Starting off your holiday from our moorings in Armadale Bay, at the Southern tip of Skye puts the Inner and Outer Hebrides on your doorstep. If the weather is right, visiting St Kilda is a distinct possibility within a weeks holiday. Those of you with two or more weeks to spare will find us well placed for Orkney and Shetland.
Wherever you cruise in the area there is usually interesting marine life to be seen. Puffins, seals, dolphins, whales, basking sharks, porpoises, otters and many, many sea birds are regularly observed and photographed by customers. If you would like to spend time ashore then there are plenty of hill walking opportunities and a number of castles, distilleries and other places of interest to visit during your sail in the area. For the family parties and those who long to walk barefoot in the sand there are also beautiful and remote beaches to visit.
As well as a selection of classic remote anchorages, if your preference is to dine out on Gourmet food, there are a number of wonderful restaurants and pubs to choose from. The location of some of these establishments has to be experienced to be believed!
About 50% of our customers arrive at Armadale with a clear idea of where they intend to go for their holiday and we would not presume to tell these people which places they might visit. However, as we know from our own experiences of visiting new sailing areas it is useful to have a bit of local advice to make sure that you find the nicest places and miss the worst hazards! We have cruised on the West Coast of Scotland for over 20 years now and would like to pass on some of the information we have acquired (both through own experiences and from our customers) to anyone who would like a little help in planning their holiday.
These guides are not in any way meant to replace the pilot books, which you will find on board your yacht and are certainly not meant to exclude anyone’s favourite places. This is simply meant as a starting point for a guide to the NorthWest Coast. We would therefore be grateful for up to date details about any of these places and for you to tell us which where your favourite places were. Photos are always welcome too - most of these can be seen on Facebook! What you want to do with your holiday in terms of eating, drinking and other entertainment will determine to some extent the places you wish to go to. These guides are aimed at the average crew (if there is such a thing) who will probably want to do 5 or 6 hours sailing, between 25 and 35 miles each day. There are a lot of nice places to eat in the area but they might only have a few tables, so you are best to book a table in advance, particularly in high season (June, July and August).
None of these suggestions should be adhered to strictly - part of the enjoyment of a cruising holiday is to go where the wind takes you (although we do like to see you back at the mooring here at your due time)! Of course everything detailed here is also weather dependent. The tides are quite large, but the only tidal gate you which will stop your progress altogether is Kylerhea, which on a trip round Skye you will meet either at the start or the end of your holiday. The flow through Kylerhea conviently turns at HW/LW Ullapool (flood runs North) so we include the time of HW Ullapool in your joining instructions to give you some idea of how to plan your trip. David Glenns article (PDF) above may also be of interest if you would prefer to stay in the Inner Sound or are obliged to do so because of the weather.
To help you follow this guide; a plan of the area can also be found on the back of the Isle of Skye Yachts brochure. There is a useful guide to Shoreside Facilities in the "Welcome Anchorages" booklet. However, to give a clearer overview of the area, we suggest you obtain a copy of the Imray chart C66 "Mallaig to Rudha Reidh and Outer Hebrides". For more in depth advance reading a copy of the Clyde Crusing Club book - Ardnamurchan to Cape Wrath would be useful. There is also a companion to the CCC pilot books "Cruising Scotland-The Clyde to Cape Wrath" by Mike Balmforth and Edward Mason which has a host of background reading features.
Over the next pages there are 5 suggested itineraries for a 1-week cruise - depending on weather and tide. 1 and 2 can be done in reverse order or combined. If there is anywhere else in the area you need some advice about visiting please please contact us and we will happy to help you. As we are quite often busy on changeover days and you will want to get started on your holiday as soon as possible, if you are unsure where to go, it can save time if we discuss your plans prior to your arrival.
OTHER HOLIDAY PERIODS
For customers coming here for a week or more for the first time, if the weather is good, sailing round Skye is the most attractive option for experienced sailors. However, we do get an increasing number of customers coming sailing here for anything between 3 days and 3 weeks and sometimes longer so, for newcomers to the sailing area, we have put together some more ideas. [Short Breaks] [Longer Breaks]
DESTINATION PHOTOS CAN ALSO BE FOUND ON FACEBOOK