Discover MalinWaters

Date published: 06 February 2015

Guest Blog by Joy Harron

Home is where you drop your anchor!

The West Coast of Scotland is world famous in terms of cruising grounds in the world, but I discovered that there is world class sailing to experience across the MalinWaters area, with some great routes between Irish coast and Scotland.

Route 1: Campbeltown and the Firth of Clyde to north Antrim and Lough Swilly

The crossing from Campbeltown to Rathlin or Ballycastle is 34 miles, or from the anchorage at Sanda only 22 miles. It’s essential to make this crossing on the north- and west going tide, since the tide runs at 4 to 5 knots at the Mull of Kintyre and up to 6 knots in Rathlin Sound. Rathlin Sound leads towards the beautiful seaside town of Ballycastle, where the Ballycastle Marina has excellent facilities for visiting yachts. Just a short distance from Ballycastle you will find the world famous Giants Causeway heritage site and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. The Antrim coast offers some of the most breathtaking coastal scenery in the world. Click here to download the full trail…

 Malinwaters Plan


 Route 2:  Firth of Clyde to the Antrim coast and Belfast Lough

The return trip fits into a week, or can be done in an active long weekend if the tides are favourable. From the upper Firth, Lamlash and Troon are the convenient departure points on the most direct route, a 56 mile crossing to Belfast Lough or Glenarm. Bangor Marina is one of Northern Ireland’s most popular stop offs for visiting yachts. Close to the historic Belfast City, this trail offers you much to see and do including the world famous Titanic Quarter where you will see maritime history in all its glory. Click here to download the full trail…

Malinwaters Plan 2


Route 3: Oban and west Argyll to the Antrim coast and Belfast Lough

The West Coast of Scotland is world famous in terms of cruising grounds in the world, and Argyll is at its heart. The wide variety of the sailing, the amazing scenery and wildlife, the combination of sheltered sounds, rugged islands and high mountains, the availability of safe, beautiful and generally uncrowded anchorages and the warm welcome you will find ashore make Western Scotland ideal for cruising. There are 15 visitor moorings in Oban, opposite the club slipway and the town of Oban is informally known as the ‘Gateway to the Isles’. This is a beautiful cruising ground with a combination of inshore and offshore sailing amid wonderful and varied scenery. The channels among the southern Hebrides offer a number of alternative routes. Click here to download the full trail…

 Malinwaters Plan 3


Route 4: Portrush and north Antrim to west Donegal and Sligo

The spectacular North Antrim Coast into Derry-Londonderry Marina and on to Donegal and Sligo is a sailing trail not to be missed. Visit Derry-Londonderry and the Foyle Marina, take a tour of the historic City Walls. Travel to Greencastle in Donegal and see the Greencastle Maritime Museum where you will learn of the rich and vibrant maritime past. Journey along the Wild Atlantic Way by boat and stop off at moorings in Teelin to experience Sliabh Liag, the highest sea cliffs of Europe, truly a magnificent sight to behold from your boat at sea. Two new marinas are currently in development in Donegal at Killybegs and Bunagee and will be opened in 2015. Journey on to Sligo and Rosses Point Marina where a warm welcome awaits. This cruise needs three weeks for detailed exploration but will fit into a fortnight. There are visitors’ moorings at Culdaff, but most yachts make the 42-mile trip from Portrush or Coleraine to Lough Swilly in a single voyage. Click here to download the full trail…

Malinwaters Plan 4



Joy Harron