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 there are a set of two locks, raising the level of the canal by just over ten feet to enter Loch Lochy. 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, water, laundry 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.
Sights & Walks
The Clan Cameron Museum – The Clan Cameron Museum is situated at Achnacarry, in the heart of Cameron country, close to the home of the Clan chief, Sir Donald Cameron of Lochiel KT. The museum was opened by Sir Fitzroy Maclean of Dunconnell in 1989. It is housed in an old cottage, burnt by government troops in 1746. Included in the museum are artefacts, photographs and information about the Commandos, who trained at Achnacarry during the Second World War. To get to the museum go over the canal bridge at Gairlochy and bear right towards Achnacarry then after a two miles turn left through the gates and the museum is quarter of a mile further on.
Tel: 01397 712090
Commando Memorial - The world famous Commando Memorial stands high above Spean Bridge. The three gigantic bronze figures stand proud in battledress, woollen caps and climbing boots looking across the Great Glen. The 17 foot high Memorial was designed by Scott Sutherland from Dundee College of Art in 1949 and unveiled by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in 1952. Hundreds of veteran Commandos make the annual pilgrimage to attend the Service of Remembrance and Wreath Laying held at the Memorial in November. To reach the memorial from Gairlochy it’s approximately a 3 mile walk uphill.
Restaurants, Bars & Cafes
Old Pines Hotel & Restaurant – Located in Spean Bridge this hotel has a small a la carte restaurant overlooking the Nevis Range. All food is homemade and they try where possible to source organic ingredients and fresh local produce. Pick-up service is available in the evenings from Gairlochy Locks on request.
Spean Bridge, PH34 4EG
Tel: 01397 712324
Taxis & Transport
Clansman Taxis – 01397 703334
Greyhound Taxis – 01397 703389 or 07944 036689
Fort William Taxis – 01397 700000
Approach to Gairlochy from Loch Lochy