Loch Indaal

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Loch Indaal Lighthouse
Rubh'an Duin


Rubh an Duin - geograph.org.uk - 1225.jpg
The lighthouse just outside Port Charlotte on Islay.
Location: Port Charlotte, Islay
Location: 55°44’41"N, 6°22’20"W
Height: 43 ft
Tower shape: ctlindrical tower
with balcony and lantern
Tower marking: white tower, black lantern, ochre trim
Light: Fl WR 7s.
Focal height: 50 ft
Admiralty No.: A4254
Built 1869

Loch Indaal (or Lochindaal) is a sea loch on the isle of Islay in Argyllshire. Together with Loch Gruinart to the north, it was formed by the Loch Gruinart Fault,[1] which branches off the Great Glen Fault.

Along the north-western coast are the villages of Bruichladdich and Port Charlotte. Along its north-eastern shore is the tiny village of Bridgend and on its south-eastern shore is the island capital of Bowmore.

At night the lights of the villages along the three sides of the loch inspired the well-known folk song "The Lights of Lochindaal" by Iain Simpson.[2]

South of Bowmore the entire coastline is a six-mile-long sandy beach stretching to Kintra. This beach, known as the Big Strand, is very popular with holidaymakers and locals alike in the summer.


Loch Indaal slopes gently from its north-eastern corner down to its opening into the Atlantic.[3] At the mouth of the loch, which lies between Portnahaven to the north and the American Monument on The Oa to the south, the depth is around 130 feet, rising steadily upwards towards the north-east and reaching a depth of barely 30 feet between Laggan Point and Port Charlotte.

The waters of the loch are calm and safe but the approaches are hazardous especially for small vessels. There are tidal streams, eddies, races and heavy overfalls both in the east and west flowing streams of the tide.

The Big Strand and Laggan Bay

The eastern shore of the loch is taken up by the six-mile length of the Big Strand, the area as a whole being known as Laggan Bay. The Big Strand itself is sandy along its whole length being broken by a rocky outcrop roughly half way along its length at Glenegedale Airport.

In the north the Big Strand is accessible by car along a stretch of unmade road leading from Island farm, on a road signed off the A846 south of Bowmore. The river Laggan empties into the ocean near the northern point of the beach. In the south the Big Strand is accessible from Kintra Farm on the Oa.

Glenegedale Airport has two runways, although one is not in use. The approach from to the north-west runway takes aircraft over Lochindaal at very low altitude giving excellent views of Laggan Bay.



  1. Roberts, AM; Holdsworth, RE (1999). "Linking onshore and offshore structures" (pdf). Journal of the Geological Society (London) 156 (6): 1061–64. doi:10.1144/gsjgs.156.6.1061. http://www.badleys.com/about/pdf/Roberts&Holdsworth1999.pdf. Retrieved 2007-12-22. 
  2. Iain Simpson. "Lights of Lochindaal". http://homepages.rootsweb.com/~steve/islay/poem.htm. Retrieved 2007-12-22. 
  3. Admiralty Chart 2168 Approaches to the Sound of Jura available from Admiralty on line catalogue

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Loch Indaal)
Lighthouses of the Northern Lighthouse Board
Flag of the Commissioners

The Hebrides:   Barra HeadButt of LewisDubh ArtachEilean GlasFlannan IslandsHaskeirHyskeirLismoreMonachNeist PointOrnsayRinns of IslayRonaRuvaalScarinishSkerryvoreTiumpan HeadUshenishMinor lights

Orkney:   AuskerryBrough of BirsayCantick HeadCopinsayHoy Sound (High)Hoy Sound (Low)North RonaldsayNoup HeadPentland SkerriesStart PointTor NessMinor lights

Shetland:   BressayEshanessFair Isle NorthFair Isle SouthFirths VoeFoulaHoo StackMuckle FluggaOut SkerriesPoint of FethalandSumburgh HeadVe SkerriesMinor lights

Isle of Man:   Chicken RockDouglas HeadLangnessMaughold HeadPoint of AyreThousla Rock

Mainland and smaller island groups::   Ailsa CraigArdnamurchanBass RockBell RockBuchan NessCape WrathChanonryCorsewallCovesea SkerriesCrammag HeadDavaarDuncansby HeadDunnet HeadFidraFife NessGirdle NessHoly Island (Outer)InchkeithIsle of MayKinnaird HeadMull of GallowayMull of KintyreNorth RonaNoss HeadPladdaRattray HeadRubh ReSt Abbs HeadSandaScurdie NessStoer HeadStrathy PointStromaSule SkerryTarbat NessTurnberry