Ben A'an is located in the Trossachs just beside the banks of Loch Achray. Although this is not the largest peak in the area, it is an excellent excursion for the whole family. Whether you live in Scotland or are just visiting, I would highly recommend this short hike. Ideal for the kids or for adding onto another bigger peak in the area.
Ben A'an was originaly known as An Binnean (small pointed peak) but lost its name due to Sir Walter Scott calling it Ben A'an. Standing at only 1488ft it is easily completed in 3 hours.
The other two main mountains in the area are:
Ben Venue(Mountain of the Caves) 2391ft/727m
Ben Ledi (Hill of the shoulder) 2884ft/879m
Start at the large car park at Loch Achray. Cross the road to the path on the other side that is signposted Ben A'an. Follow a prominent path up through the forest, crossing the occasional stream and the bridge until reaching a clearing that will show you your target for the day. There are a few muddy points when going through the forest but, these are not of any grest inconvenience. The streams offer some sampling of their delights as long as you drink from the points that are in full flow! The summit cone offers a large choice of rock climbing opportunities, however for us it is the hikers path to the summit. The path to the right of the cone is the one for us and although steep at points (some scrambling for my 7 year old daughter) is fairly straight forward. Once past this section and reaching the bealach between Ben A'an and Meall Gianmheach, a gentle stroll along the path to the left will let you attain the summit.
The views are excellent for a peak of such small size. Ben Venue direcly across from you sitting prodominently above Loch Katrine is the first to grab the eye. You may catch a glimpse of the SSS Sir Walter Scott steamship making its way down Loch Katrine towards Stonachlachar. www.incallander.co.uk/steam.htm
Beyond this the Arrachor Alps are noticeable with the Cobbler clear to see.
Descend by the same route as you came up.
From Glasgow: take the A81 from Milngavie to Aberfoyle, then the A821 to the Trossachs. A very bending up and down road if ever I've seen one but, of relatively good quality compared to some I've travelled in Scotland.
From Stirling: Take the A84 to Callander, after leaving here take the left hand road (A821) to the Trossachs.
There is no rail or bus links that I currently know of, however if I find any I will add these on (typical driver).
There is no red tape in Scotland due to the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 which incorporated the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. This code, which commenced on the 9th of February 2005, has established statutory rights of access to land and inland water for outdoor recreation.
The Land Reform(Scotland) Act 2003
Scottish Outdoor Access Code
The following aspects should be taken into consideration when you are in the Scottish countryside;
- Seek local advice in regard to deer stalking or grouse shooting activities
- Ensure that all gates are closed behind you
- During the lambing season (March to May) ensure that all dogs are kept on a lead
- Please refrain from feeding or annoying any animals
- Limited parking space is available at the start of many routes, please ensure that you are not blocking a road and/or entrance
- Parking is provided at the start of some routes by the local farmers, it is polite to ask if you can use this facility
- Try to refrain from crossing fields with animals and/or crops if an alternative route is available
- Ensure that you treat the local environment with care by leaving it as you found it and by taking any litter home with you
- Any camp fires should be carefully watched and only used away from dense forest areas
Landranger map 57, OS map explorer 365.
Places to stay
The Trossachs offers the Loch Achray hotel www.lochsandglens.com/HotelAchray.asp
Accomodation is also available in Aberfoyle and Callander.
As Ben A'an is only an hours drive from Glasgow and 30 minutes drive from Stirling it would be easy to stay in either and drive to the Trossachs.
Ben A'an is accessible all year round however, as you can get four seasons in one day in Scotland, care should be taken at all times.