HID­DEN GEMS:

Yachting Monthly - - A LONG WEEKEND -

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.

4 CANNA

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.

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