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Arran Mid April

Hello. Spending a week on Arran and am hoping to activate a few summits, this will depend a bit on the weather as well as the family. ( I have not managed to convince youngest daughter (8) that walking up a hill to use a radio is preferable to minecraft or even colouring… )

So any advice? My CW is still v rusty so really stuck with SSB / FM. 2m FM for quick ( not time to be bored ) activations or will I probably need HF ( and hopefully a sunspot or two? ) to qualify the peaks?

Thoughts most welcome!


Take plenty of waterproof gear! I had the misfortune to visit Arran at the beginning of July last year and it rained non-stop from morning until night every day!

Walt (G3NYY)

When are you going, Paul? In contrast to Walt’s misfortune I was staying on the coast looking towards Arran in mid April last year and had a week of warm sunshine (but cold at night!) I have found that the best months for weather in Scotland are May, June and September, but in June the midges start to be a problem and are purgatorial in July and August - as is often the weather! There seems to be regular activity in the area on 2 metres FM and you should be able to qualify your activations that way, or take a 60 metres SSB rig and antenna and you will get more, and more wide-ranging, contacts with fair reliability. 20 metres should be good unless you get a gust of solar wind that day!

Send the family for a wander around Brodrick Castle gardens to admire their famous tree rhododendrons while you nip off for an activation!


I had no problem from the Eastern summits qualifying on 2m fm with 5w from the VX7R and Sotabeam dipole. The mention of ‘Isle’ when asking for contacts seemed to bring in the curious - especially when on Holy Island!! Can’t at this moment think of a summit with quick access (especially for an unconvinced 8 yr old) and we agreed with Caroline’s comments of the previous year “there are no easy summits on Arran” - especially when slogging up GM/SI-084 (Tighvein). Our first one, GM/SI-093 (Fionn Bhealach), gave spectacular views over to the mainland but was a medium length walk with no path for the route up the ridge. We never attempted Goatfell as we took the rain with us to Arran - after a long dry spell!

It is a beautiful island with plenty to see and I would recommend the Machrie stone circles but they are a longer (flat) walk from the car park than I had expected.

Best of luck, I am longing to go back there again.

Viki M6BWA

Hi Paul,
Have a look at my logs for July 2015 may give you some idea of what bands to use on Arran, nice place I camped at Lochranza for three weeks in July and the last week was a bit wet but I do have to go back to finish some of the SOTA’s off.
Goat Fell is a full day if you get the WX and great views but very popular with all tourist, HF is good VHF ok anyway check my logs and as I say you’ll get some idea of what to use.

Terry de G0VWP

Thanks for all the advice and I have fingers crossed for good weather. ( Was perhaps a bit harsh about the kids - they did walk up Ben Lomand for a final Munro party a couple of years ago… )