Firth of Clyde – The Region

View to the west: Cumbrae, Bute and Arran

The Clyde offers a wide variety of sailing areas, ranging from long, narrow lochs extending north into the hills to the more open waters surrounding Arran in the south, to sheltered passages around the Isle of Bute and the Cumbraes.

The Clyde Estuary’s numerous islands, many small towns and good anchorages offer an attractive and safe place to sail. The remainder of Scotland’s west coast is accessible through the Crinan Canal as is the east coast and Scandinavia via the Forth & Clyde and Caledonian Canals. Ireland and the northern Irish Sea and Sea of Moyle are approximately a day’s sail away.

Upstream the River Clyde and its sea lochs: Gareloch, Loch Long, Loch Goil and Holy Loch are well suited to powered craft and smaller sailing yachts, with Glasgow City again turning its face to the river and offering berthing facilities close to Glasgow city centre to enable a cruising yacht to visit for a few days, or more.

The established marinas around the Clyde Coast are at Rhu, James Watt Dock, Kip, Largs, Ardrossan, Troon, Rothesay, Holy Loch, Port Bannatyne, Portavadie and Tarbert. There are visitor moorings or berthing facilities at many other spots including Lochranza, Lamlash, Brodick, Campbeltown, Otter Ferry, Millport, Carradale, and in the Kyles of Bute at Colintraive, Tighnabruaich and Kames.

To the south is the North Channel and the seaways from Ireland, England and Wales. For many visiting cruising folk this is the routeway to Scottish cruising. With good havens on the mainland coast, and the grandeur of Ailsa Craig and Arran on the horizon, it is a splendid introduction to cruising in Scottish waters.

Sanda anchorage, Mull of Kintyre