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Scottish anchorages

Isle of Eriska

Not in the Sailing Directions, but there are moorings and a pontoon just after the entrance to the loch on the south side (watch out for the wash from work boats going far too fast). The moorings belong to the very upmarket Isle of Eriska Hotel (Spa and Island) sitting on its own private island of Eriska, connected to the mainland by a 1900 bridge. Built in 1884 to a design by Hippolyte Blanc (what a marvellous name!), it was owned by the Buchanan-Smith family since 1973, and improved bit by bit ever since. Their website provides how-to-arrive instructions for private aircraft, seaplanes and helicopter pilots, so you get the style. Very exclusive. However, do not be alarmed, boaties are welcome and ties are not needed for dinner in the hotel (a Michelin star but then lost it in 2017 but regained in 2019). So pretty classy food for sure at £75 for a three-course meal, and a 40-page wine list, (01631 720 371). The style is Baronial country house — the building, not the food. This really is a classic hideaway place, completely cut off from everywhere by trees, so no views from your dinner table, except of the tiny putting green. In 2017 the whole place was sold to a Chinese family for a reported £2.2 million — they don't aim to change the ethos, but are going to do some renovations.


The walk around the island is brief and charming. Loads of wild flowers, and lovely trees with bird song. Note the six-hole golf course which can be used — for a fee — by anyone, not just the residents. The 7th to 9th holes are currently out of action, in a bog. And check out the leisure centre which again can be used by non-residents (I think) and where you will find the Deck Restaurant, a much less formal place than the main hotel, and with a nice view, last orders at 1900, ideal for families with children, and for  morning coffee.

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Isle of Eriska mooring Isle of Eriska hotel

The hotel moorings

The hotel, with croquet