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Glenbranter

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Latest forest information

  • The Waterfall Trail is now open, but with a diversion in place before the Alt Robuic waterfalls.
  • The Glen Eck Trail, Glenshellish Loop and Loch Eck Loop all remain closed until further notice due to damage from winter weather events. We will reopen them as soon as it is safe to do so, in the meantime please do not attempt to access these routes.
  • Additionally, the section of the Loch Lomond and Cowal Way between Glenbranter and Glendaruel is currently impassable.

 

About

Short walks and long rides in the centre of Argyll Forest Park

Discover spectacular waterfalls in the lush Allt Robuic gorge, towering conifers and views over Loch Eck in this stunning woodland. The estate was once owned by music hall star Sir Harry Lauder, who sold it to the Forestry Commission in 1921.

Walking trails

Glenbranter route card (PDF)

Walking

Broadleaves Trail

A charming wander through native oak, birch and hazel woodland, and a fine avenue of cypress and beech that was planted for the Glenbranter Estate.

Firm but uneven gravel surface throughout. Includes some steep slopes and a flight of steps.

Moderate trail grade icon grade icon
1 miles / 1.5 km

Allow ¾ hour

More information

Part of this trail takes you through trees that were planted long ago as a backdrop to the original Estate house. The red squirrels here are some of the most active in the forest: you can often watch them scampering among the branches.

Walking

Glen Eck Trail (closed)

A trail notice is in effect

  • Glen Eck Trail, Glenshellish Loop and Loch Eck Loop are all closed until further notice due to damage from recent weather events. We will reopen them as soon as it is safe to do so, in the meantime please do not attempt to access these routes.
  • Additionally, the section of the Loch Lomond and Cowal way between Glenbranter and Glendaruel is currently impassable.

The stiff but rewarding ascent below Creag Bhaogh reveals wonderful views across Glen Eck to Beinn Bheula and Beinn Mhôr.

Long steep slopes for up to 500m. Firm gravel and grassy surface throughout. Includes some short flights of steps.

Strenuous trail grade icon grade icon
2 miles / 3.2 km

Allow 1 ½ hours

More information

Keep an eye out for ravens, crossbills and buzzards.

Walking

Waterfall Trail (diverted)

A trail notice is in effect

  • The Waterfall Trail is now open, but with a diversion in place before the Alt Robuic Waterfalls. Please follow the onsite signage.
  • Additionally, the section of the Loch Lomond and Cowal Way between Glenbranter and Glendaruel is currently impassable.

A dramatic route up the Allt Robuic gorge, where native oakwoods cloak a series of spectacular waterfalls.

Uneven gravel paths with exposed tree roots and narrow or muddy sections. Includes a number of steep slopes with flights of uneven steps. Several bridges.

Strenuous trail grade icon grade icon
2 ¼ miles / 3.6 km

Allow 1 ½ hours

More information

The banks of the Allt Robuic still hold remnants of ancient oak woodland, and an impressive variety of mosses and liverworts grow in the damp air. Climb a little further up Glenbranter to the waterfalls, which are particularly spectacular after heavy rain. The trail also passes our wildlife hide: rest quietly for a few minutes and you might see red squirrels, roe deer, buzzards, woodpeckers or crossbills.

Cycling trails

Cycling

Glenshellish Loop (closed)

A trail notice is in effect

  • Glenshellish Loop,  Glen Eck Trail and Loch Eck Loop are all closed until further notice due to damage from recent weather events. We will reopen them as soon as it is safe to do so, in the meantime please do not attempt to access these routes.
  • Additionally, the section of the Loch Lomond and Cowal way between Glenbranter and Glendaruel is currently impassable.

A gentle taste of the wild – and all the fun of a ford!

6 ¾ miles / 11.0 km

Allow 1 ½ hours

More information

This route gives a fantastic feeling of being much further out in the wilds than you actually are – it’s a great introduction to the delights of off road cycling. You might spot red and roe deer and you can have fun splashing through the ford at the head of the glen. The ride downhill back towards Glenbranter will give you plenty of time to admire the views of Beinn Bheula and Beinn Laggan across the glen.

Terrain description

Firm forest road with some loose material. Soft going in places after heavy rain. Mainly gentle slopes. The ford halfway round can be impassable after heavy rain.

Cycling

Loch Eck Loop (closed)

A trail notice is in effect

  • Loch Eck Loop remains closed until further notice due to damage from recent weather events. We will reopen them as soon as it is safe to do so. 

 

A grand – and demanding – day out, with some of the best views in Cowal.

21 ¾ miles / 35.0 km

Allow 6 hours

More information

A real treat for those determined (and fit) enough! This circular loop takes you through the forests fringing Loch Eck, which sits in a gully left over from the last ice age and is now the main water source for Dunoon.

Most riders start and finish the loop at Glenbranter, heading clockwise by crossing the A815 and climbing up the forest track at Invernoaden. It’s a sustained climb, better done while your legs are fresh, and the reward is some of the best views in Cowal. You can look down on to Loch Eck, Dunoon and the Clyde, and west to Beinn Mhor. On a clear day you’ll see the west coast and the islands of Jura and Islay.

Terrain description

Mostly forest road, with a short section of the A815 between Glenbranter and Invernoaden and single track sections at Inverchapel and Benmore. Very steep slopes in places.

Activities

Wildlife hide

Take time out at our wildlife hide. Sit quietly and see what forest birds and creatures you can spot.

Facilities and access

Cycling
Cycling
Viewpoint
Viewpoint
Walking
Walking
Parking
Parking
Picnic area
Picnic area
Toilets
Toilets

There are public toilets attached to the Glenbranter Forest Office, where you can also pick up a map. If any staff are in, we'll be happy to offer assistance if you need it.

Car parking information

There is no charge to park in this car park. Please park with care and consideration. In particular please park in designated parking areas only and do not block entrances or gates.

More about parking

Getting here

Glenbranter is signposted from the A815, between Strachur and the north end of Loch Eck.

Using SatNav?

PA27 8DJ is the nearest postcode.

Public transport

Buses between Dunoon and Strachur pass the entrance to the forest. Plan your journey at Traveline Scotland.

Get directions

Get in touch

Have a question or suggestion for improvement?

Phone
0300 067 6600 (option 2)
More contact information

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