Loch Fyne

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Loch Fyne
Loch Fyne from Tighcladich.jpg
Head of the loch from near St Catherines
LocationCowal, Argyll and Bute, Scotland.
Coordinates56°10′19″N 5°06′00″W / 56.172°N 5.100°W / 56.172; -5.100Coordinates: 56°10′19″N 5°06′00″W / 56.172°N 5.100°W / 56.172; -5.100, grid reference NN0765202128
TypeSea Loch
Basin countriesScotland, United Kingdom
Surface elevationSea Level

Loch Fyne (Scottish Gaelic: Loch Fìne, pronounced [l̪ˠɔx ˈfiːnə]; meaning "Loch of the Vine/Wine"), is a sea loch off the Firth of Clyde and forms part of the coast of the Cowal peninsula. Located on the west coast of Argyll and Bute, Scotland. It extends 65 kilometres (40 mi) inland from the Sound of Bute, making it the longest of the sea lochs. It is connected to the Sound of Jura by the Crinan Canal. Although there is no evidence that grapes have grown there, the title is probably honorific, indicating that the river, Abhainn Fìne, was a well-respected river.

In the north the terrain is mountainous, with the Arrochar Alps, Beinn Bhuidhe, Glen Shira, Glen Fyne, Glen Croe, Arrochar, Tyndrum and Loch Lomond nearby.

It is overlooked by the Tinkers' Heart, an old travelers' monument.[1]

Loch Fyne is a popular area for sport diving and fishing. It is also a popular tourist destination with attractions such as Inveraray Castle and the nearby ruins of Castle MacEwen and Old Castle Lachlan.

The village of Portavadie is on the east shore of the loch. A passenger ferry traverses the loch to Tarbert from the slipway at Portavadie.

During the Second World War, the Combined Operations Training Centre on the banks of the loch, was an important military facility.[2]

Loch Fyne in Scotland

Nature and conservation[edit]

Dolphins, seals and otters inhabit the loch, and basking sharks can appear in its waters during the summer months. A Ross's gull was present at the loch in early 2007.[citation needed]

In 2014 Loch Fyne was declared a Nature Conservation Marine Protected Area (NCMPA). The designation covers the entire loch northwards from a point near Otter Ferry.[3]

Crinan Canal[edit]

The Crinan Canal at Bellanoch

The Crinan Canal connects Loch Fyne at Ardrishaig and the Sound of Jura at the hamlet of Crinan itself, giving a shortcut for smaller vessels out to the Hebrides saving the longer route of going around the Kintyre peninsula. The canal was built between 1794 and 1801 when the canal was opened, under the supervision of John Rennie. In 1816 Thomas Telford redesigned parts of the canal to remedy technical issues with water supplies for the canal. There are fifteen locks along the canal's 9-mile (14 km) length.[4]


Loch Fyne has a reputation for its oyster fishery, and as a consequence, the loch has given its name to the once locally owned Loch Fyne Oysters and to the associated Loch Fyne Restaurants.[5] It is also notable for its herring-fishing industry, and hence the famous Loch Fyne Kipper, originally caught using the drift-net method. In the mid-19th century, Loch Fyne was the centre of the battle between the traditional drift-net fishermen and the new trawl-net fishermen who sprang up around Tarbert and Campbeltown in 1833.[6]

Several Scottish sea-fishing records have been set in the loch:

Species Weight
Angler Date Method
Dogfish black mouthed 02-13-08 (1.29 kg) J. H. Anderson 1977 Boat
Poor cod 01-00-00 (0.45 kg) F. Johnstone 1970 Shore
Tadpole fish 01-04-00 (0.57 kg) H. Donnelly 1995 Shore
Blue whiting 01-12-00 (0.79 kg) J. H. Anderson 1977 Boat


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "MSPs seek action over Tinkers' Heart in Argyll". BBC News. 2014-09-30. Retrieved 2016-12-14.
  2. ^ "No. 1 Combined Training Centre, Inveraray". Combinedops.com. Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  3. ^ "Upper Loch Fyne and Loch Goil". Scottish Natural Heritage. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  4. ^ "Crinan Canal Feature Page on Undiscovered Scotland". Undiscoveredscotland.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-02-03.
  5. ^ Dunkley, Daniel (2016-03-27). "Loch Fyne on the block". The Sunday Times.
  6. ^ The Rinn-Net Fishermen, Martin

External links[edit]