There’s no need to leave Scottish shores when you’re searching for the exotic and luxurious.

With palm trees aplenty, Gothic Palaces, tales of pirates, ship wrecks and even a crocodile. All this, as well as some delicious Scottish Gin. The islands of the Clyde offer so much to visitors, and are yet so easily reached.

The beautiful Clyde Estuary.

So put your passports back in the drawer, cancel the airport parking and forget roaming on your mobile. Go west this year instead.

This area is sailing heaven. The stunning Kyles of Bute are a largely undiscovered array of tiny inlets and islets. Lush greenery, tiny castles and more history than you could throw a Viking at. You might not think sailing is for you, but the good people of Flamingo Yacht Charter might well be able to change your mind.

Based at Largs on Ayrshires sunshine coast, Flamingo offers so much. You can join a fabulous day cruise with a double measure of the Isles of Cumbrae (Great and Little). As well as a couple of large gins at the delightful Isle of Cumbrae Gin Distillery too.

If a longer sailing adventure is more your thing, why not join one of their overnight cruises up the Clyde Estuary. Among the stunning Kyles of Bute, looking for wildlife as you go and getting to know your fellow sailors. Spend the evening at luxurious Portavadie, and enjoy the spa, infinity pool ‘the pool with the best view in Scotland’, and have dinner in the award winning restaurant. Overnight onboard the luxury yacht and in the morning to Arran and Lochranza Whisky Distillery.

If you see yourself as a budding skipper, why not book a week for you and the whole family with a captain who can double as your instructor? While the family enjoys their customised cruise around the beautiful West Coast of Scotland, you can learn the ropes of navigation and everything else you need to earn your ticket. If you have older children, why not get them involved too? Come for a holiday, leave with a new hobby and a qualification!

Memories are Priceless

But if like me you just like the idea of a dreamy holiday where you can follow the weather, and be carried there by the winds? Of empty beaches and wildlife encounters and the freshest of seafood to enjoy? If so, why not charter a yacht along with a skipper to handle everything? No airports, no quarantine, no transfers, in fact no one at all, except the lucky few you invite along.

It’s not cheap, but the memories will be priceless.