|Wed 23-08-2023, 14:00Mallaig, Scotland||Mon 28-08-2023, 11:00Ullapool, Scotland||Grayhound||5 Nights||GR230823|
This August, embark on a sailing adventure to remember on board the Cornish lugger Grayhound. Discover the breathtaking Western Isles of Scotland. Sailing from Mallaig you’ll head over the sea to Skye, renowned for its rugged beauty before setting off across the Minch to Lewis and Harris. This is stunning and varied sailing, and along the way you’ll learn how to sail a traditional Cornish lugger in great company. WARNING: you will also fall in love with the Hebrides. There’s nothing to be done about this unfortunately, you’ll just have to go back again soon.
|Vessel type / Rig||Three Masted Lugger|
GRAYHOUND is one of the largest sailing luggers in the world today. She was built in Cornwall in 2012 and has a 20m long hull, is 33m overall and a canvas area of 470 square meters. The original plans were those of a three masted lugger from 1776. Luggers from that time were built for speed and swiftness ideal for privateering, smuggling…or for hunting the latter! “Pirate hand-break turns” and cannon firing are always on the menu on Grayhound!
As voyage crew you do not have to have any prior sailing experience or knowledge to join on Grayhound. A positive attitude and a wish for adventure is all! Our experienced crew will make sure that you comfortably and eagerly hoist the sails, make fast the ropes, participate in the manoeuvres, steer the ship and ready the anchor.
Joining Grayhound in the picturesque town of Mallaig, with its magnificent views, is a thrilling way to start a sailing holiday. You could even arrive via the ‘Hogwarts Express’ steam train!
It’s a short hop ‘Over the Sea to Skye’, and there’s a reason why the Skye Boat Song is one of the most beautiful and well loved tunes in the world. Skye is also one of the most beautiful islands! The Cuillin Ridge is like a melody that can be seen for hundreds of miles. With hundreds of inlets and bays, Skye is a fantastic place for sailing.
Sailing Northwest via Kyle Rhea and Loch Alsh, under the Skye Bridge, to the Inner Sound, you can explore the isles of Scalpay and Raasay, and the ‘Old Man of Storr’ rock.
Following the Sound, there’s a serious deep water crossing over the Minch between Rona and the Outer Hebrides. You will be fully involved in the watches, including overnight, which is fantastic experience and truly atmospheric. The clarity of the night skies with so little light pollution is a sight not to be missed.
Heading for Lewis and Harris, you’ll see big skies, white beaches and the flower-filled ‘machair’. There are many inlets, bays and sea lochs in which to anchor. If you haven’t been to the Outer Hebrides before, you may come back changed. The islands take up residence in your heart very quickly.
Before you get too romantically attached, it’s time for one of the biggest crossings of Grayhound’s season: back across the Minch to Ullapool.
This is an expedition of the friendliest kind. You will take part in every way, amid camaraderie that is second to none. The hearty food will fuel your exertions and the scenery will feed your soul!
On a sailing voyage we never use the word itinerary, as skippers will always be aiming for the best sailing and shore landings for the forecast. This is a passage-making voyage, however, so there will be a need to make up the miles, and that can mean sailing in slightly stiffer conditions than on a round trip. The West Coast of Scotland can get a little punchy, but this is less so in the summer months, and there are lots of nooks and crannies around the islands in which to shelter!
Whether you are an experienced sailor or a complete beginner, the professional crew will train you to be guest crew from the moment you arrive, with the intention that everybody works together to sail the ship. The common thread to all Classic Sailing holidays is ‘Hands on’ participation on ships that use ropes, blocks and tackles and ‘people power’ to set sail. Handling cargo adds an extra dimension – building teamwork and communication skills and leaving you with a great sense of achievement.
We cater for a wide range of ages and physical abilities and how much you are expected to do varies a bit between vessels. See the vessel tab above which explains all about the ‘sailing style’ and what to expect in terms of hands on participation. There is a lot of information about day to day life, the ships facilities and accommodation on the vessel pages.
Mallaig: A Captivating Coastal Retreat
Nestled on the picturesque shores of the West Highlands in Scotland, Mallaig is a charming coastal village that offers a delightful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. With its breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and warm hospitality, Mallaig is an idyllic destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.
As you arrive in Mallaig, you’ll be greeted by stunning vistas of rugged mountains, pristine beaches, and sparkling azure waters. The village itself is a quaint and welcoming place, known for its colourful fishing boats and charming harbour. Take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront, soak in the tranquil atmosphere, and savour the freshest seafood delights at one of the local eateries.
Explore the surrounding area and discover the natural wonders that Mallaig has to offer. Hike through the majestic Glenfinnan Viaduct, famous for its appearance in the Harry Potter films, or embark on a boat trip to the remote and breathtakingly beautiful Knoydart Peninsula. Wildlife enthusiasts will be thrilled to spot seals, dolphins, and a variety of seabirds on their excursions.
Getting to Mallaig is a breeze, with various transportation options available. From Scotland, you can travel by train on the scenic West Highland Line, which connects Mallaig to Glasgow and Fort William. The train journey itself is a treat, offering spectacular views of mountains, lochs, and glens along the way. You can also have some fun on the Hogwarts Express from Fort William to Mallaig, properly known as the Jacobite Steam train.
If you’re coming from southern England, you can reach Mallaig by car via the A82 and A830 roads. The drive takes you through some of Scotland’s most stunning landscapes, including the majestic Loch Lomond and the awe-inspiring Glen Coe.
For those preferring to fly, the nearest airports to Mallaig are Inverness Airport and Glasgow Airport. From there, you can hire a car or take a train to complete your journey to Mallaig.
By selecting sustainable travel options and actively participating in carbon offset initiatives, you can make a positive impact while journeying to your voyage, where an unforgettable adventure awaits you. So pack your bags, get ready to travel and join your adventure in Mallaig.
For Joining any vessel, head to the harbour where your ship will more than likely be the only sailing vessel. Address: The Pier, Ullapool IV26 2UH
As a base for starting a sailing holiday, Ullapool rewards those who take the trouble to travel this far North. On the entrance to Loch Broom are the Summer Isles and if you head out West you come to the Shiant Islands before your reach Harris and Lewis. From here, it is a relatively short hop to St Kilda, or the Flannan Isles. The sailing grounds are virtually empty and in June it feels like the sun hardly sets. At nearly N 58 degrees latitude Ullapool is further North than Moscow. Its a long way up from Edinburgh, but not as difficult to get to as you might think.
Ullapool is nestled on the shores of Loch Broom. Whatever the weather, you are immediately struck by Ullapool’s whiteness and by its regularity of design and layout. This is a legacy of the town’s origins, being designed and built in 1788 by Thomas Telford and the British Fisheries Society to exploit a boom in herring fishing at the time.
The town is also the main terminus for the car and passenger ferry to Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis. The ferry operates seven days per week so all the public transport to Ullapool is good and there are plenty of accommodation options in the town.
As a base for exploring the north west of Scotland, Ullapool is ideal. It has accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets, including one of the best (and best located) campsites in this part of Scotland. And since the upgrading of most of the roads further north it is within reasonable reach of many parts of the region that twenty-five years ago would have needed a major expedition to reach.
Ullapool offers some very nice pubs, including the Ferry Boat Inn. It also has a range of shops from the smallest right up to a well-stocked supermarket: anyone on a self catering holiday is sure to be visiting the latter at some point during their stay.
For those wanting to know more about the area the excellent Ullapool Museum & Visitor Centre on West Argyle Street can be highly recommended. This is in the old parish church, and tells the story of the people of Loch Broom and the history of Ullapool.
Thank you so much to all the Grayhound crew for an unforgettable adventure. I cannot imagine a kinder and better crew with which to sail.Caroline
Thanks all for a great time, I really enjoyed it. Fastest Channel crossing I have managed!Barney
An unforgettable experienceJonathon
We've had two idyllic sailing trips. One particularly fantastic day scrambling over big volcanic rocks down a deep craggy valley to a black sand beach with dramatically high cliffs. Grayhound was waiting, attracting attention because she's so beautiful and unique. Swimming out to her in the clear waters o the Atlantic rates as one of life's highlights.Grayhound Guest
Fantastic, exhilarating and an honour to be on such a ship.Des
Excellent company of genuine all round sailors. The wind in my face and the swell beneath. 5 stars for welcome, accommodation on board, safety, quality of sailing, food, skipper and crew.Barry
Outstanding and unforgettable experience. Loved learning the lug rig, meeting the crew and other guests, playing an active role on board.Charlie
Brilliant sail on an interesting boat with friendly and knowledgeable people.Steve
Three masted lugger Grayhound is a unique sight and a joy to take photos of. Not only does she look very unusual as it is a rig not seen much now, she has a mission to deliver cargoes under sail, so she is the darling of the press. Photos from Classic Sailing customers, ships crew and professional photographers. We hope it gives a flavour of her sailing, life on board, the people that come, her beautiful sailing grounds and what it is like to live below decks.
Island Hopping in the Inner Hebrides PV030623
The Inner Hebrides in Summer: Oban to Mallaig PV250623
Exploring around Jura and Islay and PV040923
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