Scotland 2019 – Luss, Tarbet and Arrochar

After revisiting a few places from last year’s trip, I wanted to look at some new places with the hope of finding more interesting photo locations on our trip to Scotland in 2019.

We decided to take a drive up the west shore of Loch Lomond along the A82. There were a few small villages dotted along the shore that we hadn’t bothered to investigate any further on previous visits. In the various pieces of tourist literature we’d scanned through, they looked quite picturesque.

The first village we came to was Luss, we’d driven past it a few times but never taken time out to stop and have a look around. The A82 now bypasses the village itself but the old road still runs through Luss and if you turn off of the new road you arrive at a service area with a large car park and picnic area.

The village itself isn’t that big and it only takes around 30-60 minutes to walk from end to end. There isn’t an awful lot to see or do here and I was quite disappointed although the village is very picturesque.

One of the main attractions of Luss is the fact that it’s a stop for the water bus that runs between various points on Loch Lomond. There is quite a lot of foot-traffic during the day so if you’re on a photographic trip, it would be a good idea to make the visit either very early or later in the day. The best light will be early morning and give good opportunities for shots across the loch.

Arriving as we did in the middle of the day, the photographic opportunities were limited. I grabbed a couple of shots of the village church and one of the pilgrimage centre which Kay had a nose around while I waited outside with the poochies. There wasn’t much else to do in Luss, so we jumped back in the car and headed to Tarbet.

Tarbet turned out to be a bit disappointing, I did spot one photo location, but it meant crossing quite a busy road and we didn’t fancy it with two dogs. The last place I had on my list for the day was a spot called Rest and be Thankful, we jumped back in the car and headed out of Tarbet.

Rest and Be Thankful is a spot on the A83 between Tarbet and Cairndow, It’s the highest point on the A83 and sits between Glen Kinglas and Glen Croe. Rest and be thankful are the words inscribed on a stone near the junction of the A83 and the B828, put there by soldiers who built the original military road in 1753. The original stone has now been replaced by a commemorative stone.

When we arrived at the location, the road was undergoing repairs and the parking area was cordoned off and being used to store the machinery required to carry out the repairs. Unable to find a suitable parking location, I carried on further along the A83 as the scenery was quite stunning. When we reached the bottom of Glen Kinglas the road turned to the left and crossed Kinglas Water. As we crossed the river, Kay spotted an old stone bridge back from the new road, so we pulled over to have a nose around.

I’m glad decided to stop. After walking about fifty yards from the car park we came across this view.

a photograph of Butter Bridge
Butter Bridge

After a bit of research, the bridge is called Butter Bridge. I’m not able to find any conclusive origin for the name, but the bridge itself was built by a General Caulfield in 1745. It was built to carry the old military road across the river Kinglas but is now only used as a foot bridge.

There isn’t much else to do here unless you’re up for a very strenuous hike up the Glen and up some of the higher peaks in the area, and as the wind was starting to pick up we returned to the car.

As we headed back up (or down, not really sure which is right but the road was going uphill) I spotted a waterfall by the side of the road that I missed on the way down to Butter Bridge. There was a conveniently located parking spot on the opposite side of the road. Kay decided to stay in the car with the poochies, so I grabbed my tripod and hopped over the barrier.

There isn’t really a path from the road and a lot of the ground is very wet. I carefully picked my way back towards the waterfall. I couldn’t find a straightforward way down to the base of the waterfall and the view from the higher point wasn’t that great. As I had already left Kay and the poochies wandering around and sitting in the car enough for one day I grabbed a few quick images and headed back to the car.

This is a location I want to return to again and hopefully spend more time there to see what else I can find. There did seem to be a lot of possibilities in the area along the river and up towards Loch Restil. I’m not 100% happy with my images from Butter Bridge, I made a few mistakes in the field and the images here are the ones I managed to salvage, maybe I’ll have more time next year.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a good one.

Andy's Signature
Photograph of a waterfall beside the A83
A83 Waterfall
Photograph of a waterfall beside the A83
Flowing down to Kinglass Water