1 CASTLE TIORAM
This haunting ruined 13th Century castle stands on its own islet in Loch Moidart. An ancient Macdonald seat, it was torched in 1715 to prevent it falling into the hands of the Campbells and remains an empty shell. Entry is forbidden due to its condition, though a battle still rages over plans for a restoration.
2 THE OLD FORGE, KNOYDART
Inverie nestles on the shores of Loch Nevis on the Knoydart peninsula. With no road connection to ‘civilisation’, access is by an arduous 18-mile trek or a seven-mile ferry trip from Mallaig. The Old Forge maintains moorings for visiting yachtsmen who patronise the acclaimed ‘remotest pub in mainland Britain’, but there is also good holding for those who choose to anchor. The pub is well worth a visit for its music, real ales, and delicious seafood-centric menu, though booking is wise. 01687 462267
3 KINLOCH CASTLE, RÙM
This late Victorian mansion was built in 1897 for Sir George Bullough, a textile magnate from Lancashire, as a luxurious hunting lodge retreat. Now owned by Scottish Natural Heritage, a visit is like going back in time, where you can admire the treasures collected by the Bullough family, the under-stair Orchestrion and the Golden Ballroom. 01687 462037. Loch Scresort on the east side of Rùm provides good anchorage.
The westernmost of the Small Isles, Canna is also my favourite. Only 4.3-miles long and onemile wide, it is linked to Sanday, its sister island, by a road and sandbanks. Despite its small population it still provides a café, community shop, post office, public satellite telephone box, and showering facilities. With 10 secure serviced moorings it is a wonderful place to stretch your legs without worrying that your boat will drag its anchor.
5 LOCH SCAVAIG
Snug under the high rock bastions of the soaring Cuillins, Loch na Cuilce, at the head of Loch Scavaig, must be Scotland’s most dramatic anchorage. It is a mecca for climbers, although I can’t recommend leaving your yacht here in any strong wind whatever its direction. On a calm day, however walk up beside the gentle waterfall to Loch Coruisk to marvel at the sublime view of the Cuillin ridge.