The village of Ardrishaig sits at the eastern end of the Crinan canal just south of Lochgilphead at the mouth of Loch Gilp on the shores of bonny Loch Fyne. The origins of the village came about because of the local herring industry and the building of the Crinan Canal which allowed boats to travel from the Clyde to the West Coast of Scotland without going round the treacherous Mull of Kintyre. The Canal was started in 1793 and finished in 1801.
The importance of the canal cannot be underestimated, as puffers and other steam ships carried their cargo to and from the islands in the west as well as mainland ports such as Oban to the Clyde Islands and the Industrial south Clyde shores.
It would be common to have coal going west and slate from the many quarries at Luing and Easdale going east. This made all the ports of call a little more prosperous. Today, the canal is very busy in the summer months with yachts getting safe passage to and from the clyde.
The canal basin provides a very nice stopping off point of interest for those passing through but in need of some fresh air. The tow path is also great for stretching your legs and because of the nature of canals (ie flat) is also user friendly for push chairs, or wheelchairs etc. For those with a little more stamina a good cycle can be had by cycling along the tow path to Crinan and back (around 18 miles in total). Great scenery and lots of wildlife.
The pier in Ardrishaig is also used as a loading point for timber, thankfully taking thousands of tons of timber off the roads every month.
Ardrishaig itself offers a few shops and hotels who serve meals, and the canal-side offers a haven for cyclists and walkers. There is also a very interesting walk known as the Adrishaig 39 steps. A path which goes through mixed woodland and is highly acclaimed. Click on our Local Interest button to visit a descriptive site about this lovely walk.
This village is also right at the top of the Mull of Kintyre and is really a gateway village to all to the south as there is only one road down the Mull.