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Otter Ferry

(Redirected from West Otter Ferry)

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Otter Ferry quay, 2007
Otter Ferry quay
© Patrick Mackie

Otter Ferry lies on the eastern shore of Loch Fyne, and was once connected to the western shore of the loch at West Otter Ferry by a ferry which began operating some time in the late 1700s, and only ceased operation in 1948.

Operating from a jetty and quay built by James Campbell in the late 1700s, the mile and a half crossing provided an alternative to the long trek around the north end of the loch. In 1791 the fare was 3d for a man and 9d for a horse.[1]

West Otter Ferry

West Otter Ferry, 2006
West Otter Ferry
© Patrick Mackie

The ferry crossed Loch Fyne from Otter Ferry to West Otter Ferry, which lies at the end of an unmade track on the eastern shore of the loch, about one mile along the Forestry Commission walk from the car park at Port Ann.

The remains of the original dry stone quay and slipway remain on the site, together with the remains of the ferryman's cottage reported nearby. This old stone quay is the original, understood to have been built during the early 1700s, and in use until 1948.

Derivation of the name

Oitir and beacon, 2007
Oitir and beacon
© Patrick Mackie

The name is not believed to relate to otters (despite the picture on the Forestry Commission's information board), but is understood to be derived from the Gaelic oitir which describes a sandbank or spit of land. Such a feature lies off the shore to the west of Otter Ferry, extending for a mile into the waters of Loch Fyne, and its extent is marked by a lighted beacon to warn craft of its presence.


Otter Spit beacon, 2010
Otter Spit beacon
© Gordon Brown
Loch Fyne 'Q' beacon, 2010
Loch Fyne 'Q' beacon
© Gordon Brown

The western extent of The Narrows, the safe passage past the oitir, is marked by the red Loch Fyne 'Q' beacon.

The western end of the oitir, the shingle spit which extend into Loch Fyne from Otter Ferry, is marked by a large green beacon. In the photograph taken at high tide the oitir is entirely covered.

World War II

Otter Ferry was the location of a World War II anti-submarine defence, the Loch Fyne Boom, and the depot building and other remains can still be found on the point along the shore to the west of the jetty, where the oitir begins.


1 Otter Ferry crossing prices

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Aerial views



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