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Western Isles and St Kilda

In theory the cruise to the Western isles can start in either Tobermory or Oban. However, if starting close to the mainland then two days can be spent each side of the cruise sailing to the Western Isles. To maximise our time spent in the Islands, during June and July we base the yacht in the Western Isles. This means catching a Calmac ferry from Oban or Mallaig. Contact us to discuss options for a Western Isles cruise.

St Kilda is the jewel in the crown off the west coast of Scotland. It consists of a group of islands and stacs rising steeply from the Atlantic. It is a world heritage site. It was populated for thousands of years until 1930, and now thanks to the National Trust of Scotland, who have restored some of the houses, it is possible to see how life existed on these islands. It has the highest sea cliffs in the British Isles and an abundance of wild life, gannets, fulmars, puffins, great skuas, as well as marine life in the crystal clear waters.

St Kilda is situated 45 miles west of the Outer Hebrides completely exposed to the Atlantic. It consists of a group of islands of which Hirta is the largest. The only shelter to be found is village bay and even there, fierce downdrafts can occur as well as exposure to the Atlantic swell. The west side of the Outer Hebrides has very little shelter and can be very dangerous to approach in a gale. With this in mind a careful watch on the weather must be kept when undertaking such a trip. Therefore in some cases when the weather is unfavourable an extensive cruise of the east side of the Outer Hebrides may be the best alternative. However, this will be at the discretion of the skipper who will position the yacht in such a place that if a window of opportunity occurs, St Kilda will be visited.

You can spend many summers just exploring the Western Isles. They stretch nearly 100 miles from the Butt of Lewis in the North to Barra Head in the South. Each island is beautiful with wonderful beaches. Many islands in the South are now uninhabited, Berneray, Mingulay, Pabbay  and Sandray. Moving north you have Vatersay, Barra and Eriskay with their own communities and marvellous anchorages. Continuing north you arrive at South Uist, Benbecula with magical anchorages like the Wizard Pool and Hidden Harbour. Proceeding north you arrive at North Uist and Loch Maddy which has pontoon facilities and then you can circumnavigate Harris and Lewis heading through the Sound of Harris to the many islands and lochs on the west side of Harris and Lewis. Loch Roag in itself has many anchorages and marvellous beaches at Valtos. The Callanish stones are well worth a visit. Down the east side you have the busy port of Stornoway as well as anchorages in the many sea lochs. The Shiant Islands are well worth a visit. They are one of the most important sea bird breeding colonies in Europe.