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The Inner Hebrides

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Why we love this sailing ground

The Inner Hebrides as a Sailing Destination

The Inner Hebrides stretches from Islay in the South to the high mountain ridges of the Cullins on Skye. If you include the mainland coast of Argyll you have a cruising ground with a coastline longer than France. Even if you had a month on a sailing boat it would not be possible to visit them all, which is why every trip is different.

All our voyages are on eye catching traditional craft from historic sailing ketches to three masted schooners or tough gaff cutters. There is always something dramatic around the next headland or on the next island, and with all your sails up you are adding to the timeless scenery too. No need to worry about where you going to eat, the next fuel stop or overnight accommodation. It is all taken care of on board. Your home comes with you in a quiet ecological way. We stop where it is interesting and safe to anchor and you get plenty of opportunity to explore ashore.


Islands of the Inner Hebrides


Skye has the longest coast line of any island in the UK let alone Scotland. It has harbours like Portree facing the mainland and Uig for the ferry to the Outer Hebrides. Near uig is the Skye Museum of Island Life.


Portree is a colourful town and the capital of Skye with has the award-winning Aros Centre.


The Cullins offer a spectacular backdrop to any voyage around Skye and there are quiet Lochs taking you right into the foothills.


Other Islands near Skye


Raasay, Scalpay, Longay, Rona, Soay and Eilen Mor all make for interesting sailing and secluded anchorages.


The Small Isles

The Small Isles are a group of four small islands forming part of the Inner Hebrides.



Starting with the Northern most Island in the Small Isles is Canna. This is a very special island with a well sheltered harbour some interesting Chapels and amazing beaches. The island shop sits on the Quay and though pretty small is good for unique souvenirs.


Rum or Rhum

Rum also known as Rhum has the not so old but fascinating Kinloch Castle built in red sandstone by a textile baron in 1897 called George Bullough, If you get a chance you really do want to pay it a visit and its bouncing Ball Room with hidden orchestra pit. Asking why it is hidden might amuse you!


Rum is also a good spot to look for Sea Eagles and its geology has adverse effects on ships compasses.



Eigg's history is colourful but often turbulent. Its green pastures, fertile slopes and sheltered bays have always made it a desirable place to settle.


Long fought over and handed from one odd owner to another it was only in 1997 that life and ownership on Eigg took a decided turn for the better when the island inhabitants took effective control of the island.


Eigg is now growing in population and resources.



Muck is the smallest of four main islands in the Small Isles. It measures roughly 2.5 miles east to west and has a population of around 30, mostly living near the harbour at Port Mòr.



South of the Small Isles

Coll and Tiree

These tow island lie to the North West of Mull and are visited on some of our voyages.



The closest of the larger inhabited islands is famous for the Port of Tobermory with its brightly coloured houses and famous Mishnish pub.


Tobermory means the well of Mary and comes from the Gaelic 'Tobar Mhoire'. Mary's Well and her Chapel date back to the Medieval period.  The water from the well was said to possess medicinal properties, don’t they all.  The well and chapel are long gone.


The West Coast of Mull offers many unique lochs and anchorages.


Lochs and Castles

The islands and mainland bordering the Inner Hebrides have many exquisite Lochs and Castles where you will see a lot of history.


Shown on the left is Tioram Castle in Moidart Loch and Classic Sailing recommends a visit.



The Inner Hebrides has lots to offer for wildlife watching and the seas team with sea birds and keep a good lookout for whales, dolphins and basking sharks.


See our Wildlife in Scotland page.


Destination Vessels
The Hebrides is a familiar sailing ground for Leader. Adventure weeks & themed voyages with experts
Explore the South West Coast and Islands. Caledonian Canal to Moray Forth & Eastern Scotland

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