Walking the Crinan Canal
Walking the Crinan Canal, it provides a navigable route between the Clyde and the Inner Hebrides. It starts off at Ardrishaig
and cutting through the land for approx 9 miles and connecting with Crinan and Crinan Loch with the Sound of Jura,
includes Fishing Cycling, Sightseeing, Hillwalking, Climbing, Touring in the Scottish Countryside.
Walking the Crinan Canal - Scottish Walks.
|Length: 9 mile||Duration: 3 Hours.|
Lately, after seeing the Crinan Canal on an atlas, I was left wondering about this place. Sure, I had seen it many times as a youngster while glancing over maps of Scotland but as most of my escapades were restricted to hillwalking, this was a new type of walk, which took my fancy.
Why have a canal at a place as remote as Crinan? Well, I suppose the answer is in the question, Crinan is definitely remote, being on the east side of the Sound of Jura, and a canal across the land saved the seaman or sailor, of days gone by, a long trip around the Mull of Kintyre to reach Loch Fyne at Ardrishaig, especially since the Mull could be rough and windy, not to mention the financial implications. Depending on whose account you happen to peruse, the most probable option is that the canal was planned in the late eighteenth century by a John Rennie and finished in the early nineteenth century and construction was overseen by Thomas Telford.
After a few problems the canal was eventually accommodating the Clyde puffers along the way to the Western Isles carrying mainly coal and returning with whisky. Livestock included sheep, cattle and of course passengers. Most of Scotland at that time relied very much on canals, vitally so in the Highlands as the roads were of a military fashion and not suited to cargo carrying. The main canals were the Caledonian, Union, Crinan and Firth and Clyde canal.
Anyway, enough of history and to the walk itself. Depending on how quickly you move yourself and how much time is spent sightseeing the overall time will vary, although for a rule of thumb you should allow three hours out and three hours back. The best way is probably Ardrishaig to Crinan and get the bus back from the Crinan car park to the starting point. Walking from Ardrishaig means that on a sunny day, you have the sun on your back and therefore a more comfortable walk.
The first locks at Ardrishaig are interesting in that they show how yachts etc. enter the canal from Loch Fyne. Most locks occur around the Cairnbaan and Dunardry area, where the levels rise to their highest point. From there the canal descends slowly to Crinan past the marina at Bellanoch which is a great viewpoint for Loch Crinan and is only around two miles from the end of the canal.
Crinan itself looks like a quaint old fishing village, with its coffee shop, hotel and basin for old boats to die or be restored. The village supplies the last two locks of the canal, 14 and 15, which lead to open sea at the Sound of Jura. Have a rest and a beer before taking the bus or walking back to Ardrishaig..
|The entire pathway is level and is always positioned next to the canal due to the fact that horses would be pulling the barges along the way, all those years ago. Have a nice day.|