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Dublin (Ireland) - Ullapool (UK)
6th April 2018 - 13th April 2018
Experience the peace and tranquillity of this isolated environment or accept the warm Western Isles welcome of communities waiting to offer you some traditional highland hospitality. Join us on board Blue Clipper as we make our way from Dublin to Ullapool, in the Scottish Highlands. With 7 days to make this 400 mile voyage, there will be plenty of opportunity to visit remote islands, and maybe get in a couple of distillery tours!!
Leaving Dublin, we head north, hugging the Irish Coast. With many pretty anchorages, we will anchor for dinner. After dinner we set sail again, heading further North to passing Rathlin Island, before anchoring off the Island of Islay. Wake in the morning to the beautiful Island scenery as you take breakfast before heading ashore to visit the Island. Maybe even visit one of the 8 Whisky distilleries on the Island.
We set sail through the Sound of Jura before stopping overnight at the Isle of Mull. The following morning we round Ardnamurchan Point where you will be rewarded with a rapidly changing vista. At first the small Isles of Muck, Eigg, Canna and Rum come into view, and then the even more dramatic skyline of the Cuillins on Skye begin to dominate the horizon.
The Small Isles
Rum is the largest island of the group and is owned by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) who run the island as a National Nature Reserve. The island is formed from an old volcanic plug, and has its own Cuillin (rocky ridge) which is often confused with that on Skye when viewed from a distance. SNH offer guided day walks around the island in the summer looking at the nature and wildlife of the island. Visitors are also able to follow two small nature trails laid out around the village of Kinloch where there is also a village shop that is usually open in the evening. A guided tour of Kinloch Castle is a must - the castle almost exactly as it was left in the 1950’s by the former owners, the wealthy but eccentric Bullough family.
Eigg is the second largest island of the group, and is owned by a Community Trust which purchased the island in 1997, the most recent of inhabitants in the 8,000 plus years that the island has been inhabited. The community trust organise many musical events during the year to which visitors are invited. As with Rum the island is rich in wildlife and geology, whilst for a spot of ‘sun and surf’ Laig Beach and the Singing Sands are recommended.
Canna is the most westerly of the Small Isles and is owned by the National Trust for Scotland who have farmed it since 1981. Like the rest of the island group Canna has many sites of archaeological interest and has links to the Neolithic, Columban and Viking eras. It has been a bird sanctuary since 1938, and over 150 species of birds have been monitored in the last 40 years. There are now ten moorings in Canna harbour.
Isle of Skye and the Sound of Sleat
The northern head of the Sound of Sleat is formed by the tidal gate of Kyle Rhea where the mountains literally meet the sea. To the north lies Loch Alsh, The eastern end of the Loch is home to the castle Eilean Donan, whilst the western end is crossed by the more recent Skye Bridge.
Venturing still further north the busy port of Portree on the north east of Skye is often visited. Portree offers a good selection of shore-side facilities but some people will favour the remote island of Rona. Here the most popular anchorage is Acairseid Mhor (Big Harbour). Ashore there are modest facilities and some interesting walks.
The west coast of Skye is deeply incised and as a result has a number of lochs that are worthy of exploration. The scenery is spectacular, with cliffs that rival those of St Kilda and every loch offering views of the Cuillin and wildlife spotting opportunities. The ferry port of Uig lies at the North West end of the island; south of this there are limited harbours and facilities. Although this areas should be approached cautiously in unsettled weather, Lochs Dunvegan, Loch Bay, Harport and Scavaig are all worthy of exploration, as is the island of Soay.
At the head of Loch Dunvegan is Dunvegan Castle, ancestral home of the Clan Macleod. Further south lies Loch Bracadale, guarded to the west by the spectacular pinnacles known as MacLeod’s Maidens; Loch Harport extends to the south east of this and is home to the Talisker Distillery, the only one on Skye. Finally, sailing inside the island of Soay brings the visitor to Loch Scavaig, considered to be one of the most spectacular anchorages in the world.
What is included in the voyage cost:
What is not included: