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This is a long sea-loch which runs from the Sound of Bute deep into the heart of the Argyll mountains. At its head Glen Fyne continues up the line of the river of the same name, almost to the lower slopes of Ben Lui. The scenery is magnificent throughout the whole length of the loch and the fishing is superb, with good catches of salmon and sea trout as well as the usual sea-fishing. A number
of splendid rivers drain into the loch and these also are well stocked.

 

The river Fyne is beautiful, falling from the heights of Meall nan Tighearn, Beinn Bhaigairean and Beinn
Bhoidheach down between Ceann Garbh, Beinn Bhuidhe and Meall an Fhudair in a series of pretty falls but
hydro-electric works now mar the heights below Maol Breac and Loch Shira, with tunnels and pipes connecting the two at Achadunan. At the eastern head of the loch Glen Kinglas runs in at Cairndow. Formerly called Kilmorich, this township lies close to the Ardkinglass estate, on the banks of the loch, famed for its cattle
and sheep. Up the pass, towards Glen Croe and Loch Long is the well celebrated ‘Rest and Be Thankful’ Inn
and, towering above both is Ben Ime (3.318 feet), and the uniquely shaped dome of The Cobbler (2,891 feet).

Below the Ardkinglass estate another gap in the mountains is made by Hell’s Glen, which is an extension of the gorge of the river Goil, which runs down to
Lochgoilhead and the promontory known as Argyll’s Bowling green. A ferry connects St. Catherine’s with Inveraray and the western coast of the loch, while
below is the ancient family seat of the MacArthur Campbell at Strachur. This small resort stands at the head of a glen leading to Loch Eck, a long narrow loch,
hemmed in by the hills of Beinn Mhor (2,433 feet) and Beinn Bheula (2, 557 feet), which terminates at Holy Loch
and Dunoon.

On the west side of Loch Fyne, apart from Inveraray, which we have already mentioned, there lies, a little inland, the village of Auchindrain. This village lay
uninhabited for many years, as have so many of the old Highland hamlets, but in 1963 a local trust set about transforming it into an entire and complete museum of
Highland life and architecture. As such it is unique in the Highlands or indeed anywhere else in Scotland.

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Furnace, also on the west side of the Loch and as its name implies, is where iron-smelting works were established in the early 19th century and, close by, is
the granite quarry of Dun Leacainn which was opened up in 1841 and is still working. Lochgilphead, further down on the same side of the loch, contains the Argyll County Council headquarters. It stands on the Crinan Canal which crosses the peninsula to join the sea at Crinan Loch. The road (A.83) leads on south through Ardrishaig and follows Loch Fyne down as far as Tarbert before
branching off to the west coast of Kintyre and on to Campbeltown. Tarbert has a good anchorage and was
important in the hey-day of the Loch Fyne fishing industry and the ruined castle that stands on East Loch Tarbert was once owned by Robert the Bruce. On the other side of the loch a minor road runs all the way from Newton to Otter Ferry, Kilfinan and Drum and so to lonely Ardlamont Point which overlooks the Sound of Bute and the lovely Isle of Arran.

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