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Coasts West and North of Britain


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.

So, what's the charm?

  • Nature in the Raw.The dramatic scenery of thinly populated Norway, West Scotland and NW Ireland provides a backdrop for remote, cheap and uncrowded sailing, and puts you in touch with nature. Seals, dolphins, porpoises and occasional whales are frequent companions. Shellfish are there to be picked off the rocks, and the area is alive with birds. And midges in  the damp countryside.
  • Sheltered waters inside the outer Hebrides provide a fine cruising ground among the islands
  • The Friendly Welcome. In South West Ireland "the craic" (sociable entertainment?) is unique. This is probably the most sociable and welcoming cruising ground in Europe, only moderately populated, rather damp, but friendly to a fault. 

Further contents to this section will be added from January 2015,  working northward up the western coasts.

Cruise Area: 

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