Scotland to Ireland
Sail from the beautiful west coast of Scotland to Dublin, Ireland and experience the beauty and drama of this very special part of the world.
Nine days and five or six different stops in this wonderful late season sail in one of the world's most beautiful sailing grounds. Sail to Islay and Jura (and visit a single malt distillery or two!), then on to the vibrant city of Belfast in Northern Ireland, before the possibility of getting to stop at the Isle of Man en route to our final destination of Dublin in Ireland with everything this capital city has to offer.
This is a typical itinerary for the route from Scotland to Ireland. What makes an adventure sailing holiday so special however is that there can be no fixed itinerary and the wind and the weather ultimately shape what’s possible each day.
Day 1: Joining day
Join the boat by 1200hrs. Get your belongings packed away and relax. There’s plenty of things to do in the future but right now it’s about relaxing, finding your way around the boat and enjoying the surroundings. In the afternoon, we’ll issue waterproofs and lifejackets, do lots of boat familiarisation and go through the safety drills. That evening we’ll have a lovely dinner on board and maybe a pint of beer in a local Scottish hostelry!
Day 2: Training day and sail to Jura
Today is all about getting up to speed with the boat. Whether you are a complete novice or more experienced sailor, everyone benefits from detailed introductions, safety briefings and training sessions. You will have two highly experienced instructors guide you through every aspect that you need to know to have a great sailing holiday. By lunchtime we should be casting off the lines, hoisting the sails and working through all the key sailing manoeuvres such as tacking and gybing, reefing and knot tying. By the end of the day everyone on board should feel comfortable with the basics – even though there’s more to learn and practice every day. We will probably get to the gorgeous island of Jura. We have the choice of anchoring in Lowlandman’s Bay on the eastern side of the island as it offers shelter from most wind directions; or there’s the perennial favourite of Loch Tarbert on the west side. Seclusion is usually guaranteed, together with stunning sunsets and the opportunity to see the deer come down to the water’s edge in the evening as well as otters hunting along the rocky shoreline.
Day 3: Short sail to Islay and a whisky distillery or three
A short sail next, bound for the gorgeous Port Ellen on the island of Islay. This island is the epicentre of the Scottish single malt whisky world, with no fewer than eight different distilleries. Once we’ve arrived, we’ll hope to have a lunch of hot smokies then visit the distilleries of Ardbeg, Lagavulin and Laphroaig.
Days 4-5: Full day of sailing to Belfast in Northern Ireland. Next day exploring
It’s a much fuller day of sailing today as we head the 70nm south to the city of Belfast, capital of Northern Ireland. We will have to negotiate the tides that start to become a big factor in these waters but it’s a lovely passage and a really good opportunity to try some more navigation and see what these 60′ yachts can do on the open water. We’ll arrive late, so most likely a poke of fish and chips in the harbour before a good night’s sleep. The next day we can wander around town, making sure to visit the Titanic museum with its incredible story.
Day 6-7: Sail to the Isle of Man. Next day exploring
It’s another full day of sailing as we head south east into the Irish Sea bound for the Isle of Man. This mountainous, cliff-fringed island is one of the most beautiful spots in Britain and so we’ll hopefully be able to stay for a full 24 hours. There is so much to see here and crew often come together to hire a van and head off to see King Orry’s Grave, the Point of Ayre, Blue Point, Peel Castle, and the Meayll Hill stone circle.
Day 8: Sail to Dublin
An early start today as it’s a good 70nm to Dublin. It’s another superb sail and, so long as the weather has been kind to us, a great last day of sailing. With a fresh breeze a 60′ yacht can scream along and after around 12-14 hours we should be pulling in to Dublin, capital of Ireland. If we got a good early start, we should be just in time to head into town for a pint of Guinness and to see a little of this wonderful city.
Day 9: Debrief and clean up
It’s always amazing how quickly everyone has become firm friends and the boat and its routines seem so familiar. Yet it’s time to wrap it all up and head home. We’ll get the boat back to how we found it, sign logbooks, exchange emails and disembark by 1200hrs.
JOINING & LEAVING THE BOAT
- You should join the boat in Oban, Scotland before 1200 hrs on the joining day.
- You will disembark the boat in Dublin on the last day at 1200hrs
GETTING TO AND FROM THE START AND END POINTS
- The closest airport to Oban is Glasgow (IATA code: GLA). From there, it is around a four hour train journey to Oban (a very beautiful one).
- Dublin airport (IATA code DUB) is easily reached by bus which takes around 40 minutes.
AGE & EXPERIENCE
These adventure sailing holidays are open to everyone aged 18 years and over. If you are aged 70 or over, or have any concerns about your health, we ask that you get a doctor’s note before booking. This is just to make as certain as possible that you will be okay out on the water.
NO PREVIOUS SAILING EXPERIENCE IS REQUIRED
CLOTHING & EQUIPMENT
We provide the foul weather clothing, life-jackets and all other technical equipment you will need. We really urge you not to spend any extra money unless you are sure you want to! You need to bring a sleeping bag and some waterproof boots.
We are committed to helping as many people as possible have an amazing sailing holiday and experience the magic of the sea. Our skippers and mates have medical training and the boats have some medical supplies and equipment on board. However, the reality is that once on board access to professional medical assistance is going to be slower than if you were on land. If we are offshore it may be some days. For this reason we ask you to check through the medical disclosure form below before you book. If you answer yes to any of the questions, you should get in touch with us before you book. It will probably still be fine but it’s good to make sure. You will be asked to submit the form electronically 14 days before the start date, ensuring that we have the most up to date information.
- It is essential that you have adequate travel insurance in place for your sailing holiday.
- We strongly recommend that you arrange insurance that covers you for any medical mishaps in the build up to your holiday so that should you have to cancel, you can reclaim you fees.
- Please note we cannot refund your money or cancel your invoice due to medial issues.
- For our latest guidance on travel insurance, please read here.
TRIP CATEGORY: ADVENTURE SAILING
Mostly day sailing, shorter mileage and more time to head ashore and explore.
INCLUDED IN YOUR SAILING HOLIDAY
- Foul weather clothing to keep you dry in any conditions.
- Fladen immersion suits. These will keep you warm in even the coldest, windiest conditions.
- Ocean-spec lifejackets. These are the best on the market.
- All on-board food and snacks.
- Daily sailing lessons and tuition from two highly experienced instructors.
- RYA sailing qualifications where applicable.
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
- Your travel to and from the start and end points.
- Travel insurance (see our travel insurance page here)
- Any alcohol – but feel free to bring your own or buy some along the route
- Any meals you eat ashore
Everything’s included except for flights, travel insurance, a sleeping bag and some waterproof boots. There are no hidden extras.
- These expeditions have small numbers of people on board. When you book, you are committing to being a part of the crew.
- These are genuine adventure sailing holidays and you will be helping sail the boat, planning where we go, navigating, cooking and keeping the boat clean and tidy.
- When you book, the deposit is non refundable. It is possible to cancel subsequently, however you may still be liable for the balance of the invoice, depending on how close you are to the start date when you cancel.
- Please ensure you have read and agreed to the T&Cs and read the Trip Notes before booking.