Crinan Canal and Crinan Wood

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The Crinan Canal is a 9-mile waterway steeped in history. Opened in 1801, it's one of Scotland’s most enduring feats of engineering. It started its life as an important transport route that allowed goods, people and animals to travel safely between the west coast and the industrial heartland of Scotland. Later the canal became popular with tourists.

Every year nearly 2,000 boats make the journey along the nine miles of 'Britain's most beautiful shortcut' while walkers, cyclists and joggers watch from the towpath. A journey along the canal is a journey through time and some wonderful scenery. Visit harbours, locks and bridges and catch a glimpse of the canal’s past. Ancient woods, rock art and forts are found not far from the towpath.

A small remnant of the Atlantic oakwoods that once covered the western fringes of Britain, Crinan Wood is as close as you’ll come to temperate rainforest in the UK. Trees are mainly oak and silver birch, and there's also a great variety of ferns and lichens. Look out for the spectacular views of Jura to the west and Mull to the north. The main entrance is only a few minutes walk across the canal basin at Crinan. There's a way-marked trail. A leaflet available locally and there are information boards at the main entrances.