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WATER, WATER, EVERYWHERE...

Outdoor Water Based Activities In Scotland

Written by Linda Jackson

Scotland has a lot to offer on the water front, so take a water-orientated vacation in Scotland to enjoy scenic coastal paths, dolphin spotting, sailing, angling, kite-surfing, white-water rafting, land yachting, cruising Scottish Highlands and islands… plus lots more

With over 31,000 lochs and lochans in Scotland, 26 rivers that flow into the sea, and 6,158 miles of coastline, you’ll find no shortage of water. So get yourself geared up to test the waters, so to speak, and opt for an active holiday in Scotland on, in, or alongside glistening Scottish waters. Active outdoor vacations don’t get much better than this, so don’t resist the temptation… just go with the flow.


Hebridean Princess by St Kilda
 

There’s no better way to explore the stunning Scottish coast than by boat – be it taking a day trip dolphin-spotting on a harbour tour boat, or taking a four- to ten-day cruise around the stunning coastline of Scotland on a luxury small cruise ship. The Queen of England does it, so why not you?

Luxury cruise around Scotland

Hebridean Princess, a five-star luxury cruise luxury ship, regularly plies Scottish waters and offers passengers all-inclusive privately-escorted cruises and varied itineraries, visiting castles, distilleries, gardens, historic sites and museums. Expect unrivalled style and fine-dining while you’re on board, and on shore, at ports-of-call, privately-escorted tours of some of Scotland’s many treasures – both historical and natural.

From March to mid-November, Hebridean Princess sets sail from Oban to introduce her lucky passengers to Scotland’s Western Isles and beyond and, this year, an eight-day cruise of the stunning waters of Eastern Scotland has been added to the ship’s impressive itinerary.


Fishing holidays in Scotland

Sea fishing is superb along the extensive coastline of Dumfries & Galloway; shore fishing is quite popular and it’s a hotspot for sea angling.

Stay at luxury Knockinaam Lodge, right on the coast: the hotel will organize everything from tuition for beginners to comprehensive fishing packages and fishing vacations in Scotland.

  

Fishing at Knockinaam
  

Perfect Early Morning Fishing

For monster cod, try fishing from the Flat Rock at Balcary… you’re likely to be well rewarded and, on a clear day, expect monster views across the rich waters to the Lake District, Ireland and the Isle of Man.



Arran Bay
 

Boat tours on the West Coast of Scotland

Situated on a beautiful stretch of the West Coast of Scotland you’ll find the Turnberry Resort, renowned for its golf courses and fabulous sea views.

What better way to explore this part of the world than by seeing it from the deck of the Seabiscuit, a luxurious boat which offers different sea ‘experiences’ departing from Troon Yacht Haven and sailing around Lady Isle, Holy Isle, Culzean Bay, and Ailsa Craig (a volcanic plug). Tours take from around 2½ to five hours, depending on the itinerary, and include transfers to and from Turnberry Resort.


 

Family vacations in Scotland

During the summer months West Sands Beach in St Andrews is host to several children’s sand-castle building competitions. One of two award-winning beaches in the area, West Sands Beach is also used throughout the year for kiting, para-karting and land-yachting. Exciting events for spectators as well as participants.



The Old Course
 

Land Yachts

Just five minutes’ walk from this family-friendly Blue Flag beach in Scotland is the Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa which enjoys far-reaching views over the famous golf courses and to the sea beyond.



Kite Sailing
 

Walking holidays in Scotland –
discover the Fife Coastal Path

St Andrews is also a popular family holiday destination in Scotland because of the wonderful beaches and West Sands Beach has become a popular kiting haunt for enthusiasts as well as young beginners (children’s kites can be purchased locally).

If your family also enjoys coastal walks, then the Old Course Hotel makes an ideal base and you’ll love walking a section of the Fife Coastal Path – it runs for around 81 miles through historical and natural landscapes along the coastline so don’t expect to tackle it all in one go!


Adventure breaks & white-water rafting in Scotland

Adrenalin-seeking adventurers should head for the lochs of the West Highlands of Scotland where you’ll discover Inverlochy, a luxury hotel in the Highlands that offers a wide range of outdoor pursuits guaranteed to match the adventurer in you.

  

Adventure Breaks in Scotland
  

White Water Rafting

Make the most of Loch Oich by sailing, windsurfing, and kayaking on its waters. For extra thrills and spills opt to go wake-boarding, waterskiing, jet-biking, or riding bumpers and bananas, but for the ultimate adventure Topo Duo will give you a memorable white-water / kayaking experience.

For a dose of relaxation rather than an overdose of adrenalin, simply hire a motor boat, row boat or pedalo, and take an afternoon sail from Fort William to Seal Island or a leisurely cruise on nearby Loch Ness.


Crinan Classic Boat Festival & historic Crinan Canal, Argyll

An informal celebration of wooden boats takes place on Loch Crinan each summer when wooden sail boats, fishing boats, motor boats and dinghies get together at the 350-year-old picturesque fishing village of Crinan, well known to Scottish yachtsmen.

Full details at web site:
www.crinanclassic.com

  

Crinan Canal
  

Crinan Boat Festival

Surrounded by some of the finest sailing cruising ground in the world, Crinan Hotel is not only ideally placed for sailing, but also for fly fishing, family-friendly day boat trips and boat charters round the Isles. Passing by boat through the Crinan Canal, rich in history and wildlife, is a scenic and memorable experience with fifteen locks and seven bridges to tackle.

Crinan Hotel is also the proud owner of Truant, a 1910 classic wooden yacht (built by William Fife III). The winner of over 200 races in her time; Truant is the only one of her type left in the world, and is available for charter (leisure, racing, or corporate). Tailor-make itineraries are available and enjoy delectable lobster lunches on board or on a deserted beach.



Tour Scotland by Seaplane
 

Sightseeing by seaplane around Loch Lomond

Enjoy a 30-minute ‘flight-seeing’ scenic tour by Seaplane around the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond – this is an exciting opportunity to catch a bird’s eye view of the famous loch and surrounding national park.



Dolphin Boat Trips
 

Loch Ness cruises & dolphin boat trips from Inverness

Here is an opportunity to indulge yourself at night in an exclusive hideaway in the centre of Inverness and, during the day, go completely wild. Rocpool Reserve certainly comes up trumps with nights of sophisticated luxury in the very heart of the city and, in the daytime, numerous Inverness boat cruises will almost certainly come up trumps on the wildlife front… bottlenose dolphins, ospreys, red kites and seals.

A wide selection of cruises and tours depart from Inverness, as well as boat charters sailing on Loch Ness and the Caledonian Canal.

Alternatively, away from the city, stay at Boath House – it’s a beautiful Regency House near Nairn. Despite being surrounded by 20 acres of gardens, the bottlenose dolphins of Moray Firth are not far away. You can also depart Inverness for a trip that will include a visit to a seal colony, sea-views of Fort George, Chanonry Point and Rosemarkie.



Shellfish safari
 

Shellfish safari on a Scottish loch

Enjoy a safari with a difference… on board MFV Shalair, a traditional fishing boat, and help haul creels for prawns, octopus, crabs and lobster (or just watch if you prefer), and fish with a rod on Loch Gairloch in Ross-shire.

Leaving from the historical Dry Island Pier at Badachro you'll have wonderful photo opportunities plus the chance to see seals, porpoises, or dolphins, and maybe hold a starfish.You'll be in safe hands with Skipper Ian McWhinney, whose family has fished these waters for hundreds of years.

 

A seafood lunch can be provided if required and ultra-fresh produce can be purchased from the boat. Stay at Pool House Hotel on the shores of Loch Ewe to experience this unique shellfish safari.


 

Romantic waterside break in Scotland

You might even spot an otter when staying at Pool House Hotel, where you’ll find the setting romantic, the waters clear, and the sound of the sea seductive as the waves break beneath your luxury suite window. Stroll hand-in-hand around the bay, or follow the river to charming Loch Maree.



Pool House Luxury
 

Loch Maree

Pool House Hotel was given the “Pink-Champagne-in-the-Bath Award for the most romantic hotel in Scotland” by the Sunday Times. How romantic is that?

If you haven’t yet tried white-water rafting in the Highlands, dolphin spotting in the Moray Firth, sailing on Loch Crinan, or sipping pink champagne in the bath, then it is high time you took the plunge… you’ll enjoy it!

 

Luxury Scotland
Tel: +44(0)1786 821 860 
Fax: +44 (0)1383 825 700
E: dorothy@luxuryscotland.co.uk

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