The Crinan Canal

The Crinan Canal links Crinan and Ardrishaig in Argyll and Bute on the west of Scotland and is operated by Scottish Canals. The canal which opened in 1801 takes its name from the village of Crinan at its western end. Approximately nine miles (14km) long, the canal connects the village of Ardrishaig on Loch Gilp with the Sound of Jura, providing a navigable route between the Clyde and the Inner Hebrides, without the need for a long diversion around the Kintyre peninsula, and in particular the exposed Mull of Kintyre.

Lock on the Crinan Canal
Vic 32 entering Crinan sea lock

The canal was built to provide a short cut for commercial sailing and fishing vessels and later Clyde puffers to travel between the industrialised region around Glasgow to the West Highland villages and islands. It was designed by civil engineer John Rennie and work started in 1794, but was not completed until 1801, two years later than planned.

Today the canal is a popular route for leisure craft between the Firth of Clyde and the west coast of Scotland, used by nearly 2,000 boats annually. The towpath is part of National Cycle Network route 78, which links Campbeltown, Oban and Fort William.

The two big car parks at Crinan are out of bounds for overnighting, in fact Scottish Canals have been slated in the past few weeks (August 2016) for installing a payment machine for using the main car park at the Crinan basin.

There are two car parks at loch 12 that I use to wildcamp in the motorhome and the following video shows the location and how to get there. The video was shot in early April before the canal traffic was moving, hence no yachts passing through the locks. If you are there in the summer you will see loads of yachts passing by…



 You may also be interested in this video of the Vic 32 leaving the sea lock at Ardrishaig to enter Loch Fyne.

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