Number of views as of 30th April 2016 = 500.
The Crinan Canal starts at Ardrishaig (near Lochgilphead) on Loch Fyne, and ends nine miles away at Crinan on the Sound of Jura. It was designed to provide a quick link between the west coast and islands at one end and the Clyde Estuary at the other, and so avoid the long voyage around the southern end of the Kintyre Peninsula.
This picture shows the lighthouse at the Crinan end of the canal.
Work started on the canal in 1794 and it was opened in 1801: two years late, significantly over-budget, and not properly finished. Early problems with water levels and collapsing locks and reservoirs led to parts of the canal being redesigned in 1816. The locks were again reconstructed and deepened in the 1930s, and the canal became the responsibility of British Waterways in 1962.
In the nine miles from Ardrishaig to Crinan there are 15 locks and the canal reaches a height of 65 feet above sea level. Every time a boat goes through the locks about 300,000 litres of water are used. No fewer than seven reservoirs feed the summit reach to ensure that the Crinan Canal does not run dry.
Every year two to three thousand vessels, mostly pleasure craft, use the canal. This is a far cry from the early days when the canal formed a vital link in Scotland’s transport system. Until the coming of the railways, the fastest way to travel between Glasgow and Inverness was by steamer using the Crinan Canal and the Caledonian Canal, usually calling at Oban en route.
Behind the lighthouse is the Crinan Hotel, renowned for its world class seafood restaurant serving Scottish seafood, the freshest of shellfish and the best of Scotland’s meat and cheese. The restaurant at Crinan has won many awards and top reviews for its outstanding cuisine.
Date: 22nd August 2008.