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Visitor guide to Tarbert in Argyll Guide gives you information on the area, including getting to Tarbert, places to visit, shopping, sleeping and eating. Also include information on accommodation and Hotels In Tarbert.

Tarbert is an idyllic Scottish village , popularly known as  the gateway to the beautiful peninsula of Kintyre.The fishing village of Tarbert sits at the head of East Loch Tarbert, in a sheltered bay backed by forested hills, and is one the most attractive ports on the west coast. Tarbert (the name derives from the Gaelic An Tairbeart meaning "isthmus") has a long tradition of fishing, and in the 18th and 19th centuries was a major herring port. Today, prawns and other shellfish are the main catch and though there is still a sizeable fleet, fishing has declined in importance to the local economy. Tourism, meanwhile, is a growing source of income, and Tarbert attracts its fair share of yachties, particularly in May when the village hosts the second largest racing series in the UK after Cowes attracting hundreds of boats and thousands of visitors.

The Scottish Series, considered as the second largest yacht race in the UK that sails into the attractive natural harbour. TIC, Harbour St, Tel.01880-820429, Apr-Oct. The town also hosts an excellent folk music festival, over a weekend at the end of September (for details, Tel. 820343).


Tarbert Music Festival : it is a popular annual event held in the month of Septemeber and features  contemporary and traditional Scottish Music and several bands will play in the  pubs and hotels around the harbour, attracting music buffs and tourists from all over. Some of the other important  events in Tarbert include the  Scottish Series Yacht Race, and the Tarbert Seafood Festival,  during which this tiny village will turn into a bee hive of activities.


Bank of Scotland and Clydesdale Bank are both on Harbour St, and both have ATMs.

Eating Out

As you'd expect with a place popular with yachties, Tarbert boasts some very fine restaurants. Tarbert is well known for some of the freshest and tastiest seafood you could ask for! Pick of the bunch is The Anchorage, on Harbour St, Tel. 820881. Wonderful food, particularly the local seafood and fish, and mid-range prices. Small and cosy so book in advance. Otherwise the best food is available at the hotels. There's the Columba and Stonefield Castle Hotels but also recommended is the Victoria Hotel, Tel. 820236,This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., which is on the right as you enter the village from Lochgilphead. Scotts is a brand new quay side bistro on Harbour St that was opened in the year 2010. An ideal place to enjoy breakfasts  lunches and evening meals; superb views of Tarbert quay where you can see fishermen unload their catch. Tel : 01880 820190


Earra Gael Craft Shop, Tel. 820428, in the old Weighbridge on Harbour St. Open daily Apr-Oct 1000-1730. 

Ann Thomas Gallery, Harbour St, Tel. 820390. Good selection of books, local prints and stationery; open daily (Mon-Sat 0900-1830, Sun 1100-1830 in summer).



Travel Directions to Tarbert


There are buses from Tarbert to Kennacraig (for ferries to Islay) several times daily Mon-Sat. Also from Tarbert to Claonaig (for ferries to Lochranza on Arran) and Skipness (2-3 daily Mon-Sat). Details from Argyll & Bute Council, Tel. 01546-604695, or the TIC. The Tourist Information Centre is on Harbour St, Tel. 820429. Open 6-29 Apr Mon-Fri 1000-1700, Sat-Sun 1200-1700; 30 Apr-1 Jul Mon-Sat 1000-1700, Sun 1100-1700; 2 Jul-2 Sep Mon-Sat 0930-1800, Sun 1000-1700; 3 Sep-28 Oct Mon-Sat 1000-1700, Sun 1200-1700.

There is a car and passenger ferry from Portavadie on the Cowal peninsula to Tarbert (25 mins), which leaves daily every hour in summer, less frequently in winter. There are ferries from Tarbert to Lochranza on Arran and a summer ferry (Apr to mid-Oct) goes to Lochranza from Claonaig on the west coast of Kintyre, south of Kennacraig. Ferries leave from Kennacraig, 5 miles south of Tarbert, to Islay and to Colonsay.

Local Sights & Activities for Tarbert

Overlooking the harbour is the dramatically sited ruin of Tarbert Castle, Robert the Bruce's 14th-century castle. There's not much left to see, other than the five-storey 15th-century keep. It's unsafe to investigate the ruins too closely, but the view alone is worth the walk. There are steps leading up to the castle, next to the Loch Fyne Gallery on Harbour Street. Behind the castle there are several marked trails leading up into the hills, with great views over Loch Fyne and the islands. Less strenuous is the short walk at the end of Garvel Road, on the north side of the harbour, which leads to the beach. At the end of East Pier road, beyond the Cowal Ferry, is another interesting walk, to the Shell Beaches. You can also explore the lovely gardens at Stonefield Castle Hotel.

Just south of town, on the main A83, is the An Tairbeart Heritage Centre, which tells you all you need to know about the area's fascinating history, as well as providing a whole host of activities such as woodturning and sheep shearing. There's also a good, moderately priced restaurant offering local specialities such as venison and oysters. Easter till early Jan daily 1000-1900. Free. Tel. 820190.

Nearby Distilleries

  • Harris Distillery

    "Social distillery" on the lovely island of Harris in the Outer Hebrides that is open every day for visitors to meet and embrace the vision. Creating both whiskies and gins

Tarbert Hotels & Accommodation


Three miles north on the A82 to Lochgilphead is the sumptuous Stonefield Castle Hotel, Tel. 820836, Fax. 820929. Price includes dinner. A magnificent Baronial Victorian mansion set in 60 acres of beautiful woodland garden, with great views across the loch and an acclaimed restaurant to boot. There's a good selection of places to stay in Tarbert itself, including the Columba Hotel, Tel/Fax. 820808,, on East Pier Rd. 10 rooms. Price includes dinner. This refurbished and comfortable Victorian hotel is on the waterfront and features fine cooking (mid-range) in its restaurant. The popular bar offers cheap, imaginative meals. Just outside the village is the West Loch Hotel, Tel. 820283, Fax. 820930, a traditional 18th-century coaching inn on the main A83 overlooking West Loch Tarbert. Price includes dinner. There's also plenty of B&B accommodation, and a campsite at Escart Bay, in a secluded spot overlooking West Loch Tarbert, Tel. 820873.

Self Catering Cottages in Tarbert