Ardrossan, Scotland – train link to Glasgow
Oban, Scotland – train link to Glasgow
The western isles of Scotland are famed for many things, but topping the list has to be stunning scenery and world-class Whisky. The early season often provides some of the best weather conditions in Scotland. So, we’re taking this chance to explore the mountains and islands of the beautiful west coast before the crowds arrive.
And what would a trip to this part of the world be without taking advantage of the great access by boat to some of Scotland’s finest distilleries? There is something special about anchoring outside and going ashore that makes your dram taste that wee bit more special.
9th April: Joining the expedition
You will join our expedition yacht in Clyde Marina, Ardrossan. Ardrossan in located 30 miles from Glasgow and is easily accessed by train, with the train station located right in the marina. You will be met at the yacht by your skipper who will give you a warm welcome, and most likely a cup of tea. You will then have the opportunity to settle in and be shown around the boat. Dinner will be provided onboard on the first evening, a great opportunity to get to know your fellow crew mates.
10th April: Setting sail
Following initial safety briefings we will be heading out of port and setting sail for the first time. The sheltered and spectacular waters of the Clyde provide the perfect opportunity to get used to the boat, the skipper will take you through everything that you need to know about how sailing and life work onboard an expedition yacht. There will also be opportunity to simply soak up the stunning scenery of the Scottish West coast as we sail past Ailsa Craig and the Isle of Arran.
11th – 14th April
Early season often heralds some of the best weather conditions in Scotland. We will take this chance to explore the mountains and islands of the beautiful west coast before the crowds arrive. We will be taking advantage of the great access by boat to some of Scotland’s finest distilleries. There is something about anchoring outside and going ashore that makes your dram taste that wee bit more special. Exactly which distilleries we visit will be based personal preference and the weather conditions but some that will be on the cards include: Arran distillery, the famous Islay establishments of Bowmore, Lagavullin and Ardbeg to name a few. Or maybe we will stop of at Campbell Town or Craighouse.
14th April: Arrival in Oban
This will be you final opportunity to fill your memory cards with the spectacular Scottish scenery or squeeze in one more distillery visit to the conveniently located Oban distillery. We will moor up for the night in Oban and enjoy our final evening onboard with a nice dinner and time for on final dram to toast a successful expedition.
15th April: Leaving the boat
Breakfast will be provided on board with the final chance to swap stories before either heading home or arranging your own extra days experiencing the Scottish West coast. There are good rail links between Oban and Ardrossan should you choose to drive and leave your car in Ardrossan.
Please note that the itinerary above is provided to illustrate the general areas we will visit on the expedition. The exact itinerary that we follow will be chosen each day by your skipper in order to make the best use of the weather conditions. Since we operate with just a small number of guests onboard, we can tailor the areas that we explore based on your interests.
Base layer – 2x warm thermal tops + thermal leggings
Mid layer – 2x fleece type mid layers + mid layer trousers
Light waterproof shell (waterproof hiking type jacket and trousers) – for exploring ashore
Down jacket – a down (or synthetic alternative) jacket, the warmer the better
Gillet – optional but a really versatile mid layer, down or synthetic down are great
Hats – 2x warm wool hats, ear flaps are great
Waterproof hat – a waterproof hat or cap (eg Sealskins)
Neck warmer – 2x ‘Buff’ style neck warmers
Gloves – one waterproof pair (ski or fishing type) + 2x thinner fleece liner / spare pairs
Socks – 2x pairs of warm socks for sailing + hiking socks for exploring ashore
Boots – Wellington type boots. These are needed not just for sailing but also for getting ashore from the rib where you may need to stop into mid-calf depth water. They don’t need to be expensive or sailing specific, but they should be waterproof with good grip
Hiking shoes / boots – suitable for exploring on rough or wet terrain ashore
Rucsac – for on land exploring
Underwear – a couple of sets of comfortable underwear
Camera, batteries, memory cards etc – it is possible to charge camera batteries onboard but it is a good idea to bring spare batteries and lots of memory card space
Entertainment – books, music etc for rest time
Toiletries – basic wash kit with travel-sized bottles
Eye mask and earplugs – can make sleeping easier in the midnight sun
Any personal medications that you need – ensure you have enough to last the whole trip
Dry bags – recommended for keeping any electrical kit in and for taking things ashore
Head torch – ideally with a red light function
A set of ‘shore clothes’ for travelling in / rest days in town
Passport / visas
Credit/debit card for shore-based activities or travel emergencies
Kitbag – this must be squashy type (not a suitcase) a large barrel type bag is ideal