drainage ditchesbeech treeisthmus looking towards Tarbetview across the isthmusrelaxedthe Three Lochs Waywalls

The Landscape Today

Our landscape is a significant place and a significant route. It is a place of connections.

Here's what it looks like on a beautiful summer day!

Geography: The isthmus comprises a u-shaped valley and a narrow 2-mile strip of land connecting Arrochar on Loch Long and Tarbet on Loch Lomond. It connects the Clyde sea lochs to the inland lochs of Central Scotland. Fjord-like Loch Long penetrates inland 20 miles from busy Glasgow and the Firth of Clyde to Arrochar. The landscape boasts planted and natural woodland, rough pasture, a river and numerous smaller burns, and it is bounded by wild moorland and dramatic mountains. Importantly, it is home to a busy community.


  • Major Caulfield's military road used this isthmus in the 18th century, and its remains can still be seen today.
  • The West Highland Railway Line crosses it and Arrochar and Tarbet train station is situated mid-way across, providing a vital communication link between London, Glasgow and the Highlands.
  • The A83 trunk road travels across the isthmus, allowing travellers access to and from the Clyde sea lochs and to ferries to the isles.
  • A footpath follows the route of the A83 and links the two villages of Arrochar and Tarbet.
  • A long-distance footpath called the Three Lochs Way crosses the landscape and connects to other forest paths.

People and Place:

  • People live and work in the landscape
  • Hotels, cafes, B&Bs, a community hall and a cruise company are just some of the businesses that operate on the isthmus.
  • A school has thrived on it for nearly 300 years
  • Ancient grave slabs can be found in a graveyard mid-way across the isthmus, next to an erstwhile Victorian church
  • A memorial commemorating those lost in the two World Wars stands proud at a road junction.
  • The Army Cadet Centre, The Arrochar Mountain Rescue Station, Ambulance Station and Fire Station are all located on the isthmus.
  • A working pier at Loch Lomond and a once-busy, but now derelict pier on Loch Long stand at either end ...

To find out more about how the landscape looked in the past, click here.



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