Gairlochy lies at the southern end of Loch Lochy. An overflow from Loch Lochy was created here during the building of the locks on the Caledonian Canal. It was the diverted water plunging into the River Spean over artificial waterfalls that gave the hamlet its name - Gairlochy (the roar of the Lochy). The Mucomuir hydro-electric power station located beside the falls was built in 1960.
Gairlochy is a picturesque section of the canal where you will negotiate through 2 sets of lock gates on either end a wide basin where boats can tie up and berth. The lower lock gates are quite frequently left open, so you may only have to pass through one lock. The area has great views of Ben Nevis and an extensive beech forest provides delightful walking and cycling paths.
Although Gairlochy itself consists of little more than a cluster of houses, it is situated approximately 3 miles from the village of Achnacarry in one direction, and 3 miles from the larger village of Spean Bridge in the other. Mooring, toilets, showers, laundry, litter/recycling and electrical hook up (Scottish Canals) are all available here.
After leaving Gairlochy you will travel along the final 5 miles canal section, passing through Moy Bridge and heading for the limit of cruising at Banavie.
Old Pines Hotel & Restaurant – The restaurant is situated at the front of this small hotel and thus providing stunning views of the Nevis Range. Old Pines is located about 45 min. walk from Gairlochy Locks, along the B8004 and not far from the Commando Memorial. Pick-up service may be available on request.
Tel: 01397 712 324
Sights & Activities
The Clan Cameron Museum – The Museum is housed in an old, traditional building, situated close to the historic site of Achnacarry, about 3 miles north of Gairlochy. It was opened by Sir Fitzroy Maclean of Dunconnell in 1989. Open daily April – October.
Commando Memorial - The Commando Memorial stands some 17ft (5.2m) high and comprises a group of three bronze Commandos. It was erected in memory of soldiers of the Commandos who died in the Second World War between 1939 and 1945 and was unveiled by HM Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, on 12 September 1952. Located about 2.5 miles south east of Gairlochy locks (a picturesque walk of about 50-60 min. along a mainly single track road/B8004).
Taxis & Transport
Greyhound Taxis, Caol – 4- and 6-seaters. www.greyhound-taxis.co.uk; 01397 70 50 50
Approach to Moy Bridge
Approach to Gairlochy from Loch Lochy