Please select your home edition
Edition
2024 fill-in (top)

Coastal skipper Anne Gracie Gunn shares 5 sailing trips that make Isle of Skye a summer hotspot

by Sarah Salord 9 Jul 2023 09:54 UTC
Duisdale House Hotel on the Isle of Skye has five well maintained and sheltered yacht moorings in the bay just in front of the hotel © Visit Scotland / Kenny Lam

Sailing around the Isle of Skye is one of the best ways to explore West Scotland's diverse coastline with over 44 uninhabited islands, countless sheltered coves and abundant quiet anchorages.

Skye is relatively unexplored by sailors and cruisers and local experienced Coastal Skipper Anne Gracie Gunn, owner of three luxury boutique properties on Skye each inspired by her love of the sea and island life, has shared her five top sailing trips to make the most of visiting the majestical North West Scotland's coastline.

From mooring in Loch na Dal, Lat 57.09.500N, Long 05.47.700W on Skye's southern Sleat Peninsula for a shower and spot of lunch at Anne's award-winning property Duisdale House Hotel, to enjoying five-night trips exploring the world heritage site St Kilda Archipelago and the Island of Hirta, there's a trip for all sailing enthusiasts, from beginners to more experienced sailors.

Day Trip - Islands of Rum, Canna and Eigg on the Small Isles

The Small Isles offer the perfect day trip, each one filled with its own character and places to explore. My favourite spots include anchoring at South Bay on Eigg, usually the first island from the South of Sleat and a great spot to jump ashore or exploring the beautiful beaches of Canna Island. On the return journey to Sleat, the island of Rum is a must-visit for a tour around Kinloch Castle and the village shop and perhaps a taste of the island's own Askival Rum.

Overnight Trip - Inverie Village on the Knoydart Peninsula

Found on the northern side of Loch Nevis, Inverie is a truly magical place with around 100 residents and accessible only by boat. It's known as one of the last wildernesses of Europe and is a great choice for a day's sailing trip with peaceful overnight anchorage. A visit to the community-owned Old Forge, famous for being the most remote pub in the UK, is an absolute must and the coastal landscape is unforgettable.

Two-night Trip - Waternish Peninsula and Portree

For a longer route, I love heading round Neist Point and on to Waternish on the Northwestern tip of Skye which boasts one of Scotland's best restaurants, Loch Bay and hopefully enjoy a sunset and star gazing, which can be viewed from the comfort of your boat. On the second night, Skye's capital Portree is a great choice for overnight mooring.

Five-night Trip - Islands of St Kilda on the Outer Hebrides

For the more experienced sailor, Hirta, the largest of the St Kilda islands, is truly remote and a fantastic choice for unspoilt and wild coastline. Named a dual UNESCO World Heritage Site, it's the perfect spot for wildlife spotting with the largest Gannet colony in the world. My ideal journey includes a first stop at Lochmaddy for an overnight stay at the pontoon and then sailing along the coast to approach the Sound of Harris, a shallow channel, then out to the wild open sea and the relatively long passage to the picturesque and historic Village Bay to drop anchor for the third night. For fantastic cliff scenery this whole area is breathtaking including the dramatic Boreray, and the sea stacks - Stac an Armin 196 mtr and Stac Lee 172 mtr are a must visit before sailing back via Rodel in Harris to Portree for the final night.

'Ship Ashore' Lunch or Dinner at Duisdale House Hotel on Sleat

Our very own luxury boutique property Duisdale House Hotel also has five sheltered yacht moorings in the bay, just 100m from the property in a beautiful, secluded and sheltered bay and is the perfect choice to freshen up and enjoy our highland hospitality. We openly welcome visiting yachts to use our facilities including showers, a well-stocked, beautiful Chart Room Bar, free Wi-Fi and award-winning restaurant serving delicious locally sourced food. Moorings are £15 per night and use of shower facilities are £7.50 including fresh towels and toiletries, or if dining in our 2 AA rosette restaurant, then the mooring is offered free of charge. Further details available.

Discover more about Sonas Collection at skyehotel.co.uk

Related Articles

Sail away to iconic Argyll coast hotel
Guests to the area can find a safe anchorage at The Pierhouse Hotel Marine travellers are encouraged to embark on a voyage of discovery and visit Argyll and the Isles on the west coast of Scotland, as the region launches its bid to become Scotland's Sustainable Sailing Capital. Posted on 19 May
Traffic Reports
A Traffic Report (TR) is a pre-departure summary of a voyage Maritime authorities recommend boaters always have a detailed Traffic Report on file with designated shoreside individuals and marine agencies. And perhaps your yacht club or marina office and/or dockmate(s) and harbourmaster. Posted on 14 May
New bid for Scotland's Adventure Coast
To be named Scotland's Sustainable Sailing Capital A leading destination management organisation is today (Sunday 12 May) launching a new bid for Argyll and the Isles on the west coast of Scotland to be named as Scotland's Sustainable Sailing Capital. Posted on 12 May
Sailing Solo Around The World: on a 27-foot Boat
Navigating the Highs and Lows: The Joys and Challenges of Solo Sailing Sailing solo around the world is not for the faint of heart, but for those who dare to embark on this epic adventure, the rewards are boundless. As a solo sailor, navigating the vast expanse of the ocean, I've not encountered moments of loneliness... Posted on 1 May
Sailing with a Purpose by The Cruising Kiwis
Embarking on a journey that spans the world's oceans is more than a mere adventure Embarking on a journey that spans the world's oceans is more than a mere adventure — it's a profound exploration of life's complexities, resilience, and the uncharted territories that define our existence. Posted on 6 Apr
Harlequin in Indonesia - Oct to Dec 2023
Westabout journey of SV Harlequin continues - eight years and counting! Harlequin is a modified 1985 Express 37. Since 2016, Henk and Lisa Benckhuysen of Sidney, BC, Canada have been sailing her slowly westabout. Harlequin is currently in Malaysia. Posted on 3 Apr
Navigation history - Sextants
Joan Wenner's history of sextants and mapping the oceans John Bird is said to have made in London one of the very first sextants around 1758. Quite large, it is also unusual in having a pole that fits into a socket on the observer's belt to help support the instrument's weight. Posted on 17 Feb
Solo sailor attacked and robbed by pirates
Injured off the coast of Colombia, but recovering thanks to donations A 64 year old Swedish sailor, Magnus Reslow, was cruising solo 5 miles off the coast of Colombia in December (2023) when he was attacked three times by pirates. They looted everything of value from his ship. Posted on 18 Jan
UEA academic set to sail from Africa to Australia
Prof Maren Duvendack is sailing from South Africa to Australia to raise money for UNICEF Prof Maren Duvendack, an intrepid academic from the School of Global Development at the University of East Anglia (UEA), is sailing more than 8,000 km from South Africa to Australia to raise money for UNICEF. Posted on 14 Oct 2023
Lisa Blair unveils shocking extent of pollution
Lisa Blair reveals shocking extent of microplastic pollution from Antarctica circumnavigation Australian world record solo sailor Lisa Blair has revealed the shocking extent of microplastic pollution in the Southern Ocean in the most comprehensive data collection achieved with the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) Posted on 2 Oct 2023
Cyclops Marine 2023 November - FOOTERHyde Sails 2022 One Design FOOTERJ Composites J/45