alternatively, you can park at the Loch Long Car Park, which is around a 650 metre walk to the trailhead.

FYI – both car parks are privately owned and charge extortionate rates. You’ll pay around £1/hour at Succoth Car Park, whilst you’ll pay £1.30/hour at the Loch Long Car Park, usually between 9am and 6pm. Of course, these prices and conditions are subject to change. Please let us know in the comments below if you paid a different rate.

After leaving either car park, and crossing the main road (A83), you’ll soon join a steep trail heading towards Beinn Narnain. You’ll walk through dense woodland, climbing up a steep and rocky trail. After heavy rainfall in the morning, Beck and I got pretty soaked by the wet plants and leaves we brushed past. You’ll soon enjoy views of Long Loch as you gain more height.

Eventually, you’ll leave the woodlands behind as the trail briefly flattens. But, soon enough, you’ll reach a much rockier terrain in an area called Cruach nam Miseag. At this point, the climb has some steeper sections and rockier slopes, which involve the odd bit of mild scrambling. After reaching some false summits, you’ll soon be near the true summit.

Dan walks away from Succoth

Beinn Narnain Summit

After some steep climbing, the trail once again flattens as you near the peak of Beinn Narnain. You’ll soon arrive at a stone-built trig point on a rather rocky plateau. On a clear day, you’ll enjoy brilliant views of Ben Arthur, Beinn Ime, Loch Long and the Firth of Clyde. Unfortunately, as mentioned, Beck and I had to contend with a complete whiteout!

Dan at the summit of Beinn Narnain
The summit of Beinn Narnain

Beinn Ime: The Second Munro

From the summit of Beinn Narnain, you’ll then descend the opposite side of the mountain. The northern face of the mountain is quite steep and rocky, so take care. Eventually, you’ll reach a well-defined trail.

If you’re completing the Beinn Narnain Circular Walk, you’ll simply turn left to continue the walk. By turning right, you’ll continue towards Beinn Ime, which is what Beck and I did. At Bealach a’ Mhaim, located between Beinn Narnain and Beinn Ime, we experienced some better weather as some of the mist cleared.

Dan approaches Beinn Ime

But, we soon re-entered the mist as we began to climb Beinn Ime. At the summit, we bagged our second Munro and experienced our second Munro whiteout of the day! On a clear day, you’ll usually enjoy sweeping views of the Arrochar Alps and southern highlands.

After retracing your steps to Bealach a’ Mhaim, you’ll join the well-defined outbound trail, which approaches and passes Ben Arthur.

Dan approaches Beinn Narnain and Ben Arthur
The peaks of Beinn Narnain and Ben Arthur covered in mist

Ben Arthur (The Cobbler)

During the return walk to Succoth, you’ll pass Ben Arthur, which is popularly known as The Cobbler. We’d previously climbed Ben Arthur. So, on this occasion, we simply walked by. On the way back to Succoth, you’ll pass the remarkable Narnain Boulders. You’ll also walk alongside the lovely stream of Allt a’ Bhalachain. The walk finishes with a monotonous series of switchbacks leading you back to Loch Long.

Read more: How To Hike The Cobbler (Ben Arthur) In Scotland

Dan walks towards the Cobbler

Things to Know Before You Go

Before setting out to climb Beinn Narnain, there are some helpful things to know. Below, we’ll cover all of the important logistics such as how to get there, where to stay nearby and what to take.

How to Get to Beinn Narnain

The quickest and easiest way to get to Succoth to walk to Beinn Narnain is to drive there yourself. If you don’t have your own set of wheels, then we recommend hiring a car.

Car Hire

DiscoverCars.com

If you don’t have your own car, you should hire one using Discover Cars. Personally, we use Discover Cars and highly recommend them for finding your ideal car hire at an affordable price. Booking online is super easy and the free cancellation policy is great.

To find out more about renting a car with Discover Cars, read our Discover Cars review and Discover Cars Insurance review.

Public Transport

It’s also possible to use public transport to get to Succoth. From Glasgow, you can catch a train and alight at Arrochar and Tarbet. From the Arrochar and Tarbet train station, you’ll need to walk around 3km to get to the trailhead. Alternatively, you can catch a bus from Glasgow to the Braeside Stores bus stop in Succoth. From Braeside Stores, it’s a roughly 1.1km walk to the trailhead.

Another option is to catch a train to Arrochar and Tarbet and then catch a bus to Braeside Stores. But, it may be tricky to coordinate this option as departures of both services are often limited.

We recommend using Google Maps, Citylink and Trainline to help plan your journey using public transport.

Booking Trains

Trainline

Trainline is one of the best online platforms for booking trains. By using Trainline, you can easily find the best available prices and times for your journey. We always use Trainline to book our train journeys in the UK and in Europe.

Accommodation​​

If you want to stay near Beinn Narnain, then we recommend staying in the Arrochar Alps. There are plenty of great accommodation options in and around Arrochar. Below, we’ll look at the best budget, mid-range and luxurious accommodation options.

Budget – Village Inn

A room at an inn

The well-decorated and cosy lodgings at the Village Inn offer guests fantastic views of the Arrochar Alps. There’s a restaurant and bar on-site as well as a beer garden.

Mid-range – Lochside Guest House

A room in a guesthouse

The Lochside Guest House enjoys mountain views from its pristine gardens, perfect to relax in after a hearty Scottish breakfast.

Mid-range – Glebe Country House Tarbet

A room at an inn

The Glebe Country House Tarbet is a lovely guest house featuring a shared lounge with superb views of the surrounding Arrochar landscape. The breakfast comes highly recommended too!

Luxury – Ben Arthur’s Bothy

A room at a luxury bothy

For a home away from home experience, you can’t look past Ben Arthur’s Bothy. Although, you’ll likely find this ‘bothy’ a lot more luxurious than the traditional types. This fantastic four-bed apartment sleeps up to eight guests. You can even enjoy a delicious pub meal downstairs.

Other Loch Lomond Walks

There are plenty of other great mountain walks in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Below, we’ll detail some of the best Loch Lomond walks that we’ve completed ourselves.

Read more: Loch Lomond Walks – The 26 Best Walks in Loch Lomond

Views during the Ben Vane Walk
Views near the summit of Ben Vane

FAQs

Below, you’ll find the most frequently asked questions about Beinn Narnain.

Dan on the Beinn Narnain Circular Walk route

Is Beinn Narnain a Munro?

Yes, as it’s higher than 914 metres (3,000 feet).

​​​​​​​Where Is the Path For Beinn Narnain?

The path starts in Succoth, near Succoth Car Park, and ascends to the mountain, through dense woodland and then open mountain terrain.

What Is the Beinn Ime and Ben Narnain Route?

Click here for a map and trail specs for this route option.

How Long Does It Take to Climb Beinn Narnain?

The circular walk takes around 4.5–5.5 hours to complete.

Is Beinn Narnain Difficult to Climb?

Yes, the terrain is steep with some mild scrambling required. The considerable elevation gain also makes this walk physically demanding.

How Many Munros Are in the Arrochar Alps?

There are four Munros in the Arrochar Alps – Beinn Narnain, Beinn Ime, Ben Vane and Ben Vorlich.

What to Wear and Take

Below, you’ll find some gear essentials for this walk.

Osprey Skarab 30
Osprey Skarab 30

The Osprey Skarab 30 is our go-to hiking backpack for day hikes. This well-designed unisex backpack is comfortable and spacious, so you’ll have plenty of space to pack everything without feeling the strain on your upper back.

Osprey Ultralight Raincover
Osprey Ultralight Raincover

A waterproof backpack cover is an absolute must when you’re adventuring outdoors. The Osprey Ultralight Raincover Medium is a high-quality waterproof cover that’ll keep your backpack bone dry.

GRAYL Reusable Water Bottle
GRAYL Reusable Water Bottle

The GRAYL GeoPress is the best water filter bottle that allows you to purify 710mL (12 ounces) of water. This bottle will make water safe to drink wherever you’re hiking.

BUFF Original Ecostretch
BUFF Original Ecostretch

The BUFF Original Ecostretch is a great option when it comes to multifunctional headwear. We use the Ecostretch as a neck gaiter to keep the sun off our necks and it helps us keep warm in cooler climates.

Sony Cybershot RX100 VII
Sony Cybershot RX100 VII

Capture epic photos and videos with the Sony Cybershot RX100 VII. This is hands-down the best compact camera. We love using this simple point-and-shoot camera when we’re hiking as it’s lightweight and durable.

To find out more about all of the gear that we use and recommend, read our guides about our favourite hiking gear, travel gear and camera gear. Otherwise, read our comprehensive travel packing checklist.

Bonus Tips

  • Beinn Narnain weather: it’s not unusual to get wind, rain and poor ​​​​visibility in the Arrochar Alps. After all, that’s the typical climate for this area. It’s best to check the weather forecast before you go, so you know what you’re in for! We recommend checking both Mountain Forecast and the Met Office.
  • Best time to visit: often, the best weather in Scotland is in May and June. So, most visitors head to Scotland around this time of year or during summer. But, after all, mountain weather can be unpredictable!
  • More details about Beinn Ime: there are many different route options for exploring Beinn Ime in the Arrochar Alps. Other than the popular route from Succoth, it’s possible to climb Beinn Ime from the Rest and Be Thankful Viewpoint and from Butterbridge. Whilst, there are various multi-mountain routes that involve Beinn Ime, such as the Beinn Ime and Beinn Chabhair Walk. For more details, please read our Beinn Ime Walking Guide.
  • Other walks near Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park: of course, Scotland is full of amazing mountain walks. There are several great mountains to climb just outside of the national park such as Beinn Dorain and Beinn nan Eachan (Tarmachan Ridge).

Click here for more United Kingdom hiking content.

Daniel Piggott

Physiotherapist turned travel blogger, Dan is a keen hiker, natural wonder seeker and world traveller. He loves writing travel guides to help his readers explore the most beautiful destinations in the world.

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