Tarbet can be found on Loch Lomond’s west shore (not to confuse with Tarbert Loch Fyne). The village is situated about half way up the loch and about 2 miles away from Loch Long. The name Tarbet is derived from the Gaelic Tairbeart meaning ‘draw boat’. Tarbet is traditionally known as a junction village, characterised by the main junction where the Tarbet Hotel is situated. The West Highland Railway passes the village and offers services to Glasgow, Oban or Fort William.

Carrying straight ahead when approaching from the South will take you to Arrochar in the west and then south through Argyll. Turning right will take you up Glen Falloch and on to the Highlands. Some remains of a medieval village can be found on the hills above Tarbet. This village was wiped out because of the plaque during medieval times.

As its name suggests Tarbet is well known for the pleasure cruises available from the pier. Cruise Loch Lomond offers you the opportunity to experience the serenity of the ‘bonnie banks’ from the comfort of one of five vessels. They also provide functions such as weddings and special occasions. In the centre is the significant hotel which can’t be missed when visiting the village. Nearby the railway station is a converted church that now functions as cafe and craft shop.

The picturesque village is only 2 miles away from Arrochar which is another village situated at the north end of Loch Long. Popular activities around Tarbet are sailing, cruising, hill walking, climbing and cycling. Not far away from Tarbet are the Arrochar Alps which have some of the most visited Munros’ in Scotland. Tarbet has a visitor centre, public toilets, shops, cafes and a large picnic area on the shore.

Tarbet cannot only be reached easily by public transport such as bus and train but also the A82 which is the main road along the shores of Loch Lomond pass at the village. Tarbet is an ideal base to explore the surrounding nature and other picturesque villages such as Arrochar and Luss which is known from the TV series ‘Take the High Road’.

Tarbet has the following facilities

Tourism InfoPublic ToiletsPost OfficeLocal ShopsEateries NearbyTrain Nearby

Tarbet: Exploring Its Beauty and Attractions

Nestled within the picturesque Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, Tarbet is a charming village in Argyll and Bute, Scotland. Sitting on the western shores of Loch Lomond, the hamlet boasts an idyllic setting with stunning landscapes and an ample variety of attractions to delight visitors. The village’s name, Tarbet, derives from the Scottish Gaelic “An Tairbeart,” which translates to ‘Crossing Place of Loch Lomond,’ highlighting its historical significance as a strategic transportation point in the area.

Rich in natural beauty and outdoor opportunities, Tarbet offers something for everyone, from avid hikers to families seeking a tranquil escape. Among the vast lakes, green hills, and enchanting forests, guest can partake in a myriad of recreational activities while exploring the Scottish countryside. Alongside these natural wonders, visitors can also delve into the history and culture of Scotland by attending local events and sampling traditional food and drink.

Tarbet not only provides a serene haven for those seeking respite from the hustle and bustle of city life but also serves as an excellent starting point for further exploration of the surrounding region. With its strategic location, the village allows for easy access to neighbouring sights and attractions, making it the perfect holiday destination for those looking to immerse themselves in the unparalleled beauty of the Scottish Highlands.

Tarbet Origins and History

Geographical Location

Tarbet is a small village located on the west shores of Loch Lomond in Scotland. Situated at the junction of the A82 and A83 roads, Tarbet lies within the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. The village’s name comes from the Scottish Gaelic word “an tairbeart”, meaning “the isthmus” or “the carry across”, which refers to the narrow strip of land separating Loch Lomond and Loch Long.

Historical Timeline

  • Viking Raids: The low-lying valley connecting Loch Lomond and Loch Long was used as a portage route for boats during the time of Viking raids.
  • Baronial Tarbet Hotel: The village’s focus shifted to the centre when the baronial Tarbet Hotel was built. The road junction in front of the hotel became a significant point connecting the lochside A82 to the A83.
  • Road junction: The A82 (connecting Glasgow and Inverness) and the A83 (connecting Tarbert and Campbeltown) meet at the junction in the village, contributing to its development and growth.
  • Squirrel wars: In recent years, the area around Arrochar and Tarbet has seen an increase in “squirrel wars” as native red squirrels and invasive grey squirrels compete for habitat.

Tarbet in Scotland

Tarbet Village

Tarbet is a small village in Argyll and Bute, Scotland, situated on the west shores of Loch Lomond on a small neck of land that separates it from Loch Long. The name of the village comes from the Gaelic for an isthmus, a small strip of land separating two larger pieces. Backed by rugged hills and fronting an attractive natural harbour, Tarbet is increasingly popular with visitors and the yachting fraternity.

Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond, the largest freshwater lake in Great Britain by surface area, is located near Tarbet. With its stunning scenery and diverse wildlife, the area surrounding Loch Lomond is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors can enjoy activities such as walking, cycling, boating, and fishing, or simply admiring the loch’s serene beauty.

The Trossachs National Park

Tarbet is located within the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, an area of breathtaking natural beauty that encompasses mountains, forests, and lochs. The park, established in 2002, offers a range of outdoor activities and opportunities for wildlife watching, including a diverse range of flora and fauna. With its picturesque landscape and abundance of leisure activities, the national park attracts many visitors each year.

Tarbert in Ireland

County Kerry

Tarbert is a town situated in the north of County Kerry, Ireland. It is surrounded by woodland to the south and the Shannon estuary to the north. The town’s name, in Irish (Tairbeart), originates from an Old Irish term meaning “draw-boat” or “portage”, indicating its history as a transportation point.

Tarbert is home to the historic Tarbert House, a unique survivor of early 18th-century domestic architecture that has been continuously owned by the Leslie family since the early 1700s. The town also serves as a “Gateway to the Kingdom”, referring to County Kerry’s nickname as the Kingdom of Kerry.

Ring of Kerry

Though Tarbert is not directly located along the Ring of Kerry, it is easily accessible from the popular scenic driving route. The Ring of Kerry is a 179-kilometre-long circuit that surrounds the Iveragh Peninsula, showcasing stunning coastal views, charming villages, and cultural heritage sites.

A convenient way to reach Tarbert from the Ring of Kerry is by boarding the Killimer-Tarbert ferry. This ferry connects County Clare (Killimer) and County Kerry (Tarbert) with hourly schedules, serving as both a time-saving and scenic mode of transportation. During your journey, you will find catering and shopping services, including souvenirs, music, sweets, and ice cream in the visitor centre.

Visitor Attractions and Activities

Hiking and Walking Trails

Tarbet is surrounded by the picturesque Arrochar Alps, offering a variety of hiking and walking trails. These stunning hills are popular with outdoor enthusiasts, attracting cyclists, hill walkers, and climbers alike. For a more leisurely walk, there are also several woodland trails available on Tarbet Island.

Boat Tours

The pier at Tarbet provides a popular boarding point for pleasure cruises on Loch Lomond. This service has been offered since Victorian times and allows visitors to explore the tranquil beauty of the loch and its surrounding areas. There are several different cruises available, ranging from short trips to full-day excursions.

Cruise TypeDurationDescription
Short Trip1-2 hoursScenic cruise around Loch Lomond
Full-day6-8 hoursExtended trip with stops at islands

Local Events

Throughout the year, Tarbet hosts various local events, bringing the community together and providing a unique experience for visitors. Some of the most popular events include:

  • Standing Stones, Inveraray, and Kilchurn Castles & Highland Tour: A full-day guided tour starting from Glasgow, exploring historic sites and beautiful landscapes.
  • Tarbet Community Events: Keep an eye out for seasonal events and activities organised by the local community, which may include food festivals, artistic performances, and outdoor gatherings.

To get the most out of your visit to Tarbet, be sure to plan your trip around the available attractions and activities that suit your interests.

Accommodation and Dining Options

Hotels and Guesthouses

In Tarbet, one popular hotel option is the Tarbet Hotel. For current prices, consider consulting Tripadvisor or Booking.com. Amenities at this hotel include a private bathroom, free WiFi, a 24-hour front desk, and daily housekeeping.

When considering the hotel, make sure to check availability and the best prices for your travel dates.

Restaurants and Pubs

There are a few notable dining options in Tarbet. Check out the following options:

  • Slanj Bar & Restaurant: A steakhouse and bar, known for its deep-fried ice cream, sea bass, burgers, and vegetarian lasagne.
  • Tarbet Tea Room: A British and Scottish style tea room, serving a welcoming atmosphere with quality service and a decent breakfast selection.
  • Ben Arthurs Bothy: Closed now, but this place has good reviews and may be worth checking out in the future.

For additional restaurants and places to eat in Tarbet, visit Tripadvisor.

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