A stroll along the Crinan Canal, Britain’s most beautiful short cut.

On the last day of our holiday in Scotland ,we discovered the serenely beautiful Crinan Canal. Often described as ‘Britains Most Beautiful Short Cut’ , the waterway was completed in 1801, as a quick link between the West Coast and Islands and the Clyde Estuary. The 9 mile stretch of canal vanquished the need to travel round the coast of the vast Kintyre Peninsula, a very handy short cut indeed. 😁

After noticing a sign for Crinan near the village of Slockavullin, where we were staying, we decided to go exploring in the car. 15 minutes later and we found ourselves in this picturesque wee harbour village. It is here that the canal enters the Sound of Jura.

Crinan village harbour.
Watching the world go by, as Hugo keeps an eye on the cake.
A pleasure boat sets out for a cruise.

The quayside is an ideal spot to sit with a coffee and watch the world ( and their beautiful boats) go by. Queen Victoria herself took a trip up the canal in 1873.

A moorhen hitching a lift. πŸ™‚
Interpretation boards along the tow path tell the waterways history.

We decided to take a short stroll along the tow path, keeping Hugo on lead, as he is prone to jumping into canals given half the chance. The beauty of this walk, the wonderful watery views! On one side you have the calm Crinan canal, and on the other, the coastal vistas of the River Add Estuary.

Duntrune Castle looks out toward Crinan. It is said to be haunted by the ghost of a handless Piper.
Rosebay willowherb turning fluffy.
Sleepy Duck.
All aboard!
P1100053 (2)
Lock and Keepers Cottage.

Our short stroll took us past several boats negotiating the locks. It feels rude to stop and watch though. I’m sure I would get pretty flustered if I had a crowd eyeing my every move! In days gone by the Crinan Canal saw sailing and fishing vessels pass through, as well as Clyde Puffers.

Fraser MacIver on his roof.

We soon came across a man fixing his waterside cabin roof. I am pretty sure he is the artist who uses the colourful caravan below as a studio.

Artists studio.
Art Honesty Box. πŸ™‚

I helped myself to a leaflet that says ‘ Canadian artist Fraser MacIver has lived on the Crinan Canal since 1997, taking inspiration from his canalside environment; as well as from the beautiful surrounding Argyllshire countryside’. I left money for a couple of pretty painted postcards.

Scabious on the estuary side.


Has anyone ever explored more of the Crinan Canal?

Would you be tempted to try a canal boat holiday?


32 thoughts on “A stroll along the Crinan Canal, Britain’s most beautiful short cut.”

  1. Congratulations to Hugo for protecting your cake so well. I would love a canal boat holiday but my pleas over the years have fallen on deaf ears. The canal gave you a really nice walk.

    1. Canal side strolls are perfect , being so flat. My kind of walk! Hugo was probably hoping that cake would find its way off the table. He is very food obsessed..xx

  2. Oh, how beautiful!!!! It made my heart do hiccups of joy, if that is how I can put it. Thanks for sharing Shazza. Have a lovely week & take care.

  3. Wow, looks so gorgeous and such lovely snapshots of all its little corners in your photos! I’ve never been, putting it on the list! Have done a canal boat holiday though and it was the loveliest experience, one of the most relaxing holidays ever (once we got the hang of the steering and locks that is!) x

  4. I’d love to! We were there about 27 years ago, when our son was a tot. I loved the place, even though it never stopped raining. Pinching this for a Monday walk, for old time’s sake. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  5. I love walking along canals and this one looks really picturesque. I love the moorhen hitching a ride but I’m just wondering how the ghostly piper managed to play the pipes if he had no hands πŸ™‚

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