Favourite Sea Trips

This page provides an index into the favourite sea trips hierarchy. There's not many trips here, yet, as your website author hasn't been getting out as much on the sea as he ought to (all these wet summers with whitewater - sorry!), but we're hoping to get a bit of work in on this part of the site this year...

St. Bees Head

For many members, the west coast is further away than venues like the Farne Islands, and offers fewer interesting places to paddle. However, when the North Sea is angry, the Irish Sea can provide paddling and St. Bees' cliffs have plenty of wildlife as well as rock-hopping among the boulders.

Index photo paddling below the sandstone cliffs by Andy Waddington

The Farne Islands

The Farne Islands provide the same sort of interest that we find in the tidal waters of western Scotland, but in a daytrip within a relatively short drive from the area where most SOC members live. It is also a premier wildlife destination early in the summer, but there are restrictions on where and when landings are permitted, as you might expect for a nature reserve. We have at least one trip out to the Farnes almost every year and if the weather is good, there may be several trips over the course of the season.

Index photo of Inner Farne by Andy Waddington.

Scotland

Skye

Skye offers coasts facing every direction, and varying from sheltered lochs with little tidal flow, to exposed coasts and tide races. Something for everyone in almost any weather.

The scenery varies from excellent to awesome, both above and below the cliffs - below being quite literal as the coast abounds in natural arches and caves.

Index photo paddling round the tip of the Starthaird peninsula towards Elgol by Andy Waddington.

Lismore

Lismore is an island, sheltered by the large island of Mull from worst conditions of the west coast, and in particular from ocean swell. Unlike a lot of Scotland, this is not igneous or metamorphic rock, but a limestone, which makes the island gently rolling and very green, with lots of clean freshwater springs around its coast. It's a convenient destination from several starting points, and you can get all the way round it in a weekend without long days (indeed, at spring tides, on the water at high tide about 7 am at Port Appin, you could do it in one long day).

Index photo paddling past Castle Coeffin on the NW coast by Andy Waddington.

Ardnamurchan Point

Ardnamurchan Point is a significant point on the west coast of Scotland. For sailors, it marks a change from a coast of bays and sea lochs with many sheltered anchorages and friendly ports, to a more rugged coast with fewer places of safety. For the kayaker, to whom remote landings are more of a stock in trade, this division is less obvious, but nonetheless, as the most westerly point on the mainland, and very exposed to southwesterly wind and swell, it is a place to be treated with respect.

Index photo approaching Ardnamurchan lighthouse by Andy Waddington.

Bute

We've had several trips visiting Bute in recent years:- sometimes just Bute and sometimes combined with visits to Arran, Inchmarnock and other odd places on the way. It offers the advantages of some water sheltered from the open sea, and a shorter drive than many of our haunts further north.

At 60 km from a launch at Colintraive or Toward (and a bit more than that starting from Largs), the full circumnavigation is perfectly possible in a non-bank-holiday weekend if the tides work for you, but don't expect to be off the water and home in time for tea !

Index photo looking across to Bute from Ardlamont by Clive Hall

North Wales

Anglesey

Like many other large islands, Anglesey will always have a sheltered side, somewhat protected from the weather, so is an excellent place to spend some time doing day trips. However, sticking out into the Irish Sea as it does, separated by only a narrow channel from mainland Wales, and with the large volume of Liverpool Bay to its north, Anglesey is also known for having strong tidal flows.

Anglesey is just of a size that makes a circumnavigation a fine, but not overlong expedition which works best done clockwise from a start in the Menai Strait. If you time your tides well, five days is about right.

Index photo of rough water in Penrhyn Mawr by Andy Waddington