Hiking Ben A’an in Scotland

After spending some time in the New Lanark UNESCO heritage site, we drove towards the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, the first National Park in Scotland. We chose to stop in Callander, a popular town often considered by many as the gateway to the Highlands. We spent two nights over there in order to explore the region and do some hikes around.

It was already late when we arrived in our bnb, so we decided to go for some food in the Crown Hotel nearby and called it a day.

Scottish fish

We had a good night of sleep and our first Scottish breakfast the next morning ! It was good, but I find the Scottish sausages very mushy in general…. :-(

Scottish breakfast

We took the car and drove towards Loch Venachar, stopped to see what we thought was Hamish, the famous Highland Cow, before learning that Hamish has died last year :-(

Highland cows are quite fascinating regardless, as they have no layer of fat to keep them warm ! Instead they have an extra coat that keep them protected from the rain. In addition, their fringe keeps the wind and the rain out of their eyes in the winter, and the sun and insects in the summer :-)

The new Hamish :-)

We left the fake but cute Hamish, and continued our drive towards Loch Venachar, before stopping once again to admire the views ! Loch Venachar is very pretty, and the Harbour café and restaurant looked very appealing to us, so we decided to have a latte before the hike ! (I’m starting to take pictures with my iphone as well, it’s quite convenient sometimes and the quality is not that bad)

After this little break, we drove towards Loch Achray and found the car park for our hike. The car park and the route to reach Ben A’an t is currently closed due to some repairs, so we had to use Ben Venue car park. Everything is well indicated, so no chance to get lost :-)

Diversion route

Ben A’an is a popular hike as it is known as the “mountain in miniature”. The hike itself is not very long (4 km), but quite steep and can be very challenging while going up-hill. Once you get on the top, you are rewarded by a beautiful view of Loch Katrine, with the famous Ben Venue in the background and Loch Achray on the other side :-)

We started the hike and it was already climbing steeply as we entered into the woods. In some places, it was also a bit muddy, but they placed some mats on the floor to avoid to get stuck in the mud :-) Well done guys ! When it was really steep, they also installed some ropes on the side so you could help yourself. I wish I had taken my walking sticks with me.. but they were still in Leeds. I planned to take them, but completely forgot to put them in the car ;-)

Once we arrived into the birch woods, the path was getting a bit flatter to my relief, and I could caught up my breath. Far away, we could see a summit shaped like a pyramid.. at the beginning, I didn’t think it was Ben A’an (and I remembered Le telling me, “don’t worry, it’s not Ben A’an”), aka the end of our walk, because it seemed so far away.. but it was Ben A’an indeed… unfortunately :p

The flat section was very short and soon enough, we started a steep and rocky path … I stopped several times, pretending to enjoy the views and take some pictures, but it was just to catch up my breath :D

One last bit of rocks to climb and we reached the summit… and we could admire the incredible and breathtaking views !! It was just amazing !!! All the sweat and the effort was well worth it !

Ben A'an hike



Packing my Suitcase

112 responses to “Hiking Ben A’an in Scotland

  1. Love the views from Ben A’an, and a very lovely shot of you from the top standing in front of the rock. Love how green and lush the landscape in Scotland is! And that Scottish breakfast looks delicious – getting a bit hungry I feel! :9


  2. I love your final panoramic image of the view from the summit, stunning landscape. Am looking forward to a trip to Scotland next month and have my fingers crossed for reasonable weather! #Mondayescapes


    • This view was amazing, really breathtaking ! It was taken with my iphone :-)

      Where are you going in Scotland ? And for how long ?

      We had reasonable weather. It was raining a bit every morning, but by 10 am, the sky has cleared up :-)


  3. Hi Gin,
    What gorgeous scenery and those highland cows are impressively shaggy (I guess they need to be!) I’ve always wanted to visit Scotland but wonder how I will cope with the rugged, cold conditions after having lived in Queensland for so long. Beautiful pictures as always and I love your smile. :-)
    Postcards are still on their way. I had a flare up of rheumatoid arthritis in my hands so I had to wait until I could hold a pen properly. :-)


    • Well… it’s true that summer is not that friendly. For me, it’s the perfect temperature. End of June, it was around 17-22°C and it was just lovely. A bit of rain in the morning, but the sky always clears up after a while.

      Don’t worry dear, take your time, it’s already so nice of you to send postcards :-)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Gin
    Leisurely hiking, you can always find more beautiful scenery, I hope to have the opportunity to visit England again, for me it is a dream, I do not know whether this life have a chance?
    I also miss British food, where the food for me is very fast and can be stuffed, you life is kept in the trip, I believe you must quickly integrate into British life, and the love you have around accompany together, this is a very happy thing.


    • That’s what I love about hiking, you can always discover new landscapes and new places.

      Maybe you will get the chance to visit the UK, fingers crossed ! It’s the first time I heard someone saying they miss English food, usually, England is not that famous for its food :-)

      I’m doing fine for now, thank you, and I have a lot of support, so it helps !

      Have a nice weekend :-)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. you awesomely captured in photos this beautiful and scenic place! love the cow with furry coat :) you both look lovely! thanks for sharing :)


  6. What’s with the coat and scarves? It’s JULY people! Can’t we get this summer thing straight?!?!?


  7. Oh it looks all so great. The food, too. Even if the sausages were mushy. ;) And it’s very interesting that those highland cows have no fat but instead this thick hairy fur. Have a lovely weekend! :D


    • It’s really so so difficult to find good sausages here, I don’t know what’s wrong with them ! :D

      The highland cows are fascinating little creatures :-)

      Have a nice weekend as well !


    • C’est sûr qu’on était émerveillé face à un paysage aussi beau. On se sent très petit face à tant de grandeur. Et puis, j’étais personnellement fière de moi d’avoir réussi à grimper jusque là :p

      Bon weekend ! Est-ce que vous faites le pont pour le 14 juillet ? C’est votre fête nationale ?


    • I agree for the highland cattle, I could stop myself and took hundreds of pictures of them throughout the trip haha !

      There are so many options for hike in this region, it was difficult to select a few ! But this one is really gorgeous ! I’ve done several others, I will talk about them later on :-)


  8. Such a beautiful place and scenic place to hike. That view from the top looks spectacular, and great panorama shot to top it all off! You don’t like mushy sausages? Me too! Never like them as I don’t really like minced and soft at all :((( And so sad to hear about Hamish :((( Oh well, at least there is another one trying to be the famous cow now and perhaps one day he will become very, veryyy famous and you’d be talking that you’ve met him when he first started out :D


    • This is an incredible place to hike, no wonder it’s so popular for hikers from all over the world ! And “old people” over there are so fit ! when we did our hike, I got overtaken by a man in his 65-70’s and a woman (same age) with a hip replacement. I was feeling ashamed of my fitness level haha !

      I like minced, but I like them a bit dried and textured. It’s difficult to explain. Or textured and moist, but not soft and mushy :D:D


      • Hahaha, the “old people” seem to be very enthusiastic about hiking aroung here. Showing us the younger ones how it’s done. I wouldn’t be surprised if they laughed at all of you slower ones :D

        I think I get what you mean. Not mushy like mashed potato, but tougher, harder like a burger patty :D


  9. I love all your photos Gin (I’m starting to use my iPhone more and more too it’s just so convenient)! The scenery is amazing – we’ve been thinking of exploring more of this part of Scotland and funnily enough were watching a dvd about the Western Highland railway this week. I think the hike up the mountain was well worth it for those magnificent views from Ben A’an. Hope it’s still sunny in Leeds :) It’s been so cold here was 0 degrees yesterday morning – there was ice on all the cars left outside when I went for my walk! Today is cold, wet and damp but we’re off on an outing as we have my cousin staying with us from NZ! Thanks again for your help with the tech stuff I’ve done a bit of revamping of the categories too to make it easier to follow (I put them on the header section) – I was pleased I managed to work it out! Have a lovely weekend :)


    • This area is really worth exploring. It’s beautiful, you want to stop every 5 meters to take pictures. The landscape changes all the time, it’s so pleasant for the eyes !

      I agree, the iphone is really convenient sometimes, when you don’t want to carry all your lenses with you :-) But the front camera is not so good, so when you take “selfie”, the resolution is not fantastic.

      It’s still sunny in Leeds, a bit too much to my liking :p But I shouldn’t complain too much, at least it’s not raining !

      No worries, if you need me for something, and if I can help, just ask me :-) And it’s so great you managed to work it out by yourself ! Once you get used to it, it’s not very difficult.

      Have a nice weekend, brave the cold ! But at least, you can have a cup of coffee or tea when you got home, and it feel nicer than it does for me right now :p

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hmm it looks a bit like Iceland to be fair. And I’m sure it must also looks like Scandinavia (but I’ve never explored this region during summer, so I can’t really tell .. it’s just an assumption)

      But the cow, I wonder if we can find them elsewhere… I don’t know.


    • I’m sure you would have a lot of fun !! There are so so so many trails, and very famous and long ones such as Borders Abbeys Way (64 miles), Great Glen Way (73 miles), Fife Coastal Path (93 miles), Speyside Way (65 miles), St. Cuthbert’s Way (62 miles) and the Cowal Way (57 miles)… these are of course a bit too long for me, but they must be fabulous. People from the Uk love hiking !! You would love it here !


  10. I love your shot of the Highland cow. It’s amazing that they can see anything through that fringe. But I love the way it makes them look! Great pic of the two of you too! :)) ~ Jeannie


    • Yes, you are wondering if they really something through that massive amount of hair.. but apparently, they do :p

      Thanks ! We did a ridiculous amount of pictures of us, mostly to show to the family.. and to keep as a souvenirs :-) we will print some for our new flat :-)

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I love the work you’re doing with your new camera (well, not so new but I remember you changed to another model) the colors are so nice and your compositions are so beautiful and descriptive of the place at the same time. I had never seen a highland cow, I thought it was a kind of yak.
    Said that the food in the photograph, the second one, would be very exotic and I think I would be very sorry to don’t eat it, we eat just one or maximum two kind of meats and we wouldn’t mix it with a fry egg. I’m sure Scots here would feel the same about our breakfasts of fruit juice and after half an hour a coffee with bread and cheese, “what is this misery!” they would say xp


    • Thanks ! Yes, I took pictures with my new camera and my iphone 6 … it’s quite decent for panoramic pictures :-) And we can take some pictures of us, to show to the family and to keep in the photobook ;-) It’s nice ;-)

      Well, I’ve seen highland cows on pictures before, but never in real life. I was so happy to see so many of them during our road trip !

      Yes, I’m sure they will offended about your breakfast :D Regarding my taste, I’ve never had a better breakfast than the one cooked my host family in Quito… all these exotic fruits and juice, it was absolutely delicious ! And I love cheese ! Here in the uk.. they don’t know how to make tasty cheese ;-) Their cheese are so pasteurized that they have no taste at all.


      • Quito, the cook similar to us! I’ll learn how is the food in Belgium ;-) The iPhone 6 has to be very decent because I can’t guess which is one, of course I don’t need to know that, I’m most interested in see your travel :-) Take care.


  12. This looks like a very beautiful hike! I like your comment about taking photos when you need a rest – we hike a lot during the months that we are in Mexico, and laugh about using this very same reasoning! When my heart starts pounding, I know it’s time to “stop and smell the roses.”


  13. It’s been years since I was in Scotland and you are making me want to go back! Beautiful scenery and the photo of you alone is very serene!


    • Scotland is really pretty, sometimes, you don’t have to go very far to feel in admiration with nature and its beauty. I could have stayed hours up there, just looking at the scenery… but hunger brought me down :p:p

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Oh I love that the cows have raincoats and their own windshield wipers of a sort. You are right the hike was definitely worth that spectacular vista.Wow! Lovely photo of you too. :)


  15. Oh I love a good hearty scottish breakfast. We explored Loch Lomond and were blown away by the landscape. The view from the Ben A’an hike is simple stunning. It’s good for me to remember how beautiful my own country can be! Thanks so much for sharing on #MondayEscapes


  16. You guys look just lovely :) And the place is very cool! The advantage of UK compared to my country, is that you can hike during the summer in OK weather (if you’re lucky enough to not get any rain). Whilst in Romania when I go hiking in the summer I get an extreme sunburn and a terrible headache because of the 40+ degrees Celsius we have here nowadays (even though I wear sunscreen and wear a big cap/hat) :).


    • Aww thanks ! (I put some pictures of us because my mum is looking at this blog as well, so I wanted to be a bit more personal).

      The weather was perfect for me, because i don’t like when it’s too hot. It was around 20-22°C degrees, and it was so nice ! We’ve tried to hike in Croatia before, but we couldn’t even move (close to 40°C).. it was way too hot, and it was the same in the US two years ago. Like you said, the UK is great for that, as long as you don’t mind the rain :D

      I’m suffering for you ! :-(

      Liked by 1 person

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