Loch Etive (Scottish Gaelic, "Loch Eite") is a 30 km sea loch in
Argyll and Bute, Scotland. It reaches the sea at Connel, 5 km north of Oban. It measures 31.6 km (19 3/4 miles) in length and from 1.2 km (3/4 mile) to 1.6 km (1 mile) in width.
The name Etive is believed to mean "little ugly one" from the Gaelic
Goddessassociated with the loch. It heads east for half its length alongside the main road and rail link to Oban, before heading northeast into mountainous terrain. A road along Glen Etivemakes the head of the loch accessible from Glen Coe. The loch, being higher than sea level, together with its narrow mouth, results in its most unusual feature, the Falls of Lora. Part of the north bank has been designated a " Special Area of Conservation" in particular due to old sessile oakwoods. Surprisingly, a small colony of around 20 common seals is resident in Loch Etive.
Just seaward of the mouth of the loch is
Dunstaffnage Castle. This was a stronghold of the kingdom of Dál Riatauntil the 9th century, and possibly its centre at one time. It is believed to have held the Stone of Destinybefore its transfer to Scone Palace. The current ruins date from 1275. Cruises up Loch Etive followed by carriage trip to Glen Coe were started in 1881 as Oban developed as a fashionable resort. Connel Bridge, an impressive cantilever bridgeat the Falls of Lora, has an interesting history. Built in 1903 for the Connel- Ballachulishrailway, a rail-bus ferried foot-passengers across from 1909 until 1914 when the bridge was converted to allow for rail, road or passenger traffic (on the same track). Since the line closed in 1966, the bridge has been solely for road traffic.
In the parish of
Ardchattan, on the north shore, stands the beautiful ruin of St. Modan's Priory, founded in the 13th century for Cistercianmonks of the Valliscaulian Order. It is said that Robert Bruce held within its walls the last parliament in which the Gaelic languagewas used. On the coast of Loch Nell, or Ardmucknish Bay, is the vitrified fort of Beregonium, not to be confounded with Rerigonium(sometimes miscalled Berigonium) on Loch Ryanin Wigtownshiretown of the Novantae Picts, identified with Innermessan. The confusion has arisen through a textual error in an early edition of Ptolemy's "Geography".
* [http://www.fishing-argyll.co.uk/ Fishing-Argyll web site.]
* [http://www.fallsoflora.info/ The Falls of Lora information website.]
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