Ben Tirran from Glen Clova

Ben Tirran from Glen Clova

Hillwalking route up Ben Tirran from Glen Clova

A circular route above the glacially carved landscapes surrounding Loch Brandy and Loch Wharral leads to 'The Goet', the highest point on Ben Tirran.

Route outline


Ben Tirran

Ascent 870m (2850ft)
Distance 15km (9m)
Time 5:15hr
Start/finish Milton of Clova
Grid Ref : NO326731
easy hard
easy hard
easy hard
ok fab

From the Glen Clova Hotel, this circular route climbs above the corries surrounding hidden Loch Brandy and Loch Wharral, and crosses wide crests and moorland to reach 'The Goet', the highest point on Ben Tirran.

Route map

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Route description

1. Getting to Milton of Clova

Milton of Clova car-park

Milton of Clova car-park

Kirriemuir is a small town in the farmlands of Strathmore, north of Dundee. North of Kirriemuir, the Angus Glens head towards the southern Cairngorms, with Glen Clova being the longest of these.

From Kirriemuir, the B955 travels through Glen Clova to the Glen Clova Hotel then circles back on the opposite side of the River South Esk - apparently an unofficial clockwise one-way system is in place. The route begins from the hotel.

Parking in the Glen Clova Hotel car-park is restricted to guests and visitors. There is however a public parking area close by at Milton of Clova where there is room for around 15 vehicles or so. At the edge of the car-park is a visitor noticeboard on the area with a map showing this route and other shorter walks.

2. Ben Tirran

Heading up 'The Snub'

Heading up 'The Snub'

From the entrance to the Glen Clova Hotel, follow the road that heads by the side of the hotel car-park directly uphill. The road becomes a track as it passes by some lodges and heads through woodland.

A gate is met at the outer edge of the woodland, beyond which a constructed path heads up open hillside. The path travels 2km and climbs a height of 350m to reach Loch Brandy where the path splits .

Take the worn path heading off left (north) and follow it as it climbs above the western shore of Loch Brandy to reach the top of 'The Snub' , where a cairn sits above the Craigs of Loch Brandy. Continuous erosion on the eastern side of 'The Snub' is creating interesting little caves !

From 'The Snub', follow a fairly obvious path above the rim of the coire surrounding Loch Brandy. The path splits a couple of times, with one visiting a small memorial cairn . The path pulls away from the rim of the coire, aiming south-east, and is conspicuous enough to follow over a wide plateau to the top of Green Hill , where there are a couple of cairns.

Heading onwards from Green Hill, the faint path leads to a high deer-fence with a gate and stile . Cross the stile, and keeping the fence on your left, follow it for 2km as passes a couple of little lochans (frozen and covered by snow on my visit) while crossing a vast plateau. On the way you'll pass a junction in the fenceline (the deer-fence heads north, a lower and more knackered fenceline continues south-east) and a couple of stiles on the way - ignore these and keep the fenceline on your left all the way to 'The Goet' - the highest point on Ben Tirran.

'The Goet', summit of Ben Tirran

'The Goet', summit of Ben Tirran

Marking the summit is a trig point which is surrounded by stones and sits just south of the fence-line.

'The Goet', summit of Ben Tirran

'The Goet', summit of Ben Tirran

3. Return

Loch Wharral Bothy (now closed)

Loch Wharral Bothy (now closed)

Although a fairly direct route can be made downhill to the roadside (see below), a detour to Loch Brandy is highly recommended.

Leaving the trig-point behind and heading south-west, follow a faint trod over a wide grass-covered plateau. After travelling around 500m you should come across a small cairn , beyond which the trod becomes barely traceable. Aim roughly westwards and bound over grass and heather to drop towards Loch Wharral's southern edge. A path is crossed on the way and a line of grouse-butts is met leading down to Loch Wharral Bothy , close to the outflow of the loch. Alas the bothy is unfortunately closed due to 'a number of incidents', but is a fine place to shelter out of winds and take in the view of the Craigs of Loch Wharral.

From the bothy, hike down the excellent track heading southwards. After dropping a height of around 150m, you should be able to make out the start of a path heading north-west to Rough Craig. The path is clearly marked on both OS Landranger and Explorer maps and on the notice board by Milton of Clova. However the path is now overgrown and hard to pick out, with only two metal girders remaining on the footbridge crossing the Burn of Loch Wharral.

West of the bridge, a hike up grass and heather reaches the top of a track by the Burn of North Inchdowrie. Over the burn, head through a gate and turn left to follow a fence-line downhill. The track zig-zagging downhill as marked on OS maps is a mucky, bouldery rutt and best avoided by instead heading directly downhill on a faint trod.

Remains of bridge below Loch Wharral

Remains of bridge below Loch Wharral

The fence-line turns west as it meets with some woodland and this fence is followed to meet with yet another fenceline which heads north-west. Through a gated gap in this fence, follow the fence aiming west until you come across a rather crude stile - cross the stile and follow another fence through delightful birch woodland back to the roadside , from where 1.5km along tarmac returns to the Glen Clova Hotel.

Remains of bridge below Loch Wharral

Remains of bridge below Loch Wharral

4. Alternative direct ascent

Fenceline above Adielinn forestry

Fenceline above Adielinn forestry

Around 3km south-east of the Glen Clova Hotel is Adielinn Cottage surrounded by forestry. At the western edge of this woodland is a gate in a deer fence with various signs. As passing places are clearly marked (and therefore should not be parked in), parking is rather restricted here.

Head through the gate, pass another sign-board (the standard 'Welcome to the Moor' variety) and follow a faint grass covered track up the side of Adielinn forest. Higher up much of the forest has been recently felled and the track quickly fades into a path that continues to an aerial by the plantation's upper edge.

A land-rover track is met, turn right and the Burn of Loch Wharral is reached. The track fords the burn which may be tricky to cross if in spate. Shortly after crossing the burn, the track comes to a junction - turn left and follow the track up to Loch Wharral , then Ben Tirran as described in reverse above.

Route profile »

Maps and GPX downloads »

Other maps :
Explorer OL53
GPX file(s) :
Download GPX
of route
Always carry a decent compass.

Information on maps and GPX files is on this page.

Weather forecasts »

Alternative and nearby routes »

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