Crinan Canal

Known as 'Britain's most beautiful shortcut', the Crinan Canal offers magnificent scenery and wildlife, relaxing sailing, great attractions and more than a few surprises.

Magnificent scenery and wildlife, relaxing sailing, great attractions and more than a few surprises – it might be known as ‘Britain’s most beautiful shortcut,’ but the Crinan Canal offers far more than just easier access to the sailing grounds of the Western Isles.

Meandering through the ancient coastal kingdom known as ‘Dalriada‘ in the heart of Argyll and Bute, the nine-mile-long canal links Ardrishaig at the Firth of Clyde with the picturesque village of Crinan and the spectacular scenery of Scotland’s west coast.

Once a thriving freight artery, the 200-year waterway now welcomes thousands of yachts on the water and tourists on the banks each year, keen to explore the many stories and rich heritage of the canal and ancient Dalriada, undertake an adventure on the miles of forest walks and cycle routes, or sample the incredible seafood and atmosphere in some of the area’s many pubs and restaurants.

The Crinan also offers the chance to see some incredible wildlife. Visitors can catch a glimpse of deer and rare red squirrels in the surrounding pine forests, watch osprey soar through the skies above the waterway and look out for dolphins frolicking in the sea at Crinan. There’s even the chance to spot a pine marten, one of Scotland’s rarest mammals.

Take a 360tour of the Crinan Canal!

Crinan, Lochgilphead PA31 8SR, UK
Crinan, Argyll & Bute, PA31 8SR, Scotland
Crinan Canal
91 miles from Glasgow
137 miles from Edinburgh
Access Roads
Single track roads to Crinan, access to Ardrishaig for all vehicle types
c.50 car parking onsite at both Crinan and Ardrishaig
Wide variety of boats
Engineering structure
Historic building
Industrial site
On-site catering
Outdoor activities
Water access
Wide variety of boats
Places of Interest
Moine Mhor Nature Reserve
Scottish Beaver Trail
Kilmartin Glen
Crinan Sea Kayak Trail
Useful Links
Crinan Canal
Heritage of the Crinan Canal
Placemaking on the Crinan Canal
Local Authority
Argyll & Bute Council
Visit Scotland Accommodation
Enquire Now