Loch Long

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Loch Long
Looking down Loch Long from the torpedo testing facility. The houses to the left are at Ardmay.
Loch Long is located in Argyll and Bute
Loch Long
Loch Long
LocationCowal, Argyll and Bute, Scotland.
Coordinates56°02′04″N 4°53′08″W / 56.034395°N 4.8855839°W / 56.034395; -4.8855839Coordinates: 56°02′04″N 4°53′08″W / 56.034395°N 4.8855839°W / 56.034395; -4.8855839, grid reference NS2031486146
TypeSea Loch
Basin countriesScotland, United Kingdom

Loch Long is a body of water in Argyll and Bute, Scotland. The Sea Loch extends from the Firth of Clyde at its southwestern end. It measures approximately 20 miles (30 kilometres) in length, with a width of between one and two miles (two and three kilometres). The loch also has an arm, Loch Goil, on its western side.

Although it is fairly long, its name actually comes from the Gaelic for "ship lake". Prior to their defeat at the Battle of Largs in 1263, Viking raiders sailed up Loch Long to Arrochar, and then dragged their longships 2 miles overland to Tarbet and into Loch Lomond. Being inland, the settlements around Loch Lomond were more vulnerable to attack.[1]

Loch Long forms part of the coast of the Cowal peninsula and forms the entire western coastline of the Rosneath Peninsula.

Loch Long was historically the boundary between Argyll and Dunbartonshire; however, in 1996 boundary redrawing meant that it moved wholly within the council area of Argyll and Bute.

The steamboat Chancellor used to traverse the loch, departing Dunoon at 11:00 and returning about five hours later.[2] PS Waverley was also built to serve Loch Long and Loch Goil from 1947,[3] a route which she still sails today[4] albeit as more of an attraction than a primary means of transport.

Villages on Loch Long[edit]

Villages on the loch include Arrochar at its head and Cove on the east shore near its foot.


Several Scottish sea fishing records are attributed to the loch:[clarification needed]

Species Weight Angler / Date
Argentine 00-05-03 I. Miller, 1978 (Boat)
Herring 01-02-00 R. C. Scott, 1974 (Boat)
Rockling, Shore 00-14-08 A. Glen, 1982 (Shore)


Looking across Loch Long to Ardentinny

The Ardentinny Outdoor Education Centre on the western shore uses the loch for watersports.

It is now a popular area for diving on the numerous wrecks that scatter the loch.

Finnart Oil Terminal[edit]

The Finnart Oil Terminal is located on the eastern shore of the loch, linked to the Grangemouth Refinery via a 58-mile-long (93-kilometre) pipeline.[5]

Navy use[edit]

1968 Admiralty chart showing the Loch Long torpedo range

The eastern shore is also the location of the Royal Naval Armaments Depot Coulport, part of His Majesty's Naval Base, Clyde, and the Glen Mallan jetty, linked to Defence Munitions Glen Douglas.

A testing range for torpedoes was established on the loch in 1912, in connection with the Clyde Torpedo Factory in Greenock.[6] It operated through both World Wars, closing in 1986.[7][8] The loch contains numerous wrecks.


  1. ^ Lomond, Loch; G83 8EG, The Trossachs National Park Authority Carrochan Carrochan Road Balloch. "Loch Long - Respect Protect Enjoy". Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  2. ^ Colegate's Guide to Dunoon, Kirn, and Hunter's Quay (Second edition) - John Colegate (1868), page 53
  3. ^ "History – Waverley Excursions". Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  4. ^ Dalton, Alastair. "Historic paddle steamer Waverley to operate daily until at least August as she sets sail with first 2021 passengers". www.scotsman.com. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  5. ^ Fullarton, Donald (29 July 2011). "Americans built oil terminal". Helensburgh Heritage. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  6. ^ Brassey, Thomas, Viscount Hythe, ed. (1913). "British Navy". The Naval Annual. Portsmouth: J. Griffin and Co. p. 23.
  7. ^ Makeenko, Viktoriia (6 January 2021). "Loch Long Torpedo Range". Abandoned Spaces. Timera Media. Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  8. ^ Nicol, James. "Home on the Range - The Passing of an Era". Arrochar, Tarbet and Ardlui Heritage. Retrieved 24 February 2021.

External links[edit]