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Glen Nant

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Secluded ancient rainforest teeming with wildlife and history

Amongst the tranquil oakwoods, birchwoods and hazelwoods of Glen Nant National Nature Reserve you can find evidence of ancient settlements and industry, discover an array of lichens and mosses and spot impressive wood ant colonies and dancing butterflies. You can also enjoy a picnic beside a babbling burn or climb up through the glen for stunning mountain views.

Look closely at the lichens and mosses; many of them are beautiful, especially under a magnifying glass. And many of these species are really rare – Glen Nant is amongst a collection of Scottish sites that are the European headquarters for these species. As you walk higher up, you will see cleared areas where we have felled non-native trees and are in the process of restoring the rainforest. This will almost double the size of native woodland here and eventually colonise with the rare species from the adjacent ancient woodland.

Walking trails

Glen Nant route card (PDF)

Walking

Riverbank Trail

A gentle stroll through the coppiced hazel woods to a quiet picnic area by the River Nant.

Firm gravel surface throughout, but includes some grassed over sections. Generally flat with one short moderate slope by the car park.

Easy (all abilities) trail grade icon
¼ miles / 0.4 km

Allow
¼ hours

More information

This short ‘there-and-back’ trail is suitable for everyone. It follows a leafy stretch of the River Nant (which gets its name from the old Gaelic word for nettles) to a tranquil picnic site. Listen for woodland birds and watch for butterflies and bees attracted to the wildflowers beneath the trees. Spot some oaks with many trunks emerging from a single stump – these trees were cut regularly in the past to provide useful new growth every 15 or 20 years.

Walking

Ant Trail

A trail notice is in effect

Following work to remove unsafe bridges, this trail follows a slightly different route to that shown on the information panel. However, the distance and trail grade remain the same.

Follow the winding path for a richly varied trail through atmospheric old oakwoods and thriving new woodland, rich in history and wildlife.

Narrow gravel paths with uneven sections. Long steep slopes and several sets of rough steps. Some exposed tree roots and potentially wet sections. Includes stepping stones and a small bridge.

Strenuous trail grade icon
2 miles / 3.3 km

Allow
1½ hours

More information

Along the trail there are interpretation points that tell you more about the trees, plants and insects here, as well as the forest’s part in the local charcoal and iron smelting industry. There are several viewpoints too, with glorious glimpses of Ben Cruachan.

Activities

Watch for wildlife

As its National Nature Reserve status implies, Glen Nant is perfect for wildife watching. Look out for huge mounds of pine needles and other woodland debris that are the homes of busy colonies of wood ants. The sunny glades in the open woodland attract butterflies and moths, and listen out for warblers and woodpeckers in the trees. You may also spot deer and red squirrels.

Cycling

If you are exploring the area by bike, National Cycle Route 78 passes Glen Nant.

Facilities and access

Walking
Walking
Parking icon
Parking
Viewpoint
Viewpoint
Picnic area
Picnic area

The nearest public toilets and places to eat, drink and shop can be found in Taynuilt.

Stay the night

Our Stay the Night trial has now closed for the season. All participating car parks have now reverted to no overnight parking permitted, in line with all our car parks.

Car parking information

There is no charge to park in this car park. Please park with care and consideration. In particular please park in designated parking areas only and do not block entrances or gates.

More about parking

Getting here

Glen Nant car park is on the west side of the B845 between Taynuilt and Kilchrenan, approximately 3 miles south of Taynuilt.

Using SatNav?

PA35 1HP is the nearest postcode. This postcode covers a wide area along the B845.

Public transport

There is a bus service between Oban and Dalavich that passes the entrance to Glen Nant. Plan your journey at Traveline Scotland.

Get directions

Get in touch

Have a question or suggestion for improvement?

Phone
0300 067 6650 (option 2)
More contact information

Nearby forests

An ant hill in a dark forest

Attractive woodland trail passing the magical woodland ant nests

Facilities and activities
Walking
Walking
Parking icon
Parking
Viewpoint
Viewpoint
Picnic area
Picnic area
Distance from 'Glen Nant': 3.69 miles
 A waterfall in a lush woodland

Quiet riverside trails in oak and birch woodland

Facilities and activities
Walking
Walking
Parking icon
Parking
Picnic area
Picnic area
Distance from 'Glen Nant': 7.33 miles
Young woman wearing green haversack, sits on picnic bench, with little dog beside, looking at panoramic view of Ardmucknish Bay, Beinn Lora, near Benderloch

Panoramic views of North Argyll and beyond

Facilities and activities
Walking
Walking
Parking icon
Parking
Viewpoint
Viewpoint
Picnic area
Picnic area
Distance from 'Glen Nant': 7.41 miles