Boat Trips and Scotland Sailing

Let Boats Raise The Excitement Level of Your Scotland Holiday

Scotland boat trips have never been on my mind until I went on two boat trips to the Bass Rock in North Berwick. I've since done a lot of information gathering on sailing in Scotland and the results were shocking.

There is such a varied choice of boat trips and sailing options in Scotland that allow you to visit even the remotest parts. The West Coast of Scotland must be one of the wildest, sparsely populated and inaccessible parts of Europe (or so I thought). It is a very nice surprise to be proven wrong.

" More than a holiday highlight, boat trips bring out the best in Scotland's scenery. "

After taking the trip to the Bass Rock I realised that boat tours and for the more experienced, sailing, is not just a Scotland holiday highlight but it can be a way to spend your entire holiday in a truly unique fashion.

What's so great about boat trips in Scotland?

The unique aspect of sailing Scotland by using a small boat or even a cruise liner is that you get a completely different perspective. The scenery is more impressive, the pictures you will take are unique (because very few tourists are able to take them) and there's nothing like the tranquility of a Highland loch or the sea.

Boat trips are a way to spend your time in Scotland in a different manner. Most tourists don't know what they're missing out on by not exploring this opportunity.

A boat is sometimes the only means you can use to reach a point of interest. Along sailing routes in Scotland there are many tourist attractions. Most of them lie on the West Coast of Scotland such as St Kilda, the remotest part of the British Isles, Staffa with its Fingal's Cave which inspired Mendelsshon to write the Hebrides Overture and the Isle of Iona, home of the Irish monk, St Columba. These can only be accessed by boat and trips can be arranged easily in the summer from places like Oban.

When coming from the East Coast most sailing routes take you through the Caledonian Canal. The canal is wonderful to sail through by boat and Neptune's Staircase, a ladder of 8 locks in Fort Augustus is an excellent viewpoint of Ben Nevis. Another canal worth taking a boat trip through is the Union Canal in West Lothian.

" Sailing allows easy access to places like St. Kilda and Staffa. "

However, there are also many very interesting islands lying off the East Coast of Scotland such as the Isle of May and the Bass Rock in the Firth of Forth. There is no shortage of boat tour operators because of the high population density in comparison to the East Coast. The sailing routes also allow easy access to Edinburgh and Greenock.

Combining Scotland sailing with other holiday activities

What impressed me most about sailing in Scotland is the variety of ways in which you can combine a boat trip with other holiday activities such as bird and wildlife watching, climbing, hiking and walking, golf, cycling, canoeing and many other activities to suit the most eccentric of needs and tastes.

I guess most tourists (much like myself until recently) believe that taking a few days' trip on a boat will bore you to tears and that after a while you have enough of the scenery and the water. Most boat tour operators in Scotland go the extra mile to pack as much variety in your holiday as possible.

" Boat tours are labeled as peaceful and tranquil. You can combine Scottish boat trips with virtually any adrenaline activity of your choice. "

Because most boat trips are run by locals who have an extensive knowledge of the area, you are guaranteed to see and experience some amazing things whether it's a pack of dolphins doing acrobatics or a walk on a magnificent island. Either way, sailing in Scotland can be as flexible than any other type of holiday trip.

From day boat trips to round Scotland sailing

Trips by small boat

Boat trips can range from 1-2 hour trips to half a day, a day or even several days. Most boats are small but can accommodate various group sizes. They anchor at night in a tranquil and secluded spot, the next morning you have breakfast on the boat and then start sailing along the Scottish coast.

The itineraries for boat trips are very comprehensive and posted on websites of tour operators but they can be customized to suit your own needs. Boat trips lack the glamour some people might be used to. In fact, the boat tour operators and the stories they say are very authentic. They're mostly fishermen who've had the stories in their families for generations. They are all very friendly and kind people.

" From luxury cruises to cheap boat trips, there's something for everyone. "

Some tours offer full Scottish breakfast on board (if it's a several day boat trip), seafood lunch made with local produce or home made scones and traditional Scottish short bread and cold drinks.

Scotland cruises

Besides day trips by small boats there is also the option of cruises. For those that can afford it, these holidays are about Scotland sailing at its best There are many options to cruise to and from Scotland but the ones that impressed me most are the ones that sail around the Hebrides and the West Coast. These luxury cruises let you explore the Western Isles in a way I didn't think was possible.

Scotland sailing and the dreaded Scottish weather

Any holiday in Scotland can be ruined by the weather. Boat trips and sailing in general is more at risk of being put on hold than other tour types. For short boat tours the operators check the weather forecast in the morning and decide whether it can go forward or not.

Fortunately, on most tours you needn't book in advance and can buy tickets that very morning which helps to avoid a ruined holiday experience.

Cruise liners and several day boat trips are less at jeopardy of being ruined completely by bad weather. However, activities to be taken during the tour might have to be swapped around to suit the moody weather.

This site offers Scotland travel information and scenery pictures for tourists.

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