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Scottish anchorages

Gott Bay

Large roll-on roll-off ferry piers are not an attractive feature in any anchorage, particularly in Gott Bay where the pier so dominates the flat landscape. But if you have bothered to sail here it is worth getting off the boat, at least for a bit of a wander to admire the meadows full of wild flowers in the summer, corncrakes squeaking away. This is fertile farming land. Some visitor moorings appeared in 2017, if you don't want to anchor.


Scarinish, the main village, is maybe 15-minutes walk, and has an excellent Co-op and even a butcher (but how long will he survive if even Mull can’t support a butcher?). It was developed by the Duke of Argyll as a fishing village in the 18th century.


The small and quite scenic old harbour is where you will find the Scarinish Hotel — I have not been in but it does not look very promising from the outside, more promising on their website (ph 01879 220 308). However needs maybe must as the only other hotel, and bar, is about 30-minutes walk around the bay (the Tiree Lodge Hotel). You will find a couple of medieval chapels and a burial ground to explore behind it. It does seem run-down, there is no real ale and the barmaid was unfailingly glum in 2011 (ph 01879 220 329). However, in 2013 it was under new management so things may be looking up, so see for yourself. It is odd that there are no other bars, cafés or restaurants within easy reach of the anchorage on such a well populated and seemingly reasonably prosperous island.


If you have a morning to spare and could do with a longish walk there is a circuit to take in the Ringing Stone (a large rock covered with cup marks on the northwest shore which when hit with a stone sounds hollow) and the 2nd century Broch at Vaul which is in better condition than Tirefour on Lismore but still only a few stone courses high. On the way you will find the nine-hole golf course whwew, because it is essentially open meadow land, the greens are enclosed so the animals can’t get in to ruin them (apparently you have to chip the ball over the fences to reach the holes). There are fabulous beaches and the open farmland is most attractive. It is also good to see the sympathetic way so many of the old cottages have been converted, so much nicer than the modern houses (but I suppose darker inside without all those picture windows with views, and less convenient to live in). And unlike say Eriskay, the houses have been painted white, much more cheery than the ubiquitous grey.


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Broch at Vaul Gott Bay anchorage

The Broch at Vaul

Gott Bay with the Dutchman's cap and Mull in the background