Sailing holidays in Scotland | Offshore Yacht Charter
Scotland has some of the most impressive landscapes in Europe. The coast and mountains are of a breathtaking beauty. The Western Isles, the inner & Outer Hebrides, the Orkneys and Shetland Islands are absolute highlights. With many unusual birds like the puffin and the golden eagle, but also deer, otters, seals and sometimes whales. Sailing holidays in Scotland takes you along these special places and it is the ideal way to explore Scotland.
With the famous kilt, whiskey, bagpipes, highlands, and folklore, Scotland has its own identity that is known throughout the world. The landscape is impressive and often has something magical, whether it rises in the fog or rises majestically above the Loch. The people here have a sustainable way of life, and partly because of that, many restaurants, serve vegetarian meals.
Benefits of sailing holidays in Scotland
In recent years, with European funding and initiative of Scottish yacht clubs, new marinas and pontoons have been built with splendid facilities. This development is still ongoing which means that a sailing holidays in Scotland are now much more comfortable than before with more opportunities and choices. Nevertheless Scotland remains a peaceful sailing area and because it is also a very large sailing area, we need not fear fore mass tourism as in the Mediterranean. Other advantages of sailing holidays in Scotland compared to a sailing holiday in Greece or Croatia are:
– It’s not unbearably hot.
– There is almost always enough wind for a nice sail.
– The wind and weather conditions different every day.
These ingredients not only provide beautiful skies but also the perfect conditions for adventurous and active sailing holidays in Scotland. You might think that it only rains in Scotland, but fortunately I can tell you that it not really that bad, it is comparable to the Netherlands. But since we’re sailing at sea, it are mostly showers, which usually last only for a short time. However, we still recommend warm and waterproof clothing, you can rent a sailing suit for 30 euros per week.
Watch this video about our sailing holidays in Scotland & Ireland
Sailing holidays in Scotland
This special country is ideal to explore by means of sailing, because the sailing holidays in Scotland are a nice balance between traveling, culture and relaxing, but also because it is the fastest way due to the many Islands. Sailing holidays in Scotland and island hopping is a perfect way of traveling, enjoying, gaining fresh air and recharging your batteries .
Every night we will be in a port or at anchor. On our sailing holidays in Scotland with category C, there is also time for an excursion ashore if we stay a day in the marina. Depending on the options you can choose between walking, a bustour, whiskey tasting or on one occasion even a trip with the ‘Harry Potter’ locomotive.
The major part of the sailing holidays along the West coast of Scotland are sheltered from the swell of the Atlantic ocean, making this a pleasant sailing area. Because of the many islands and passages, called sounds, with sometimes strong tidal currents (like the notorious Gulf of Corryvreckan), our sailing holidays still have plenty of challenge for an adventurous and active sailing voyage.
We will regularly have to carry out a sailing maneuver. The sailing enthusiast can help us, but nothing is mandatory, after all it is your holiday, you can simply enjoy and relax.
Bed & Breakfast in Scotland
On some of our sailing holidays in Scotland it is also possible to book an extra day on the boat (as Bed & Breakfast) at the end of the sailing trip, so you can explore the city by yourself. This possibility is indicated in the sailing schedule.
Sailing holidays in Scotland, island hopping in the Firth of Clyde
Special islands in this sailing area are the Isle of Bute and Arran. On the north side of the island is a sheltered bay with castle ruins and stunning views of a canyon with steep ridges. Here we can anchor and use the dinghyto go ashore for a nice walk.
Sailing trip to Glasgow
Glasgow is a vibrant city on the River Clyde. The old industrial city has been reborn and is now the most fashionable city in Scotland, there are many sights and museums, charming shops from alternative to chic. There is also a special market, The Barras, where they really sell everything. With the demise of the industry in the 70s Glasgow was a desolate city, but since then a lot has changed.
A grand project has given the shipyards and ports of Glasgow a new destination as shops, offices and homes. The center is set up according a grid and can easily be reached by metro. Around the university are many pubs and restaurants. Glasgow is the shopping center for almost half the Scottish population and has many bookstores, the best alternative shops and boutiques are located in the West End. Ideal to end one of our sailing holidays in Scotland.
Sailing the Crinan Canal, a unique experience on its own
During the sailing holidays in Scotland, between the Clyde and the Inner Hebrides, we do not have to sail all the way around the island of Kintyre, because we can take the most beautiful shortcut from Scotland through the Crinan Canal. A canal of only nine miles, with 15 locks we can operate ourselves and where we just fit in. We sail here through an idyllic rural landscape, which sometimes makes you feel as if you are in an English detective like Midsomer Murders. We will take two days for the canal, so we can take it easy and there will also be time to ake lovely walks.
Sailing holidays in Scotland along the Inner Hebrides
From the pleasant Oban, where we are moored on the beautiful island of Kerrera, can we sail up the Sound of Mull along the beautiful Duart Castle and beautiful high mountains. At the end of the Sound lies Tobermory, a pleasant and picturesque port with nice pubs and shops. Next comes Ardnamurchan Point, where the real North of Scotland begins. The water here is more choppier, but we will sail into the “Sound of Sleat” for more sheltered sailing with breathtaking views and beautiful anchorages like Eilean Donan Castle which we can visit. Where the movie Higlander has been filmed.
The Isle of Skye, the largest island of the Inner Hebrides, is famous for its spectacular scenery and has one of the most beautiful coasts of Scotland. There are many waterfalls and the mountain peaks are remarkable. The most spectacular is called the “the Storr” to where we can make a gorgeous and brisk walk with as a reward stunning views over the Inner Hebrides.
Sailing holidays in Scotland at the Outer Hebrides
The outer Hebrides, also known as the Western Isles, are a desolate sailing area and thus there are fewer ports. Some buildings resemble those on the Faroe Islands and Iceland. The sailing area is more open to the Atlantic Ocean which means that the sailing can be rougher, depending on weather conditions. The advantage of sailing with us is that the skipper knows the sailing area and the ship, so you never need to worry about anything and you can enjoy and relax.
Due to the many islands and fjords, there are also plenty possibilities and secluded anchorages where we can go to shore with the dinghy. The harbour Stornoway, on the Isle of Harris, is very cozy and there are also some nice pubs. Besides a beautiful new Marina there is a castle next to the harbour with a beautiful estate. Seals are swimming in the harbour alongside the boat.
Sailing holidays in Scotland to Edinburgh
Scotland’s capital and seat of the Scottish Parliament is full of beautiful old buildings. The historical and cultural attractions draw visitors from all over the world. Above the town stands the beautiful castle which is lit at night.
A long walk out of town and uphill goes to “Arthur’s Seat” where you have a very nice view over the city and the Firth of Forth ‘, the sea inlet where Edinburgh is located. The old town is beautiful, cozy and has many cafes, but in the ‘new’ city are many fashionable shops. Between the old and the new part is a beautiful park.
Sailing holidays to the Orkney and Shetland islands
These two Archipelagos consist of about 170 islands and rocky skerries. In summer the days are long due to the northern location. There are not many trees and therefore the landscape looks rugged and desolate. There is much marine life such as dolphins and seals and sometimes whales or Orcas.
The Orkney Islands are inhabited for over more than five thousand years, this is be seen from the ruins of the Broch‘s and the famous settlement of the Skara Brea. There are also several ‘Standing Stones’. From Stromness or Kirkwall you can make a nice bus tour as an extra option to admire all this.
Another attraction is “the Old Man of Hoy” a giant rock which rises perpendicularly from the sea, the sea is never far away.
Scapa Flow, the naturally protected bay (later closed by Churchill for protection against submarines) is famous for shipwrecks from World War II and thus a popular diving spot. Kirkwall is the capital and a charming and cozy harbor, where we can enjoy eating out.
Between the Orkney islands and the mainland lies the notorious Pentland Firth, a spectacular passage where tidal streams can reach 16 knot during spring tides.
Sailing holidays in Scotland to Fair Isle, for the active rest seeker
Between the Shetland and Orkney Islands lies Fair Isle, a beautiful and unforgettable stopover. The Northern Orkney Islands are quite low, Fair Isle on the other hand rises majestically from the sea and by a narrow passage we enter a small harbor with a lot of seals. There’s nothing here except tranquility and beautiful nature. A path leads up to the bird observatory that also serves as a shower and bar, where you have a beautiful view over the harbor. Bird enthusiasts can use the library and the birdwatchers like to explain more.
In the evening we can walk from the harbor up the cliff from where we can see hundreds of Puffins going ashore and heading to their nest. By the absence of tourists we can approach them within two meters, an unforgettable experience. The weather here is changeable and it can sometimes be cold and rough with also bigger waves as a result. Therefore, we have planned more time to be able to react on these circumstances. This also adds to the charm of these islands and it gives extra satisfaction when we arrive at the place of destination.
Tip: book your flight early, tickets wil become quickly expensive because of the limited offer.
Sailing holidays around the Shetland Isles
Lerwick is the charming main town on the Shetland Islands and with a coy harbour. The city flourished by fishing and whaling. The Shetland Museum has a fine collection of historic boats, archaeological finds and the beautiful Shetland textiles. Just outside Lerwick is Clickimin Broch, a fort from 700 BC.
The west coast of the main Island has a beautiful landscape with red granite cliffs and deep fjords (called Voes). Life on the Shetland Islands is laid back and the people are very friendly. The Shetland population largely descends from the Vikings and the relationship with Norway is still bigger than with the UK. The Norwegian city of Bergen also lies closer than London. Due to the many islands, fjords and the beautiful coastline, this is a beautiful sailing area where we can sail sheltered between the islands. The larger ports such as Kirkwall, Lerwick and Scalloway are charming and active working harbors.
Look for sailing holidays in Scotland in our sailing schedule. You can fly cheaply to Glasgow, Inverness or Edinburgh, if you book early!