The Rest and Be Thankful in Argyll, Scotland - WanderWisdom - Travel
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The Rest and Be Thankful in Argyll, Scotland

An Ancient Feature of Glacial Erosion and Present Day Beauty

Looking south from the Rest and Be Thankful and down Glen Croe

Looking south from the Rest and Be Thankful and down Glen Croe

The Rest and Be Thankful is found in the Argyll Forest Park

The Rest and Be Thankful is found in the Argyll Forest Park

A Welcome Pitstop for Weary Travellers

The Rest and Be Thankful is quite literally named as a place where travellers in olden times would stop, rest and be thankful that they had reached the top of their steep climb, before continuing on to their destination. The original road was built by soldiers in the mid-18th century and a stone was erected, bearing the words Rest and Be Thankful, as a permanent monument, upon its completion in 1750.

There is presently a car park and a number of wooden viewing benches located at the Rest and Be Thankful, from where the photographs on the relevant parts of this page were taken. There will also occasionally be a snack van present, where limited refreshments of different types may be purchased. It is more than worth taking even ten minutes out of your journey to stop and admire the truly magnificent scenery, to which no photographs can ever do full justice.

If you have never negotiated the Rest and Be Thankful before, you should not be surprised if your ears pop - the same way as they may do on an aeroplane - as you gain altitude often a lot quicker than your eyes would have you believe.

The Climb to the Rest and Be Thankful Starts at Loch Long

The head of Loch Long at low tide, looking West to where the road will soon veer North and the climb to the Rest and Be Thankful will begin

The head of Loch Long at low tide, looking West to where the road will soon veer North and the climb to the Rest and Be Thankful will begin

The village of Arrochar on the southern shore of Loch Long lends its name to the mountain range in this part of Scotland, the Arrochar Alps

The village of Arrochar on the southern shore of Loch Long lends its name to the mountain range in this part of Scotland, the Arrochar Alps

When you are headed in the direction of the Rest and Be Thankful from Glasgow and the South, you will leave the A82 and Loch Lomond at Tarbet and join the A83 Campbeltown road. It is only about a mile to the village of Arrochar on Loch Long, which explains the collective name for the mountains in the area, the Arrochar Alps, among which the Rest and Be Thankful will be found. The A83 follows the shore of Loch Long as far as the tiny village of Ardgartan, where it turns North and the climb begins...

The modern day A83 replaced the old road through Glen Croe (both seen in picture)

The modern day A83 replaced the old road through Glen Croe (both seen in picture)

The modern day A83 over the Rest and Be Thankful can still know closures, due to adverse winter weather conditions, or even rock slides. Getting caught on this stretch of road during a sudden and severe winter blizzard is far from being a pleasant experience! The old, single track road, however, meandering through Glen Croe (not to be confused with Glen Coe), must have presented even greater challenges to travellers, many of whom would have been on horseback, or even on foot.

Loch Restil is a freshwater loch, to the immediate north of the Rest and Be Thankful. It is possible to fish the loch for brown trout in the summer months with fly only, provided you arrange the appropriate permit in advance by calling (01499) 600284.

The area around the Rest and Be Thankful is also very popular with hikers and climbers and a number of routes are to be found through the mountains. As you begin your northward descent, you will soon come to a large parking area, from which many organised trips begin.

Looking north from the Rest and Be Thankful, across the waters of Loch Restil

Looking north from the Rest and Be Thankful, across the waters of Loch Restil

Loch Fyne is Coming in to View and the Descent is Almost Over

Loch Fyne pictured from a track in the Ardkinglas Estate, near Cairndow

Loch Fyne pictured from a track in the Ardkinglas Estate, near Cairndow

The Loch Fyne Oyster Bar sits right at the head of Loch Fyne. It incorporates both a farm shop and a restaurant.

The Loch Fyne Oyster Bar sits right at the head of Loch Fyne. It incorporates both a farm shop and a restaurant.

The A83 returns to sea level at the village of Cairndow, on the shore of Loch Fyne. Less than a mile beyond Cairndow, right at the head of the loch, you will see the original Loch Fyne Oyster Bar. Although there are now branches throughout the UK, this is where it all began, originally when oysters only were sold from the back of a van. If you are visiting the area, you should stop and browse the magnificent local produce in the farm shop, or even attempt to get a table in the adjoining restaurant, to sample Scottish seafood and more, as fresh and as good as it gets.

Have You Visited the Rest and Be Thankful?

Thank you for visiting this page. It is very much hoped that you found it interesting and enjoyable. If you have any comments or feedback, they can be left in the space immediately below.

Comments

Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on July 08, 2020:

Hello and thank you for your comment. I'm glad you're managing to get your sign and that you are getting more in touch with your ancestors. Re the battle, I'm afraid, I'm not really a historian. I suppose there were a great many battles/skirmishes in that part of the world in times gone by but no one particular one springs to mind for me. I hope you like your sign and painting and that you also manage to get one for your church.

scarlett1@mchsi.com on July 03, 2020:

I am a Campbell, by descent, from Argyll, my ancestors ,not me! I am getting a Rest and Be Thankful sign, maybe with a painting, for my porch or yard, in Illinois, maybe even my Presbyterian Church! Was there a battle near there? thank you from a Clan Campbell member in Illinois-USA!

Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on February 29, 2020:

Hi, Derek. Glad you also like and appreciate the Rest. It is truly a beautiful place. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Derek McDougall on February 24, 2020:

The Rest is a wonderfull place to stop and i have been lucky enough to experance the auld Rest & Be Thankful Road due to being a vintage & classic car enthusiast it is wonderful place to be and i think it is one of the best views in Scotland

Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on February 04, 2020:

Hello, Aileen. I'm glad you appreciated the beauty of the Rest, I hope you get the chance to visit again very soon and thanks for your comment.

Aileen Dunn on January 30, 2020:

I visited the Rest and be thankful last August and was in awe of the beautiful scenery. I will definitely revisit to explore this lovely place.

Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on June 05, 2013:

Hello, Ancillotti, and thank you. I hope you do manage to see the Rest for yourself some day.

Ancillotti from Brasil, Vitoria - ES on June 04, 2013:

I felt relaxed just reading this text and admire this beautiful landscape. Seems like a super nice place and soothes body and soul. Maybe one day I spend there ...

A big hug and thank you for sharing this text with us!

Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on November 30, 2011:

Deecee52, thank you very much for leaving your comment and it gives me great pleasure to know that this page brought back such pleasant memories for you. I hope you get the chance to see the Rest again sometime. Good health to you also! :)

deecee52 on November 30, 2011:

Thank you for the wonderful memories. I was stationed here from 73-78, lived in Strachur as well as Sandbank, and I loved visiting the Rest. Pictures truly do it no justice, but many many thanks. Slange var!

Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on July 23, 2011:

Hello, Prasetio.

Thank you for the visit and the comment. Yes, this is just one of many similar areas of beauty in Scotland. I hope that you do get to visit and see it yourself for real some day.

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on July 22, 2011:

Scotland is a beautiful country. I love all the pictures here. I hope I can visit this country someday. Well done, my friend. Vote it up!

Prasetio

Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on July 22, 2011:

Hi, Movie Master. I hope that you do get to visit the Rest. Thanks for the visit here and the comment.

Movie Master from United Kingdom on July 22, 2011:

Hi Gordon, It looks beautiful, even the name is inviting, hopefully I might get to visit one day.

Many thanks for sharing and voting up.

iZeko on July 21, 2011:

Oh, pity! Appreciate the effort you put into confirming that, Gordon!

Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on July 21, 2011:

VisitScotland have just confirmed for me that there is no specific Gaelic name for what is known in English as the Rest and Be Thankful

Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on July 20, 2011:

Thank you for the visit and comment, Peggy. I'm glad you enjoyed the taste of the beautiful scenery that the Rest has to offer.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on July 20, 2011:

What a beautiful place and such an interesting name. Thanks for this informative hub with all the gorgeous pictures. Enjoyed it immensely! Up, beautiful and useful votes.

Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on July 20, 2011:

I am now also very curious, iZeko. I have spoken to VisitScotland and the very helpful lady was unaware of the Rest having a specific Gaelic name. She is going to check further for me with Gaelic speakers and let me know as soon as she can. I will post details here, either way, when I have them :)

iZeko on July 20, 2011:

I’m curious what the tourist office will say. Maybe it has some impossible-to-read name and that’s why they don’t put it on the signs ;-) I like languages like Gaelic because they are far from easy to pronounce, but it's always fun trying!

Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on July 19, 2011:

Thank you, Thelma. I hope that you get to visit and see the Rest for real some day.

Thelma Alberts from Germany and Philippines on July 19, 2011:

Beautiful landscapes and great hub. Love to visit those places but until now not yet. Thanks for sharing.

Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on July 19, 2011:

Thank you, Margaret! It is a lovely place in good weather. It is also lovely in a different way in the thick winter snows - but the road can be treacherous beyond belief and is subject to closure in bad weather.

iZeko, I know what you mean. I love seeing photos of beautiful places too and often feel the same. I am afraid that you have asked me an excellent question - to which I don't know the answer! I have never seen a signpost at the Rest (as it is often abbreviated to in Scotland) giving it a Gaelic name and a Google search a minute ago was of no help. I am in no doubt whatsoever that the mountain pass which has existed at least since the last Ice Age would have had a Gaelic name at one stage. Whether the actual summit of it that we know today as the Rest and Be Thankful did, I don't know. I am actually going to call one of the tourist offices up in Argyll tomorrow and see if I can find out - it's 9.15pm here in Scotland at the moment and too late for now. Thanks for the visit and comment and very much for raising a really good point. :)

iZeko on July 19, 2011:

Wish I could jump right into one of these photos ;-)) Very beautiful place with really cool name. Does it have a Gaelic name too?

mbrownauthor on July 19, 2011:

Looks like a lovely place! Great photos!

Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on July 19, 2011:

Thank you, gamelover, for the visit and comment.

Meskens Geert from Belgium on July 19, 2011:

Very nice information

Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on July 19, 2011:

Paradise7, thank you for your visit and your comment. It is a very beautiful part of the world which I am lucky enough to visit regularly.

Susan, thank you. I don't know Paisley particularly well but I did once work there for three whole days(!) and have been a few times for other reasons. I hope very much that dream of getting to Scotland comes true for you.

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on July 19, 2011:

What a wonderful that is "Rest And Be Thankful". It has always been a dream of mine to visit Scotland and hopefully someday I will. My grandmother was from Paisley and I remember all the stories she would tell me of the Old Country. Beautiful Pictures and thanks for sharing.

Paradise7 from Upstate New York on July 19, 2011:

What a GREAT hub!!! Loved the pics, liked the text, which was from your own experience and also very informative. This is such beautiful, unspoiled place...