"Loch Long and Surrounds" Arrochar by nickandchris

Arrochar Travel Guide: 7 reviews and 11 photos

Arriving at Loch Long

This page is more about our times on Loch Long than Arrochar. I couldn't get Loch Long as a location so have filed it under Arrochar, it being just up the road.
Arrochar is on the A83 at the head of Loch Long on the Cowal Peninsula in Scotland. It is not much to write home about apart from it's splendid location on the loch with ample walking opportunities on it's doorstep.
The surrounding mountains are known as the Arrochar Alps which circle the head of the loch., one of them being "The Cobbler" (Ben Arthur) at 881m. These mountains are a mecca for both walkers and climbers and Arrochar offers accommodation and eating out opportunities but it would be adviseable to pre-book.
There IS a petrol station here so take advantage.
There are a few shops and eating places including a fish and chip shop but no bank or supermarket.
There are boats to hire, you won't be able to resist being afloat on these lovely waters if you are like us, and the mackerel fishing is good in summer.

Arrochar Surrounds

Just to the west of Arrochar is a nice parking area with access to the loch. We have seen motorhomes parked here, I don't know whether they had overnighted.
The road leaves Arrochar and turns southwards along the loch, mainly hidden by forestry. You then see a sign for the Forestry Commision Camp Site on the left and a little further on is a turn off to the Ardgarten Visitor Centre. It was also the route to the Caravan Club Site but that seems to have disappeared. From the Visitor Centre a left turn takes you through the forest and to the Camping Club Site and a further turn to the YHA.
The Visitor Centre offers a mine of information on the nature and wildlife of the area as well as walking and cycling routes. Also held here are various activities you can join in like badger and deer watches. There is also a golden eagle tour and a birds of prey walk..
Back on the main road and the route takes you up the steep mountain road to the" Rest and be Thankful", a magnificent viewpoint with parking, looking back down the valley (weather permitting - it has always been raining when we've done this route!)

Loch Long From Caravan Club Site

For three years on the trot we had used the Caravan Club Site at Ardgarten, River Croe, as a starting point for our Scottish Holidays. We would find a pitch as close to the loch as possible, sometimes we were right by the water, for ease of access for our boat.
The river Croe runs alongside the site.
There was a great community feel to this site, a lot of people returned year after year, many for the fishing, so we soon got chatting.
The railway ran along the hillside of the far side of the loch, which was quite interesting, especially when steam trains were running.
We loved being on the water, the reflections were superb. The loch is very deep, when we were fishing the weight would seem to drop forever before touching the loch floor.
Some years the fishing was excellent, others not so productive. One time we had a seal take a mackerel from our line so we were a bit wary of hooking a seal!!! They would pop up all around us, just waiting for our fish!!
One year we stopped at this site on our way home and caught thirty odd mackerel to take home for the freezer.
We spent many happy days on loch Long, either boating, fishing or just generally relaxing. Now the site is not entered in the Caravan Club book and we wonder what has happened to it?
There is a whole area of the loch we haven't seen , the south western side, which we must visit some day.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Excellent boating and walking
  • Cons:Very midgey
  • In a nutshell:Rivers, lochs and mountains, it's all there.
  • Last visit to Arrochar: Jul 2001
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (6)

Comments (5)

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Feb 20, 2011 at 7:32 AM

    nice page-drove around here on a semi/mild genealogy hunt as our Parlane/MacPharlan-McFarlane forebears were here.visitor centre was indeed very helpful.the Cobbler hotel is built on foundations of a clan castle so stayed a night there...excellent trip!

  • scottishvisitor's Profile Photo
    Mar 17, 2008 at 2:25 PM

    Arrochar looks like a great stop I have only passed by on my travels around here :) Loch Long looks stunning!

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo
    Jan 10, 2008 at 9:49 AM

    Beautiful lakeside destination. Cheers, SL :)

  • Bilimari's Profile Photo
    Feb 21, 2006 at 6:13 AM

    Beautiful photos and great tips. Unfortunately, it rained everyday when I was in Scotland. Must go back soon! :) -Motoko-

  • Dec 11, 2005 at 10:31 PM

    it looks like you had some sunshiny days in scotland! i must admit, when there was a sun, the sunset was beautiful! thanks for stopping by...


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