During the season 2014 we visited in 16 different harbours and 9 anchorages from which we rank the following places.

Top three marinas

  • Troon, Firth of Clyde, West Scotland: extremely well sheltered, well maintained marina, everything just works
  • Amble, Northumberland, East England: overwhelmingly friendly service, good pontoons, welcome package with marina codes was available for visitors arriving out of hours
  • Pierowall, Westray, Orkney: the personal commitment and friendly service from harbour master made an impression to us

Top four anchorages

  • Plockton anchorage, West Scotland: The pearl of the Scottish Highlands fulfilled its expectations. The postcard scenery to mountains with the castle surrounded by forest. On the village side the palms are swaying among lush rose gardens
  • Loch Laxford, North-West Scotland: a sanctuary of pure rugged nature amongst tall cliffs, well sheltered from all directions, afar from all the world events and mobile phones
  • Rousay, Orkney: in the middle of Orkney Islands, surrounded by many other islands in the North Atlantic, quiet and peaceful country life in villages
  • Tobermory, Isle of Mull, West Scotland: beautiful and big anchorage with the waterfall

Top five Cruising Destinations

  • Plockton, West Scotland¬: unbelievable beautiful place, the village can be accessed by dinghy from the anchorage, Mediterranean atmosphere on the waterfront and all this in the middle of Scottish mountains with the castle
  • Fair Isle: island in the middle of the North Atlantic, rich in wildlife and bird observatory, it felt like being inside the well written novel
  • Orkney Islands: staggering history starting from the Neolithic age, a lot to see and explore, all islands are unique, friendly and relaxed people
  • Hebrides, West Scotland: numerous scenic islands with anchorages and lochs
  • Whitby, Yorkshire: energetic beachfront town, maritime heritage in the footsteps of Captain Cook and Dracula

Top Five Attractions

  • Skara Brae, Orkney: well preserved stone village from 3200 – 2200 BC
  • Bird Observatory of Fair Isle: amazing atmosphere in the middle of nowhere (North Atlantic)
  • Lochs in West Scotland: the tranquillity of rugged nature, small humans on sailing boat anchoring between the mountain scenery gives some perspective
  • Plockton, West Scotland: microclimate with palms and rose gardens brings Mediterranean to Scotland
  • Ring of Brodgar, Orkney: the third largest ancient henge in the UK, built 2500 – 2000 BC, diameter 104 m

Top Five Dishes in Restaurants

  • Old Boathouse, Amble, Northumberland: grilled halibut with crab, sea spinach and seafood risotto with mussels, crab and king prawns. The fresh halibut was unloaded from the quay 10 m from the kitchen, risotto had more seafood than rice, just heavenly
  • Magpie Café, Whitby, Yorkshire: MagPie Trio customized to the customer liking; sole, halibut and scallops with wine and garlic sauce, vegetables and boiled rice, three different fish combined with crème brûlée for dessert. MagPie has won many awards as the best fish and chips restaurant, however it would for sure make it to the top of the list with its other seafood dishes as well. The restaurant is owned by the same family already for three generations and the fish is the local catch
  • Café Fish, Tobermory, Isle of Mull: the most succulent and gigantic dish made from two tuna steaks. We heard about the reputation of Café Fish already in previous anchorages and visiting there was definitely worthwhile. Their slogan tells it all: “The only thing frozen here are our fisherman’
  • Restaurant Scotts, Troon: 21 days old fillet steak with malt whisky and arran mustard sauce with grilled field mushroom, rosemary & sea salt potato wedges, onion rings and roasted vine tomatoes. The restaurant is the member of Scotch Beef Club and we could really taste it in the quality of the meat
  • Restaurant Helgi’s, Kirkwall, Orkney: Orkeny scallops with apple and black pudding. We were surprised how delicious the dish was. Sometimes it’s worthwhile to drop the prejudices and just taste new flavours. We went eating this dish twice and it was really good

Special mentions about food

  • Pub Ancorage, Troon: Eve was delighted about Scottish national food haggis, neeps and tatties that of course was served with a dram of Scotch. Andrus even did not dare to taste it. Haggis is a savoury pudding containing sheep’s pluck (heart, liver and lungs); minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, traditionally encased in the animal’s stomach

Special thanks

  • Orwell Yacht Club, Ipswich: Warm thanks for helping refuel Suwena with white diesel at the yacht club harbour pontoon during the high water. Thank you commodore Brenda, Tony and Ivor
  • Anne and Brian from S/Y Skoling, Peterhead: many thanks for helping to acquire tools for fixing Suwena’s genoa furlex
Suwena’s Sailing Season 2014 Ranking

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.