7 Best Boat Trips Around Scotland - Made Scotland

7 Best Boat Trips Around Scotland


It’s this month that all of Scotland’s amazing boat trips start sailing again, after a long winter. So, if you want a great day trip, if you want to get out and explore Scotland, these are the trips for you.

Did you know, Scotland has over 6,000 miles of beautiful coastline? And if you count the coastline of all the islands, it’s over 11,000 miles. So whether you’re after rugged coastline, calm lochs or a bit of exploring Scottish islands, these are some greart boat trips that will make it happen.

Loch Katrine Steamer

Take a scenic cruise amid stunning Highland scenery, with the mountainous backdrop of the Trossachs national Park. The restored steamship Sir Walter Scott is now back in action, a seriously stylish ride to go up the loch. A really fun one is to bring bikes (you can rent them at Katherine Wheelz) and take them up the loch then cycle back along its banks. The perfect day out.


Small Isles Boat Trip

A wonderful day of island hopping, I did this many times as a child. The boat leaves from Mallaig and it goes to different islands each day, to tiny Muck, Eigg with its pointed scurr to climb or Rhum with its nature reserve and extraordinary Kinloch Castle.


Handa Island Boat Trip

A fair trek northup near Cape Wrath and one of the best Scottish boat trips I’ve done. Not far from the mainland, dramatic cliffs are an important breeding ground for guillemots, razorbills and great skuas. I also saw hundreds of diving puffins. Whales, dolphins and even basking shark are often seen from Handa.


North Berwick Bass Rock Boat Trip

What a fantastic day out in North Berwick, you take a boat out to Bass Rock, fantastic in spring with thousands of sea birds circling overhear (hoods up!) their cries filling the air. This is home to one of the largest colonies of gannets in the world and if you go at the right time of year you’ll see thousands of puffins too. We were invited on a birthday treat on the RIB which was exhilarating, flying across the water at speed, but a cheaper way is to do the passenger boat which does the job.


Isle of Skye Sea Eagle Boat Tour

You get a real sense of how large and remote Skye is when you’re out on the water. This tour takes you through the Sound of Raasay, with views of the Cullin mountains. The guys doing these trips have a sixth sense for spotting the wildlife, including white-tailed eagles, sea otters and seals.


Staffa and Iona Boat Trip

I’m not always one for a tour but this one is worth paying for. It’s a 10 hour round trip to hold tight! You go from Oban by ferry to Mull. Cross Mull by bus. Go by boat to Staffa and see the amazing rock formations of Fingal’s Cave. Then you hop over to Iona to explore and see the historic abbey. Then you retrace your steps. If the weather’s on your side, what a day out!


Loch Tay Boat Trip

Not just any boat trip, this is how to see Perthshire’s largest loch, flying through the water, wind in your hair, on Loch Tay Safari’s RIB. It’s small, sturdy and fast, holding up to 12 and you’ll hear about the history of the area, hopefully see some great wildlife in the air, in the waters and on the shores. And it’s so much fun! Best of all it’s not far from Edinburgh, Dundee, Glasgow and so on so it’s an easy, fun day trip.

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