Tuesday, 23 April 2013


There seems to be a theme emerging in the lochs around this part of Scotland.  In Holy Loch and Loch Goil we had past and present submarine activity, while Loch Long was used for testing torpedoes during World War II.  The testing facility, which was decommissioned in 1980, was located at Arrochar at the head of the loch, leaving an unsightly eyesore at this end of the loch.  Tubes were used to fire torpedoes up the loch, while a camera in the control room had a full view of the loch's 17 miles.  Further down the loch, at Coulport, there is a Royal Naval Armaments Depot with facilities for handling Trident warheads.  On the eastern shore of Loch Long is the Finnart Ocean Terminal, a petrochemical transfer facility.

Arrochar is very close to the much more famous, land-locked Loch Lomond, being just a 5-minute drive from Tarbet along the Old Military Road, also known as the A83.  The low valley between the two villages used to be used to drag boats between the sea and Loch Lomond.  Arrochar was once the preserve of the cattle-raiding MacFarlanes, from the 11th century until the clan territory was sold in 1784.  The clan chiefs used to occupy a site where Arrochar House now stands; the house is now part of a hotel.  The "Arrochar Alps", ranged around the head of the loch, are a group of very steep mountains popular with rock climbers, who started coming here in numbers at the time when the steamer services from the Clyde started frequenting the loch. 

Map of the area. 

© 2010 Postdlf, via Wikimedia Commons

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