Not all the old ferry crossings in Scotland have been replaced by bridges. The Corran Ferry, operated by the Highland Council, is one of few remaining. When a new and larger ferry, the Corran, arrived on the route in 2001 it confirmed that Morvern and Moidart will retain that island feeling for some time to come.
The ferry crosses Loch Linnhe, some nine miles south of Fort William, at the Corran Narrows. The route of the ferry lies on one of the ancient drove routes to Central Scotland and its cattle markets from the Hebrides.
To the west the ferry permits direct access to Morvern, Moidart and Ardnamurchan, via the pretty village of Strontian. It also provides a link to the short ferry crossing to Mull from Lochaline, thirty miles to the south west. On the eastern side it links directly to the main A82 as it makes its way from Fort William down through Glencoe then to all points south; or down the coast to Oban.
The eastern slipway (the Fort William side) is known as Nether Lochaber. The western side of the crossing is guarded by the extremely attractive Corran Lighthouse. It is also the location of the Inn at Ardgour, conveniently placed immediately above the ferry slipway.
There are three ferries pictured on this page. The Rosehaugh was retired in 2001 after 32 years in service on various routes across the Highlands. Its early years were spent plying between North and South Kessock, just to the west of Inverness, until the service was displaced by the opening of the Kessock Bridge in 1982.
In late 2001 the Rosehaugh was replaced by a new ferry, the Corran, built in Hull for £2.9m. The Corran brought additional capacity to the crossing, which is a relief to motorists who depend on the crossing, or who happen upon it at peak times of the year.
The Corran came into service alongside the backup ferry on the route, the Maid of Glencoul. The Maid of Glencoul was itself launched in 1976 in Ardrossan and, in yet another example of ferries being replaced by roads, spent its early years running between Kylesku and Kylestrome in the far north west of Scotland: until the Kylesku Bridge opened in 1984.
If you want to experience a taste of how a lot more of Scotland used to be, you could do far worse than take a trip on the Corran Ferry.