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Scottish anchorages

Carsaig Bay

This is a really grand and dramatic spot with towering volcanic cliffs surrounding a fertile limestone glen. If you anchor behind the island, there are a lot of seals, but I prefer anchoring in the grandeur of the bay myself.


Ashore there is nothing special to see but there is a delightful circular walk, maybe a bit over an hour. On the way you can check out some of the scenes from the marvellous 1945 romantic film 'I know where I am going' which were filmed here, particularly on the pier with crashing waves preventing the heroine getting to the Island of Kiloran (aka Colonsay) to be married — with Wendy Hiller and Richard Livesey (who actually never left London during the filming), and a very young Petula Clark.


Obviously you can start the walk anywhere along the beach (check-out the wild goats and the swing). Head for the pier which has crumbled a lot since the film was made, built in 1850 for the British Fisheries Commission.  Take a look at the armorial panel (Virtue Mine Honour) on one of the two fishermen's stores. According to the family tradition, Gillean, the great grand daughter of Archibald John of Penny Cross who had the Lodge built, told me that it was broken when being fixed to the Lodge so a new one was ordered and the broken one placed on the boat shed. Head up through deciduous and pine woods along the road to the left. Great views of your pride and joy lying at anchor. Pass Inniemore Lodge (dull late Victorian), then by a surprisingly placed telephone box and a dramatic waterfall (again used for a scene in 'I know where I am going'), turn downhill, skirt Carsaig House (rather nice circa 1800, a posh place to rent with six bedrooms) and farm, and follow a track along the burn to the shore.


The view from the pier across the rocks at low tide is great, a panorama from Scarba to Jura to Islay to Colonsay.


If you want to be really energetic (which I have not yet managed), one of the great walks in Scotland is under the cliffs to the west to the Carsaig Arches, but it takes about five hours there and back (however you can sort of 'do' the arches from the sea anyway if you sail in close enough). Or, equally energetic if shorter, walk the other way along the coast to Loch Buie (if you don't want to walk back, leave someone on the boat to sail round to the Loch Buie anchorage to pick you up).



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Carsaig Carsaig

The bay looking south west

The pier