The village of Crianlarich is a small settlement located about 6 miles north of Inverarnan. It is known as the gateway to the magnificant Highlands of Scotland from both the Glasgow and Edinburgh directions. The name of the town originates from A’ Chríon Láraich, Gaelic for “the low pass”. Crianlarich is bounded by Oban out in the west, Loch Tay and wider Tayside out to the east, and the Rannoch Moor and Glen Coe in the north. The town lies at the crossroads of some of the best landscapes in Scotland.
Crianlarich itself was created around two military roads which were constructed in the aftermath of the ’45. Crianlarich received further development with the building of two railways at the end of the 19th century. According to the 2001 census there were 185 people living in Crianlarich. It is a popular stopping off point on both the West Highland Way long distance footpath and the West Highland Railway.
There are a number of Munros surrounding Crianlarich including one of Scotland’s highest mountains, Ben More, standing at a height of 3843 ft. The scenery around the town is indeed breathtaking. The village is nestled beneath some amazing mountain scenery and, once the brief assemblage of visitors from the train leaves, offers a very quiet and peaceful oasis right in the middle of the southern band of Munros and less than a couple of hours from the Central Belt. It is definitely worth a visit, and most people who speed through here in their cars are missing something special, especially in the long Summer evenings or the short winter days when the sun slips below the surrounding mountains.
Out of the various events in the history of Crianlarich, one sticks out in particular. From The Times, 1st January 1964 – “The first crossing of the Irish Sea from west to east has been made by a young RAF navigator. Flying Officer Dmitri Sotov, a New Zealander aged 24, flew the 130 miles from RAF Ballykelly, co. Londonderry to Crianlarich, Perthshire, in an Olympic Two sailplane.