Boating Holidays in Scotland

Heading for Urquhart Castle from Drumnadrochit Harbour
Amber sailing on Loch Ness
'Lively' passing a ship in Loch Ness
Sailing past Urquhart Castle

Loch Ness makes up over a third of the sixty miles of the Caledonian Canal's length. Stretching over 23 miles from Dochgarroch to Fort Augustus, it is 230m deep at its deepest point and contains more fresh water than all the lakes in England and Wales combined.

The loch's peaty depths still have room for a few mysteries in this modern age, and the Loch Ness Monster - or Nessie as she is affectionately known - is still being hotly pursued by researchers. At Drumnadrochit the Loch Ness 2000 Exhibition Centre offers a multi-media look at Loch Ness and its mysteries.

The wind usually blows along the loch from the NE (Inverness end) or the SW (Fort Augustus end), with the SW wind being the most common. If you have a good breeze behind you (almost certain either going or coming back) then you can do some lazy sailing - just unfurl the genoa and get blown effortlessly up the loch.

With such a long 'fetch' some respectable waves can build up in a breeze, so that it can start out calm at Fort Augustus but by the time you reach Drumnadrochit the waves can be a couple of feet high and you might be forgiven for thinking you were on some great inland sea rather than a freshwater loch. Just sit back and enjoy the ride - our yachts are all seagoing thoroughbreds built for much tougher conditions than you will encounter on your canal holiday. And of course if the wind is in the wrong direction just switch the engine on . . . unless you relish the challenge of making the boat go to windward under sail, which can be great fun.

You will no doubt spend at least one night on the pontoons at Fort Augustus, enjoying the Highland atmosphere and the excellent local pubs and eateries. If you have time why not visit the Caledonian Canal Heritage Centre, Fort Augustus Abbey or the Rare Breeds Park.

Half way down the loch Drumnadrochit harbour offers a pleasant overnight stop. The village of Drumnadrochit with its hotels, restaurants and shops can be easily reached from here. A couple of miles away across the bay lie the spectacular ruins of Urquhart Castle, where there is a visitor centre & coffee shop. There is also a jetty for cruisers at the castle (no overnight mooring though).

West Highland Sailing   Laggan Locks   Spean Bridge   Fort William   PH34 4EB     Tel: _+44(0)1809 501234

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