The small village of Crinan is at the western end of the Crinan Canal. The canal runs from Crinan to Ardrishaig and Cairnbaan is about halfway. The canal is mainly used by pleasure craft going from the Firth of Clyde to the West Coast who do not want to round the notorious Mull of Kintyre. When the canal was built the most common sight would have been that of Puffers and barges taking coal to the west and slate back to the east.
Crinan consists of just a few houses, the main canal basin, a boatyard and chandlery, hotel with bars and restaurant and a cafe. Having said that there are many reasons for visiting not least of which is the breath taking scenery to be found all around the are, walks, beaches and much more. Many visitors find the canal fascinating to observe in the summer months as yachts are being moved up and down the locks, particularly in July when it is at its busiest. Unfortunately West Highland week yacht racing no longer have a stage here as they just pass through on their way to Craobh Haven.
Crinan looks out to the Doris Mhor (big door) and the Corryvrecken whirlpool and tidal race between the Islands of Jura and Scarba. On a spring flood tide after a strong westerly airflow the noise of the tidal race can be heard and seen even although it is over four miles away. There are boat trips to the Corryvrecken from Ardfern, Craobh Haven and from the Island Of Easdale
Tayvallich is a few miles south of Crinan on the remote Knap peninsula. Tayvallich and Loch Sween, like Crinan are popular tourist destinations by car and also by pleasure craft. Throughout this area there are magnificent views and a topography which is unique to south west Argyll. There are many interesting walks and lochs and inlets for fishing. Knapdale forest is a place of National Scenic Interest and there are many walks and trails to enjoy. The forest is home to many species of trees including the American red oak. The animals although quite elusive include, otters, pine martens, badgers, wildcat and red squirrels.