Eight great reasons to sail the west coast of Scotland


At Narwhal Expeditions we are passionate about exploring some of the most amazing locations in the world by boat. There is nothing like the thrill of watching whales breeching the surface meters from your boat, sailing through the night under a heaven full of stars, so bright and dense that they feel as though you could reach up and touch them or waking up in a secluded anchorage and pooping on your snorkel for an early morning dip with the local wildlife. These experiences filled with joy and wonder are what adventuring is about for us. However we are even more passionate that these amazing experiences should be shared. We want to help each and everyone one of you to experience some of the magic. So this series of blog posts is all about sharing the knowledge that we have gained from sailing in wild places in helping you to take your own sailing adventures. If you are a sailor dreaming of taking your boat to explore the beautiful coastline of the west coast of Scotland for the first time, then this series is for you. We will look at some of the practicalities of sailing in Scotland, the gear that we have found really helpful (and what we would leave at home), advice on navigating these notorious waters as well as sharing some of our favourite anchorages and secret spots.


Let's kick off with eight great reasons to sail the west coast of Scotland:

The west coast of Scotland is an absolute gem of a cruising ground. Memories of childhood holidays spent huddled in a tent hiding from the rain and the midges can deter many a cruiser from pointing their bows north and exploring this wonderful area. But that would be to miss out on some truely wonderful cruising, here are just eight of the many joys of sailing in Scotland:


  1. Breathtaking scenery - dramatic lochs surrounded by mountains, pristine white sand beaches and imposing castle brooding from their vantage points.
  2. A wonderfully warm welcome from the locals
  3. An interesting cruising ground with a good dose of adventure - narrow passages, secluded anchorages in rocky coves, hundreds of islands big and small to explore and the infamous Corryverkken whirlpool
  4. Abundant wildlife, whales, dolphins, seals, puffins and eagles to name a few
  5. A wee dram or two of whiskey
  6. Stunning beaches that you are quite likely to have all to yourself.
  7. A real wilderness experience on your terms. You can spend a week in deserted anchorages, never encountering civilisation or make use of the expanding marina infrastructure and step ashore each evening for dinner in a lively pub.
  8. The glow of achievement from having sailed your boat in the wild north.