Crinan Canal.

Start. Crinan Hotel.

Route. Crinan Hotel - Canal Basin - Crinan Canal - Crinan Bridge - Ballanoch Basin - Ballanoch - Ballanoch Basin - Crinan Bridge - Canal Basin - Crinan Hotel.

Notes. Part I. Taynish Mill.

We were in Argyll and Bute for a few days chilling, to be more precise our base was Crinan a scattered community over looking the Sound of Jura, based around the basin of the Crinan Canal and a small harbour. We arrived in the rain and on this day the weather gods unleashed their fury, wind and horizontal rain all day, worsening towards early evening. So what to do in the back of beyond in crap weather, put your walking boots on, as many layers of gortex as you've got and get out there.

Out there was Taynish Mill and Loch Sween, a very short walk through the shelter of oak and birch woods, forced back to the car by worsening weather we abandoned our ramblings for the day, went to hunt out lunch then the bar of the Crinan Hotel.

view route map.


Taynish Mill built around 1724, ground corn for the following 150 years.

The mill contained two grinding stones powered by water from this small burn.

One thing about walking through these ancient woodlands, the amount of rare mosses and lichen is unbelievable, this is a common one Usnea cornuta, I think.

With my back to the weather views down Loch Sween.

Autumn hangs on in these woodlands.

Looking north towards Lochan Taynish.

Part II. A few pints and a few hours later.

The Crinan Canal around nine miles of exquisite waterway, starting on Loch Fyne, ending at Crinan on the Sound of Jura, a quick link between the west coast and the Clyde Estuary, avoiding a long sea journey around the Kintyre Peninsula. Opened in 1801 to handle sea going vessels this picturesque waterway contains 15 locks, out of interest every time a lock is opened 300,000 letres of water is used, I recon that's about what was falling from the sky every minute when we decided sitting in the bar was boring.

Trust in gortex we set out to see how far we could walk before dark, with the canal to guide us and the salt water of Loch Crinan to the north we walked and battled our way to the swing bridge at Bellanoch before turning back, around two miles. Strange as it seems this wander through a washing machine was quite exhilarating and certainly enjoyable. Now back to the bar of the Crinan Hotel.

view route map.



The Crinan Canal Basin on a wet and windy day.

Nine miles of exquisite waterway, this might be Scotland but Autumn is still hanging on which makes this a wet but colourful walk.

Crinan Bridge one of two swing bridges visited today.

Here's a piece of useless information, this stretch of Scottish waterway was built by John Rennie, we also come across his work when we walk the Lancaster/Kendal Canal.

Ballanoch Basin in worsening weather.

Ballanoch Bridge one of seven bridges spanning the canal, six of them swing bridges as this one is..

Looking to Eilean Glas across a grey Loch Crinan.

Views taken from the Crinan Basin, under a cap of cloud the island of Scarba with Jura to the left.

The Crinan Hotel our home for a few nights.

A slice of canal memorabilia adorns the Canal Basin.

As well as having seven bridges the canal also hosts fifteen lochs, this is No15, pass through this and you're in the Sound of Jura.

Evening light over the Crinan Canal complex, I included this shot because it shows Crinan Woodland, hopefully our walk tomorrow.

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