- trip report by Jim Wallis




DATE(S) OF TRIP: Spring 2002.

WHERE?: Loch Fyne (Warming up for a Raasay Trip). Map.


LAUNCH SPOTS: Cairndow at the Kinglas estuary, the usual takeout for the river Kinglas. We started and returned here, but there is access in loads of places around the Loch. There is a spot almost opposite the pub where there used to be a filling station that is right on the edge of the loch with a decent path down to water level. To get there follow the A82 from Glasgow to Tarbet on Loch Lomond, and then don't turn right but keep straight and the road becomes the A83. Follow this around the northern end of Loch Long, over the "Rest and be Thankful" pass, and down Glen Kinglas to Cairndow, shortly after the road to Dunoon turns off. You can either drive through the village from the first turn to Cairndow, or turn where the A83 comes back to the loch at the other end of the village.

DISTANCE/ TIME: We got about 3/4 of the way down to Inverary in about an hour and half. The return trip took 40 minutes - the wind was on the strong side! It looks as though we covered about 6-7 km each way.

LOCAL TIDES: At the northern end of the Loch these are insignificant.

HAZARDS/ PROBLEMS: Again this is the northern tip of Loch Fyne, there are some fish farms around but traffic on the loch is very light. Anticipate yachting and some shipping traffic from Inveraray south, especially around Ardrishaig/ Lochgilphead (entrance to Crinan canal) and Tarbert (has a yacht racing series, kind of like Cowes week of the north).

ROUTE TAKEN: Literally down and back again, it was a sort of training paddle, as much to get used to our boats again after a long period of unuse.

EVENTS/ OBSERVATIONS: The Kinglas estuary is something to head back towards, the access/egress point mentioned is right where the river meets the sea. On the west side a couple of miles down there is a small grassy headland (Dundarave point?) with some kind of stonework (a bit small for a castle) and a flag on it. We got to the end of the next bay (Strone point?) before turning back (due to time and wind), but the next major Landmark is Inveraray on the west side - a large group of buildings on a large bay with a large hump-backed bridge to the north and a tall ship, "Arctic Penguin" (if I recall) at the end of the pier. Inveraray Jail is a popular tourist attraction, it also has chip shops and ice-creams!

OTHER NOTES: The main road (A83) follows all the way along the west bank as far as Tarbert so it would be easy enough to call it off and hitch a lift if you over stretch yourself. It is therefore a fantastic place to take beginners.