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An Awesome Day on the River Awe

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An Awesome Day on the River Awe

The River Awe is a short river (6km) in the Southwest Highlands of Scotland by which the freshwater Loch Awe empties into Loch Etive, a sea loch. The river flows from a barrage which stretches across the end of a deep arm of the loch which protrudes north-westward through the Pass of Brander from the northeast–southwest aligned Loch Awe. The river is accompanied for much of its length both by the railway from Glasgow to Oban and by the A85 road both of which cross the river halfway along its length. The Awe is also crossed by a minor road bridge and a footbridge.

The river discharges into Loch Etive near to the village of Taynuilt and beside the jetty from which ferries once took traffic using the B845 road across the narrowest part of Loch Etive.

Mark loweing his kayak near the barrage

After lunch, we loaded up and drove around to Loch Awe and the barrage at the start. On the way we drove over the famous “falls of Lora” which were working on the spring tides. We had dropped a spare car at the get-out on the shingle spit at the mouth of the river near Taynuilt.

Sara surfing the wave halfway down

Some nifty ropework soon had the boats lowered to the water’s edge. We split into two groups and paddled down through a boulder section mostly on the river left. People often get caught here so this might be the “magnetic rock” that is often described in the literature.

Small easy rapids led down to the railway bridge and A85 road bridge. A pretty garden leading down to the river is on the river right. Soon after the river sweeps around a corner to the left and produces a large standing wave. We spent some time here playing and surfing. The river now opens out and flows over a large, pebbly bed. A few weirs and small drops spice up the paddle before a wire suspension footbridge stretches across the river. This is the old get-out for the smokery. We now much prefer paddling down to the mouth of the river past the hydro station outfall on the river right to get out next to the old stone ferry pier at the end of the spit into Loch Etive. The scenery here is stunning.

Click for more photos…….