Tarbert (Loch Fyne)
|Location Map ( geo)|
|Transport Scotland Roads|
|Places related to the A83|
Tarbert is a bustling fishing port and tourist centre on the west shore of Loch Fyne at the point where Knapdale and Kintyre meet. It has long been an important place for transport, taking its name from the fact that the Vikings identified it as a place where they could drag their longships across land from Tarbert harbour to West Loch Tarbert, and vice versa. Today it is a picturesque pause on the A83 heading south to Kintyre and Campbeltown, and also popular with visiting yachts in the summer months. There are a good range of shops and services for both the locals and tourists, who come to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the village.
The main road through Tarbert is the A83, which runs south from Lochgilphead across Knapdale and Kintyre to Campbeltown in the south. The only other classified road in the village itself is the A8015 which runs east along the south side of the harbour to the small slipway for the Portavadie Ferry. This, as its name suggests, crosses from Tarbert to Portavadie on the Cowal Peninsula to the east, and is a popular crossing with tourist traffic exploring south Argyll. In the winter months, a lunchtime return sailing also operates to Lochranza on Arran. During the summer, a dedicated vessel makes the crossing from Claonaig, further south on Kintyre, but in the winter the Portavadie ferry provides the connection. The main purpose for maintaining any service is that the main Arran Ferries are fully enclosed, so unable to carry fuel tankers to the island.
A short distance to the north of Tarbert is the B8024, which takes a very long and slow route around the west coast of Knapdale, before rejoining the A83 just a few miles north. The southern end has been used as part of a half-hearted bypass for Tarbert, allowing timber lorries in particular to avoid the narrow streets. The route includes a short section of unclassified road across the head of West Loch Tarbert. Further west, the B8026 is a rather pointless dead end section of the old A83 route, which passes the old ferry pier, whilst the Islay Ferries now sail from Kennacraig, a few miles further west again.
At the heart of the village, and the head of the harbour, lies a junction where the A83 turns sharply inland to cross to West Loch Tarbert, while the A8015 follows the southern side of the harbour out to the ferry pier. The junction is a simple give-way, with the A83 keeping priority.
|East Loch Pier|
|West Loch Tarbert Pier||former line of A83, now dead end|
|Portavadie||on the Cowal Peninsula|