and Castle Heritage Park
Tarbert Loch Fyne
There are a number of settlements in Scotland with the name “Tarbert” (or similar), which indicates an isthmus or narrow neck of land between two bodies of water. For example, Tarbet on the isthmus between Loch Lomond and Loch Long or, in our case, Tarbert between East Loch Tarbert and West Loch Tarbert.
East Loch Tarbert is the small offshoot of Loch Fyne which forms our village’s sheltered harbour, used since earliest times to exploit the link between the Firth of Clyde and the West Coast and Western Isles. At this location, less than a mile of land prevents the whole of Kintyre from being an island.
History records that, on more than one occasion, boats have been sailed into East Loch Tarbert and hauled across the isthmus, to be re-launched on the West Coast, giving easy access to the islands without the hazardous passage around the Mull of Kintyre.
Today, Tarbert Castle is a visible reminder of the strategic nature of this important link between distinct sea areas.