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West of Britain

NW Ireland, Shannon to Rathlin

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In the NW (from Shannon to Rathlin Island -  7/10) the population is much thinner, with many fewer yachts, more wild life and more remote anchorages. These are wonderful cruising grounds for those who like peace and quiet - and can survive a while on ship's rations. Occasional fish farms dot the area. A one week cruise along the coast is just enough to appreciate it, though two weeks may be better.

Irish Sea

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NE England & Wales

East Ireland

Coasts West and North of Britain

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In fine weather, the western coasts of Ireland, Scotland, Norway, the Shetlands and Orkneys offer a great variety and some of the most beautiful and wildly scenic cruising in Europe. The whole area is rich with aquatic wild life. However, western facing shores are exposed to severe Atlantic weather throughout the year, with periods of big swell and poor visibility creating further challenges. Rain dilutes the fun, too, which is perhaps why the Irish spend a lot of time making music - "the craic" - in their welcoming pubs. More sheltered areas are the Irish Sea, much of the Scottish coastline, and inside deep estuaries and fjords of SW Ireland and Norway. The Irish Sea is good for passage making between Scotland and SW England, but has less charm. The sheltered coasts of Scotland, clear of Atlantic swell, offer superb cruising areas. Vast, scenic archipelagos of islands, channels, lochs, anchorages and occasional marinas, blessed with 18 hour long mid-summer days, set a scene which could take months to explore thoroughly.

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