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Arrochar may be approached along Loch Long from the south or by the A83 road coming over the hill to Loch Long from Tarbet on Loch Lomond. A good selection of accommodation is available. Arrochar is a 19th century parish village which in addition to being a popular summer tourist resort, was well known to visitors using the steamers which used to call at Arrochar pier. The steamers have long gone and the steamer pier has been closed off as it is now in disrepair, but Arrochar is still a bustling visitor centre with a range of leisure activities including walking, climbing, cycling and fishing.
The town of Arrochar lies at the head of Loch Long and its accessibility by road from Glasgow and the Clyde makes it a popular tourist destination during summer. The Arrochar Alps are a prominent feature and it is no surprise that many visitors come for the climbing and hill walking. The Cobbler (also called Ben Arthur) and Ben Narnain are probably the most popular walks but other popular walks are accessible from Arrochar. There are several marked walking paths throughout the Argyll Forest Park which are also suitable for mountain biking.
The Arrochar Alps
Looking west from the village the " Arrochar Alps " provide a magnificent backdrop to the head of the loch with splendid views of the Cobbler (Ben Arthur) and its neighbours. This area is a walker's paradise with a great selection of interesting hill walks right on the doorstep in the 'Arrochar Alps', the early haunt of the Glasgow mountaineering club.
Included in the "Arrochar Alps" are:
Scuba Diving at Loch Long
Loch Long seen from the CobblerLoch Long is also well-known to scuba divers who can be seen here most weekends. Unseen by most of us, the scenery underwater is, to the scuba diver a much more fascinating landscape than that formed by the mountains and forests of our more familiar landscape.
Whilst visiting divers are not so familiar with Scotland's west coast sea lochs, they are popular with Scottish divers who are attracted by these sheltered waters all year round. The best dive sites near Arrochar are at Ardgarton, a mile or so west of the village where a car park on the shore provides a convenient place to gear up and walk into the water - handy when carrying a load of kit.
On a bright day visibility can be surprisingly good once through the peaty surface layers. The boulder strewn landscape of the loch bed provides a habitat for a huge variety of marine life: conger eels, anemones, crabs, starfish and urchins are commonplace. Fish life at Arrochar is a little sparse but pollock and gobies are occasionally seen and an inquisitive seal will occasionally look over your shoulder.
At Finnart on the southeast side of the loch there was once a pier for the oil depot. The only memorable remains is the part known as the 'A-frames. These are A-shaped supports that rise 5m off the sea bed. The A frames are covered in clusters of anemones and peacock worms - and have their resident congers and a few lobsters. There only a small rise and fall of tide in Loch Long and it is very well sheltered.
The Rest and Be Thankful
Beyond the village and the car park are the old admiralty buildings by Loch Long where torpedoes were tested during World War ii. The road now sweeps right and begins the long climb up 'The Rest and Be Thankful' road. The name is well earned and you may imagine the condition of the horses in days gone by as they laboured up the old road which can be seen well below the modern road on the left. At the top you will find a car park at the viewpoint where you can admire the fine panorama before returning to Arrochar or continuing to explore the Cowal Peninsula or pay a visit to Inverary on the Mull of Kintyre.
A holiday at Arrochar provides a great variety of activities and the convenience of easy access to the Clyde coast and Glasgow.