The Cobbler (Ben Arthur) – Arrochar, Scotland - Atlas Obscura

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The Cobbler (Ben Arthur)

Arrochar, Scotland

This uniquely shaped rock formation is one of Scotland's most iconic mountains and gives spectacular views in all directions. 


Scotland is a country renowned for mountainous and rugged landscape and there are few peaks as iconic as Ben Arthur (Beinn Artair in Gaelic), more widely known as the Cobbler. This fine mountain is part of the Arrochar Alps, a group of summits located around the head of Loch Long, Loch Fyne and Loch Goil situated near the villages of Lochgoilhead and Arrochar.

At a height of 884 meters (2,900 feet), the peak falls just short of Munro height (the name given to the group of 282 Scottish mountains at a height of 3,000 feet and above). Despite not being a Munro, this is one of the most popular mountains in Scotland due to the unique summit features, the rewarding views and the relatively easy access. 

The route is relatively easy to follow and there is a well maintained path up to the summit. Some visitors will choose to extend their day and take in Beinn Narnain or Bein Ime, two neighbouring mountains.

Interestingly, the mountain is said to be named due to the rocky summit which was thought to look like a cobbler (shoe repairer) leaning over at work. The Cobbler has three summits and it is the middle rocky outcrop which is the true summit. Those who wish to reach this point have to “thread the needle,” an expression used in local mountaineering circles that means climbing through a hole in the pinnacle before scrambling up the other side to reach the summit. Those with a fear of heights may find this part tricky, as there is a large drop off the other side and many visitors to the mountain will take getting to the nearby top as an achievement in itself.  Visitors who reach the top are rewarded with remarkable views across Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park and on a clear day you may be able to see Ben Nevis, the highest peak in Scotland.

Know Before You Go

There is a car park with paid parking at the bottom of the main path up to the Cobbler. 

Hillwalking in Scotland requires skill and experience and all walkers should be equipped with a map, compass, and suitable footwear and clothing. Attention should be paid to the mountain weather forecasts before heading into the hills, particularly in Winter where the Scottish weather conditions can change without warning.

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