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Loch Fyne boat tour?

I'm curious whether there's any sort of boat tour on Loch Fyne. I know the public dock in Inveraray has been closed for a few years due to complicated issues of ownership & disrepair, so assume nothing can be available there. We were planning to drive south to Lochgilphead, which I understand is a major yachting harbor. Might any boating outfit run a tour out of Lochgilphead, or a boat between Lochgilphead and Campbeltown?

We'll most likely be there in May, if that makes a difference.

Posted by
5563 posts

A quick google of Loch Fyne Boat Tours brought up several. One was from Tarbert, but check them out yourself.

It sounds like fun.

Posted by
2774 posts

I've already investigated the Google results and as far as I can see they are not out of Lochgilphead or Tarbert, but rather out of places to the east that are really out of the way such as Portavadie or Tighnabruaich (situated on secondary roads, which frankly I don't want to drive). When I look up what there is to see & do in those places, I find there is essentially nothing of interest to us. That's why I thought I would ask on this forum, in case anyone knew something more.

That said, there is the paddle steamer Waverley  which I understand holds hundreds of passengers at a time -- a ship rather than a boat -- and apparently in summer months it runs a Loch Fyne and Arran coast round trip out of Tarbert. The time when we're planning to be there may be too early in the season, but I will look into it.

To be honest, I'm most intrigued by Campbeltown because of Paul and Linda McCartney having raised their family there. It would be so cool to be able to get there and back by boat instead of having to drive, as the road sound of Tarbert looks rather treacherous. Maybe that's a separate question: has anyone driven that stretch and how scary is it?

Posted by
5563 posts

Hi,

I think that you are over-worrying these roads. They are not treacherous. What's more important is to fill up on petrol and don't rush it. The A82 is main a road. I drove down as far as Campbeltown and, in fact, a bit further. I had my heart set on reaching the Mull of Kintyre, but I forgot to gas up and got cold feet when I realized the needle was.

If you look at street view for the A2 on Google maps you can see that it's a two lane road with marked edges and a centerline. It looks a bit like roads in Wisconsin to me. But maybe you're uneasy about driving in Wisconsin? You shouldn't be. The scariest thing in WI these days is the state government. (hah).

Now, if you want to continue south of Campbeltown as I wished to, the road does become single track. But I still would not want to call it treacherous. It's a single track road which means that when you have oncoming traffic, or if you are driving slower than the following traffic wants to drive, you need to stop when you come to a passing place so that the traffic can go around you. If the oncoming traffic reaches a passing place first, they will stop. If you are unsure about driving on single track roads, here is some information on them.

As for the paddle steamer, I would love to go on one of them as they are the historic way that people got around the Western Isles for years. i know it's a little bigger than the puffers that also serviced the islands, but the Waverley sure looks interesting to me! If you want to ride on a smaller steamboat, look into the Loch Katrine Steamboat.

Also, it looks like you can email the Tarbert Harbor Authority directly. info@tarbertharbour.co.uk They may have some suggestions for you. I quite liked Tarbert.

Posted by
1293 posts

As Pam says the A83 is an ordinary two way road, single carriageway in UK terms with one lane in each direction divided by paint. If you have driven elsewhere in Scotland it should not be difficult. The issue is fuel but there will be filling stations in Campbeltown and at places on route.

Posted by
2774 posts

Thanks, both of you! I appreciate the reassurance about the A83 south to Campbeltown and the Tarbert Harbour suggestions.

The apprehension came from being forced on a detour last year as the A83 to Arrochar from Loch Lomond/Tarbet (not to be confused with TarBERT) was closed. It was the end of a long day, as we'd driven all the way from Lancaster and of course stressed navigating through the Glasgow metro area to get across the Clyde in the right place. We were on roads with one lane (carriageway) in each direction but they were steep and winding. I think, examining maps in retrospect, we were on Tulloch Road and it was pretty hair-raising.

Anyway, we really loved Inveraray which is why we're hoping to go back and explore further south on the peninsula.