Scotland – Crinan Canal, Argyll & Bute
Distance: 14km/9 miles
Type: Canal and forest
Where: Linear walk along the Crinan Canal between Crinan and Ardrishaig.
Start/End: Crinan Basin car park (NR787943). Ardrishaig (NR853853).
Terrain: Level walking, predominantly along the canal towpath, with a short section of minor road.
Maps: OS explorer 358; Landranger 55.
The Crinan Canal is frequently called the most beautiful short-cut in Scotland: the short-cut being between the Sound of Jura at Crinan and Loch Fyne at Ardrishaig, which avoids a long diversion around the Kintyre peninsula for boats sailing between the Clyde estuary and the Inner Hebrides. The towpath that hugs the 14km/9 miles of the canal provides a relaxed linear walk through some of Scotland’s finest scenery. Work started on the canal in 1794 under the guidance of the civil engineer John Rennie, but problems with the design and locks meant it was not completed until 1816, after a major redesign by the great Thomas Telford. The 15 locks along the Crinan Canal are not automated, so anyone can help to open and close them, making for a fun addition to this superb walk.
Click below to see a route profile and view the route on an Ordnance Survey map