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Ballachulish lies historically in the county of Argyllshire and in the Lochaber area of Scotland. It is centred on former slate quarries. As there was no road to the head of Loch Leven until 1927, the Ballachulish ferry was essential. The ferry closed in December 1975 when the Ballachulish Bridge finally opened. The Ballachulish Hotel and Ballachulish House are located near the narrows at (south) Ballachulish Ferry rather than in the 'modern' village some three miles east.