Taynuilt is a village in Argyll and Bute in the Highlands of Scotland. It's on the south shore of Loch Etive, at a point where the loch is pinched, so for centuries it was a ferry crossing. The ferry closed in 1966 when Connel Bridge downstream became the main route north. Taynuilt is set among scenic hills, but the main reasons to visit are two industrial sites: the 18th- to 19th-century ironworks, and 10 miles east is Cruachan power station deep within the mountain. The population in 2023 is somewhere about 800.

Get in

Cruachan Dam

By road from central Scotland follow A85 / A82 through Crianlarich and Tyndrum then west on A85 towards Oban.

By bus: Citylink 975 / 976 / 977 runs six times a day from Glasgow Buchanan station, either via Arrochar and Inveraray, or via Crianlarich and Tyndrum. These take 2 hr 40 min to Taynuilt village crossroads and continue to Oban, another 25 min.

Bus 978 runs daily from Edinburgh, taking 3 hr 30 min via Edinburgh airport, Grangemouth, Stirling, Doune, Callander and Crianlarich, and continuing to Oban.

Trains from Glasgow Queen Street run up the West Highland Line via Dumbarton, Helensburgh and Crianlarich to Taynuilt, taking 2 hours 45 min and continuing to Oban. (Unless you fall asleep in the wrong portion of the train, which divides at Crianlarich for Glencoe, Fort William and Mallaig.) There are six M-Sa and three on Sunday. One other train in term-time M-F is effectively a local school bus, from Dalmally to Taynuilt, Connell and Oban.

1 Taynuilt railway station is a simple platform halt with no ticket office, machines or any facilities. Buy your ticket on board from the conductor if your journey starts here. There is step-free access to Platform 1 (towards Glasgow). Reach Platform 2 (towards Oban) either by a level crossing or a ramp from the lane.

Get around


The ironworks can be reached by foot, car or bicycle; a lane branches off A85 to run through the village. Buses and trains run along the valley with stops at Dalmally and Falls of Cruachan but you really need a car to visit the outlying sights.

  • 1 Bonawe Ironworks, Taynuilt PA35 1JQ. Closed. This complex was built in 1753 to make pig iron, because the area had lots of water, and wood to make charcoal to fire the furnace. A major product was cannonballs. When more efficient blast furnaces opened in the lowlands, the works became unprofitable and closed in 1876. The interiors are closed to visitors but you can stroll the grounds free.    
  • 2 Angus's Garden, Glen Lonan PA35 1HY, +44 1866 822333. Daily 9AM-dusk. Peaceful woodland gardens by a small loch, dogs welcome on leads. The site is steep and unsuitable for those with limited mobility. The access road is narrow but well-paved. The garden commemorates Angus MacDonald, a young journalist murdered by an EOKA Cypriot hitman in 1956: Nikos Sampson, protagonist of the 1974 "Enosis" coup that led to Turkish invasion and the partition of Cyprus. Adult £5, child free.
  • 3 Cruachan Power Station, Dalmally PA33 1AN (A85 five miles east of Taynuilt), +44 1866 822618. Apr-Oct: M-F 9:30AM-4:30PM; Nov & Feb-Mar: M-F 10AM-3:30PM. Ben Cruachan is "the hollow mountain", with a pumped-storage hydro-electric power station deep inside. A 30-min guided tour takes you inside by minibus. The station's role is to meet spikes in demand for electricity, by releasing the waters of the upper lochan to hurtle down through turbines to the large roadside reservoir loch. Cruachan reaches full power in under 30 seconds, and this means other stations don't have to generate electricity "just in case". The water is pumped back up to the lochan at times of low demand. The tour is a weird experience where 20th century massive engineering meets Peer Gynt's "Hall of the Mountain King". Adult £7.50, conc £6.50, child £2.50.  
  • Cruachan Dam outside is free to access.
  • 4 St Conan's Kirk is a hotch-potch of every architectural style known to the Victorian / Edwardian era; it's really only lacking a drawbridge and minaret. It's on the main road A85, open daily Apr-Sept 9AM-6PM, Oct-Mar 9AM-5PM, suggested donation £3.
  • 5 Kilchurn Castle, Dalmally PA33 1AF (head of Loch Awe). Closed. Picturesque ruin of a four-storey tower, a redoubt of Clan Campbell. In 1760 it was wrecked by a massive thunderbolt, with a tower turret blown away to sit upside down in the courtyard. When first built around 1450 it was on a small island, but the loch was later drained so it became a peninsula — usually. High water levels occasionally flood the access path under the railway tracks and it returns to being an island. It remains closed because, like other Historic Scotland properties, the masonry is crumbling and they've no money to make it safe. You can also admire the exterior by following A819 south side of the loch to a layby, where a track leads to the shore.    
Kilchurn Castle
  • Golf: Taynuilt GC is a scenic 9 hole parkland course just north of the railway line.
Dalmally GC is 18 holes. It's near the turnoff for Kilchurn Castle.
  • Taynuilt Highland Games are held on the sports grounds in late July.
  • Loch Etive is a sea loch almost 20 miles long. Its scenic upper reaches have no roads and can only be accessed by boat. Boat trips sail in summer but these depart from Dunstaffnage marina near Oban; it may be possible to negotiate a pick-up in Taynuilt. Boat hire is available at TFC Boats just west of the village.
  • Fearnoch Forest is a walking area accessed off the A85 two miles west of Taynuilt.
  • Ben Cruachan is a "Munro" of 1126 m / 3694 ft, the highest peak in Argyll. The trail starts from Falls of Cruachan railway station and is steep but straightforward.
  • Graham's is the village store, incorporating the B&B and tearoom. It's open M-F 7AM-10PM, Sa 7AM-8PM, Su 10:30AM-10PM. For a supermarket head for Oban.
  • Inverawe Smokehouse east of the river prepare smoked salmon and similar delicacies. They're open M-F 9AM-5PM.
Bonawe furnace chimney
  • Robin's Nest, Main Street, PA35 1JE (by station entrance), +44 1866 822429. Th-Su 10AM-4PM. Tearoom serving freshly-prepared sandwiches and home-baked cakes.



Taynuilt has no stand-alone pubs or hotel bars.





As of June 2023, Taynuilt has 4G from all UK carriers, but the signal is patchy along the A85. 5G has not reached this area.

Go next

  • Oban west is the nearest proper town, with ferries to Mull and other Hebridean islands.
  • Crianlarich east is the route to the lowlands.
  • Inveraray with its palatial castle is south via A819 across the hills.
Routes through Taynuilt
Oban  W   E  CrianlarichGlasgow Queen Street
Oban  W   E  CrianlarichGlasgow / Perth

This city travel guide to Taynuilt is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.