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West Otter Ferry was not named after a cute furry animal.  Its name, however, does provide a clue to the site's use: it was the western side of an ancient ferry crossing Loch Fyne from Cowal to Argyll.

The name comes from the Gaelic word oitir. This refers to the sandbank on the eastern shores of the ferry crossing. Extending for a mile into the waters of Loch Fyne, you can now see it marked with a beacon as a warning to today's sailor.

For over two hundred years, this ferry transported people, horses and even cattle across the water. Today the ruins of the quays from where the boats would set out survive on both sides of the loch.  Across the water, the village of Otter Ferry grew up around the eastern side of the ferry service. On the western side you can visit the ruins of an old house - the home of the ferryman.


Patsy Dyer shares a local tale.

Visiting West Otter Ferry

The exact location of West Otter Ferry is grid reference is NR 917 867.

The best place to access the forest is Port Ann. From there you can take the Otter Ferry Walk to the site.

All sites managed by Forestry and Land Scotland are open for you to explore. However, not all sites have paths or signage and some are a considerable distance from car parking. We recommend that visitors consult a detailed map and wear appropriate clothing.

Please follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and remember that historic sites should be treated with care and respect.