From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Colintraive sunset - - 190562.jpg
Colintraive sunset - - 190562
Colintraive shown within Argyll and Bute
OS grid reference NS 03500 74300
• Edinburgh 75[1] mi (121 km)
• London 367[2] mi (591 km)
Council area
  • Argyll and Bute
Lieutenancy area
  • Argyll and Bute
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district PA22
Dialling code 01700
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament
  • Argyll and Bute
Scottish Parliament
  • Argyll and Bute
List of places
55°55′17″N 5°08′47″W / 55.921521°N 5.1463648°W / 55.921521; -5.1463648Coordinates: 55°55′17″N 5°08′47″W / 55.921521°N 5.1463648°W / 55.921521; -5.1463648

Colintraive (Scottish Gaelic: Caol an t-Snàimh) is a village on the Cowal peninsula in Argyll and Bute, Scottish Highlands. Once the site where cattle were swum across the narrows to the Isle of Bute, a ferry now provides the back door to the island.


Colintraive is located on the west coast of the Cowal peninsula, facing the Kyles of Bute.[3] The village is quite small with few facilities, primarily the hotel/pub-restaurant,[4] and its small adjoining post office. The Colintraive Hotel was owned and run by jazz guitarist and BBC radio personality Ken Sykora for 5 years during the 1970s.[5][6] A Heritage Centre opened in 2009.[7] The nearest town of notable size is Dunoon, which is twenty minutes drive away on the east coast of the peninsula, facing Gourock and the Firth of Clyde.

The name Colintraive derives from Gaelic and means "swimming strait" or "swimming narrows". In the past, cattle were swum over from the Isle of Bute to Colintraive on their way to the markets of lowland Scotland.[8]


Due to the small populations of Colintraive and its nearest neighbouring village of Glendaruel, the two share a shinty team Col-Glen which is the combined first segments of both names.


The Col-Glen name is also used by the local development trust which was set up to combat the declining population and economy in the two villages.[9] Glendaruel local Michael Russell MSP said of the project: "A small and fragile community like Colintraive and Glendaruel must go forward or it will inexorably decline – in population, in services and in viability." Falling rapidly in recent years, the total adult population of the 2 villages combined was estimated at 250 in 2009.[10]

For over 60 years until the late 1990s Caol Ruadh, one of Colintraive's Victorian mansions set in a 20-acre estate, was used as a residential school for children from Glasgow with special educational needs. Financial concerns caused the City of Glasgow council first to reduce subsidies and later to sell the property after it use reduced when user charges were introduced.[11][12][13] In 2012 the grounds were opened as a sculpture park for contemporary sculpture and art works.[14]

The village no longer has its own primary school, and pupils are instead bussed to Kilmodan Primary School in Glendaruel. Secondary school pupils attend Dunoon Grammar School, the only secondary school in Cowal.


Colintraive, Bute ferry - - 922087

Colintraive lies on the A886 road, which crosses to the Isle of Bute here. A ferry crosses the 400 yard gap to Rhubodach on Bute, giving access to the tourist town of Rothesay.

Preceding station   Ferry   Following station
Terminus   Caledonian MacBrayne


On 25 March 2011, a decomposed body of a woman was found on the shore of Loch Striven at Troustan, near Colintraive. It was later revealed to be the body of 63-year-old Jennifer Thomson,[15] a hillwalker from Methven, Perthshire, who went missing in March 2007.[16]


Colintraive Ferry - - 229513 
Colintraive - Rhubodach ferry from Dundarrach - - 52252 
Colintraive Bowling Green - - 765493 
Cloud signals over Colintraive (3569081343) 


  1. ^,%20United%20Kingdom&to=Edinburgh,%20United%20Kingdom
  2. ^,%20United%20Kingdom&to=London,%20United%20Kingdom
  3. ^ "Colintraive". Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 29 January 2012. 
  4. ^ "Colintraive Hotel". Colintraive Hotel. Retrieved 29 January 2012. 
  5. ^ French, Phillip (20 May 2012). "The Man with the Jazz Guitar – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-05-30. 
  6. ^ "Ken Sykora - The Man with the Jazz Guitar". Five Feet Films. Retrieved 2012-05-30. 
  7. ^ "Colintraive Heritage Centre". Colintraive Heritage Centre. Retrieved 29 January 2012. 
  8. ^ "The island of Bute". BBC. Retrieved 29 January 2012. 
  9. ^ "ColGlen is getting warmer! - CGDT". 
  10. ^ "For Argyll and the Islands - News and Comment About Argyll and its Communities". 
  11. ^ "'Death knell' for residential centres". 6 September 2015. 
  12. ^ "Surviving in a harsh climate". 6 September 2015. 
  13. ^ "Schools saved from the worst as council cutbacks continue". 6 September 2015. 
  14. ^ Jan Patience, "Going back to nature", Herald Scotland, retrieved 23 April 2014.
  15. ^ "Methven teacher Jennifer Thomson's body found". Perthshire Advertiser. 8 April 2011. Retrieved 29 January 2012. 
  16. ^ "Horror Find". Dunoon Observer and Argyllshire Standard. 27 March 2011. Retrieved 29 January 2012. 

External links[edit]