Sailing the west coast of Scotland offers some of the best cruising anywhere in the world.
The weather is not always perfect, but the sense of exploration, the scenery, the history and the wildlife more than compensate.
Our destination will be the stunning Isle of Arran.
Arran, where Lindsay has family, will be our Scottish base. Over the summer, we will explore the islands and coastline of the Firth of Clyde and the Southern Hebrides. On your Scottish charter aboard Makara, you will get to meet some of Lindsay’s family and delight in their hospitality, local knowledge and generally showing us all a good time.
Arran has a small, scattered rural community with some local tourism expanding the population during the summer months. The picturesque Lamlash Bay, on the sheltered southeast coast, is one of the more populated anchorages we may visit.
One of our favorite things to do is tour the botanical gardens at the Brodick Castle. The landscaping is cultured but also remains rustic enough that we can walk off the path to touch a tree’s bark and smell the flowers.
There’s no better place to grab a seat after your walk than at one of the local pubs. There will be plenty of chances to stop in for a quick pint, and catch some local tunes.
The Holy Isle sits just offshore of Arran near Lamlash. It is currently owned by Tibetian Buddists, but the island has a long history as a sacred site with a spring or holy well held to have healing properties, the hermit cave of 6th century monk St Molaise, and evidence of a 13th-century monastery. Walking trails along the shoreline, as well as up over the twin peaks (only for the more intrepid) offer incredible views of Arran and the mainland, and the possibility of a chance encounter with a resident wild pony, sheep or impressively long-horned goat.
On the north shore of Arran we will stop into the village of Lochranza. The ruin of a 14th century castle, strategically located to protect the harbor, offers the opportunity for great photos. This anchorage has a floating dock to tie the dinghy, a nearby pub and the Arran Whisky distillery. I don’t know about you but it all sounds like heaven to me.
However, our preferred anchorage is here in the west at Blackwaterfoot, where Lindsay’s lovely family owns several nearby farms and has lived for decades. The Kinloch Hotel is the nearest pub, and a perfect place to meet the locals. Hopefully the same great chef will be preparing those wonderful lamb and curry dishes when we arrive in the Summer of 2018! We will be able relax knowing we are securely tied to one of the three newly-installed mooring balls for the night… or even a few days.
A pleasant day sail from Arran across to the Mull of Kintyre takes us to the peaceful, little town of Campbeltown. Once proclaimed ‘the whisky capital of the world’ thanks to an amazing 34 distilleries, today we can tour one of three remaining distilleries in the town.
As we cruise from charming villages to remote bays, we’ll take the time to stop in and enjoy wandering secluded shorelines or hiking up into the hills.
Tarbert, Loch Fyne, Kintyre sits in a natural harbor surrounded by rugged hills. A day here can just be passed relaxing and enjoying the comings and goings of the fishing fleet, or stepping back into the country’s history with a visit to Robert the Bruce‘s 14th century castle above the town. And if you time your charter well, you’ll find yourself hanging out with the locals for the seafood festival or for some “Viking mayhem.”
The diverse habitats of the coast and islands, supporting a wide range of wildlife. So keep an eye out for basking sharks, dolphins and porpoises, seals, ospreys and sea otters as we sail, as well as a particularly impressive array of sea birds.
Of course, we will plenty of time in search of the wooly, photogenic Highland Cows (pronounced Cooos).
The Southern Hebrides are famous for seafood and venison as well as whisky. We will be sure to investigate what the local shop, fishing boat or pub has to offer, whether eating aboard or ashore. And if it’s not TOO cold, we might scuba dive to catch our own seafood.
No trip to Scotland would be complete without taking part in a traditional ceilidh! Don’t worry, we’ll all show you how.
Please see our calendar for the dates in July of 2018 for when we plan to be in Scotland.
The cost to charter with us is the same as our advertised “liveaboard trip” rates. The activities will be different than as advertised in Key West, obviously, and will be more land-based in general. Tell us what you like to do and we will make a custom itinerary for you, based on Lindsay and her family’s suggestions.
Contact us to get started by asking questions before making a reservation.