Loch Goil’s Dimensions: 8 km long, 1.6km wide and 85m deep
Road Access for Loch Goil: Via the B829 (from A83)
Loch Goil: Uncovering Scotland’s Hidden Gem
Nestled within the stunning landscape of the Cowal Peninsula, Loch Goil is a small sea loch that forms part of the coast of Argyll and Bute, Scotland. This picturesque, fjord-like loch is an arm of Loch Long and is entirely within the confines of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. The charming village of Lochgoilhead can be found at its northern end, offering a perfect base for exploring the surrounding natural beauty.
Loch Goil’s breathtaking scenery is flanked by the majestic Arrochar Alps and Argyll Forest Park, providing ample opportunities for outdoor activities and adventures. Among the attractions in the area are the ruins of Carrick Castle, located a few miles south of Lochgoilhead, and the Cormonachan Woodlands which are home to a range of wildlife and plant species. The loch is also well-known for a variety of outdoor pursuits such as hiking, fishing, and watersports.
Accessible via the famous Rest & Be Thankful pass, Loch Goil and its surroundings provide a serene and captivating experience for visitors. As part of the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, this hidden gem on the western edge of the park offers a perfect destination for those seeking tranquillity and an escape into nature.
Geography and Location
Loch Goil is a small sea loch within the boundaries of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, forming part of the coast of the Cowal Peninsula in Argyll and Bute, Scotland. The loch is considered an arm of Loch Long, providing picturesque surroundings and a rich array of wildlife.
Nearby Towns and Villages
The village of Lochgoilhead serves as the main settlement at the head of Loch Goil. It is situated on the Cowal Peninsula and offers a charming base for tourists and locals alike to explore the surrounding nature and activities. Access to the area is primarily via a single-track road off the famous Rest & Be Thankful pass.
The fjord-like loch is deeply indented into the rugged coastline of the Cowal Peninsula, creating stunning landscapes and opportunities for both water-based and land-based activities. The access point to the loch is from Loch Long, and it spans approximately 6 miles (10 kilometres) in length, providing ample opportunity to explore its waterways and shoreline.
Wildlife and Biodiversity
Loch Goil is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including the only known location for the Arctic relic seasquirt Styela gelatinosa. Additionally, it contains sheltered rock reefs which merit recognition as protected features, due to their ecological importance. The surrounding national park provides a rich habitat for numerous species of flora and fauna, making it an ideal destination for those who appreciate Scotland’s natural beauty.
History and Heritage
Loch Goil, a small sea loch within the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park in Argyll and Bute, Scotland, has a rich history and heritage. This section will discuss historical sites, local legends, and folklore related to this beautiful area in the Scottish Highlands.
One of the most significant historical sites at Loch Goil is Carrick Castle, located south of Lochgoilhead village. This 15th-century tower house was once a royal hunting lodge and played a pivotal role in various historical events. The castle has had a tumultuous past, with ownership changing hands numerous times and even functioning as a prison in the 17th century.
In addition to Carrick Castle, Lochgoilhead village located at the head of Loch Goil is an essential historical site with a vast collection of traditional Scottish buildings which exemplify the architectural styles and development of the area over time.
Local Legends and Folklore
Like much of the Scottish Highlands, Loch Goil is steeped in local legends and folklore. Central to these are tales of the Lochgoilhead Witch, a legendary figure who is said to have roamed the area in the 17th century. According to the legend, she wielded magical abilities and was associated with mysterious happenings around the loch.
Another intriguing story relates to Carrick Castle, which is said to be haunted by the infamous Green Lady. This ghostly figure, draped in her characteristic green attire, is believed to be the spirit of a woman who leapt from the castle’s tower after being betrayed by her lover. Locals and visitors alike have been known to report sightings and eerie encounters with the Green Lady around Carrick Castle, adding to the castle’s mystique and charm.
Activities and Attractions
Loch Goil, located in the west Highlands of Scotland, offers a variety of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. In this section, we will cover water sports and boating, hiking and walking trails, and fishing opportunities.
Water Sports and Boating
Loch Goil is an ideal destination for water sports enthusiasts. Lochoilhead Kayak Hire provides a great opportunity for kayaking around the picturesque loch, with fantastic views and open water to explore at your own pace. Apart from kayaking, the calm waters of the loch are perfect for activities such as paddleboarding, canoeing, sailing, and even swimming for the more adventurous visitors.
Hiking and Walking Trails
Surrounded by magnificent West Highland scenery, Loch Goil has an abundance of hiking and walking trails to explore. The area offers everything from leisurely strolls along the shore to more challenging hikes up the surrounding hills and mountains. The trails are well-marked and provide a variety of difficulty levels, ensuring there is something suitable for everyone. A few examples of popular routes include:
- The Carrick Castle walk: a relaxed coastal walk that takes you through wooded areas and past the ruins of the historic Carrick Castle
- The tower walk: a slightly more strenuous hike up to an old Victorian tower, offering panoramic views of the loch and surrounding landscape
Loch Goil is an excellent location for both freshwater and sea fishing. The loch is home to a variety of fish species, including brown trout, sea trout, and salmon. Anglers can fish from the shore or hire a boat to access deeper waters. Fishing permits are required and can often be purchased from local shops or accommodations. Make sure you adhere to local fishing regulations and respect the environment during your fishing adventures.
Accommodation and Food
Hotels and B&Bs
One of the best places to stay in Loch Goil is Rowan House Bed & Breakfast and Self-Catering Apartment. This highly rated accommodation offers clean and beautifully decorated rooms with comfortable beds and sofas. Prices vary, so it is advisable to check their website for the latest rates.
Another option for travellers is Carrick Farm in Lochgoilhead. This guest house faces the beachfront and offers a garden and shared lounge, along with free WiFi and private parking.
For those seeking a more luxurious stay, Jenny’s Bay at Loch Goil is a 4-bedroom detached holiday home with stunning loch and mountain views. Located in the Loch Lomond National Park, this property offers a hot tub, and prices start from £850 per unit per week.
Restaurants and Pubs
Loch Goil offers a variety of dining options for visitors. Although specific restaurants and pubs were not provided in the search results, it is common for the area to have eateries offering traditional Scottish cuisine, seafood, and other dining options. Many accommodations, like hotels and B&Bs, often provide on-site dining or recommendations for nearby establishments.