Garelochhead (Ceann a' Gheàrrloch in Gaelic), originally in Dunbartonshire, developed from the 1820s with the advent of steamer cruising during the Glasgow Fair holiday. Tourism was boosted with the opening of the West Highland Railway line to Oban in 1894, and in the late 20th century its prosperity was linked to the deepwater oil tanker terminal at Finnart on Loch Long and the Faslane naval base. Garelochhead Forest lies to the south.
In 1854 there was a great dispute that became known as the Battle of Garelochhead fought between the locals, led by Sir James Colquhoun, and the passengers of the steamer Ship "Emperor". The trouble started when Colquhoun did not want trippers on the sabbath day. The battle was eventually won by the passengers, but undeterred Colquhoun took his case to the courts who subsequently banned sailings on Sundays.
Garelochhead is the nearest town to the HMNB Clyde naval base. Before Faslane naval base was constructed during World War II, Garelochhead was a summer destination for people from Glasgow who would arrive from the Gare Loch and spend time in one of the Garelochhead hotels. During the 1990s, 2 of the villages hotels, The Dahlandui & Garelochhead Hotel, burnt down. After Faslane was built on the town was extended as workers settled in the area.
1.© Reid Robertson http://www.saddleview.co.uk