Scotland’s west coast has as big a reputation for its wide variety of weather and strong tides as it does for its breath-taking beauty. With such stark contrasts in the weather and sailing conditions all part of the charm, it is easy to be put off.

But this stunning area of the UK offers some of the finest sailing in the world. Protected cruising grounds are set at the heart of some of the most spectacular scenery, and while careful planning is essential, help and advice is plentiful with numerous guides and suggested itineraries available for charters to make the most of your time there.

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Tarbert Outer Hebrides Scotland

Islay and Gigha

Islay is a must-visit destination - if not for its beauty, then at least for the many fine whisky distilleries that have been producing Scotch for hundreds of years. Even though it is only 25 miles long, nine active distilleries are producing some of the finest single malts known to mankind.

There are plenty of opportunities to visit the distilleries (where you will receive a warm welcome) and a variety of tours are available. The main harbour is Port Ellen, which makes the perfect base to explore this famous island and there are several anchorages along Islay’s south coast.

Gigha is a tiny yet super-hospitable island of Gigha. This beautiful place is surrounded by turquoise seas and fringed with white sand beaches. Since 2002, it has been owned by the community, which explains the warm welcome. Gigha is only 7 miles long and a mile and a half wide, yet it boasts its very own Michelin recommended Boathouse Restaurant. There are great walks with stunning views and awesome sunsets, not to mention a challenging nine-hole course for the keen golfer. You will find the most popular anchorage in Ardminish Bay.

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Islay and Gigha


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Cruising the Inner Hebrides

The Inner Hebrides offer stunning landscapes, lochs, beach anchorages, wildlife, walks, and mountain climbing. And then there’s world-beating food, especially the local seafood and fish, and, of course, fine whisky to enjoy after all that exercise.

The Scottish Hebrides were made for exploring by sailboat. Offering a rare chance to explore some of Britain’s most inaccessible wilderness alongside rugged mountains and glittering lochs, the magic of this area won’t be lost on you as you cruise through stunning gold-sand beaches, craggy inlets and picturesque seaside towns. Friendly locals will help to make it the trip of a lifetime.

There is much-undisturbed wildlife, set against an enticingly rugged and tranquil backdrop. While sailing here you may spot dolphins, seals, whales and basking sharks. Bird watchers will also delight in puffins, oystercatchers, fulmars and shags all native to this area. The Inner western coast offers fjord-like lochs to glide through. The Outer Hebrides is virtually untouched – even at the height of summer, the seas are still blissfully quiet.

The best time for sailing charters in Scotland

The best time for a sailing charter in Scotland is during the summer months of July and August when the weather will be at its warmest with temperatures up to 18oC. April and May have the lowest rainfall, while June, July and August can be unpredictable.

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Cruising the Inner Hebrides


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