The Canal was completed in 1801, it has 15 locks and stretches for 9 miles between the villages of Crinan and Ardrishaig. By cutting out the need to travel around the Mull of Kintyre sailors can sail into Loch Crinan and through the canal, saving 100 miles on their trip. The area along the length of the canal is magical. The canal is lined with many small cottages including lock keepers cottages. The scenery is superb and the tow path is ideal for short walks or cycling and a bit of fishing. The canal basin at Crinan is picturesque and enjoyable for pottering around whilst watching the boats and yachts entering or leaving the canal. Boat charter is available from Crinan Harbour with cruises around the coast and a water taxi service to the neighbouring islands. The views of the west coast from the entrance to the Crinan canal are excellent. There is always some activity around the locks as small boats and some not so small use the Crinan Canal to access or leave The Sound of Jura. It’s a very peaceful spot where the working canal blends perfectly with the dramatic surroundings. There are some old boats still moored at the Crinan Canal Basin. Probably the most interesting and famous is The Vital Spark. The boat has been moored in the lock area and is the vessel which was featured in the BBC dramatization of Para Handy, the famous novel by Neil Munro who was born in Inveraray.