Read about Clara’s amazing trip to the Isle of Cumbrae Distillers. Sailing with Flamingo Yacht Charters across the Firth of Clyde heading for Millport Bay. Yachts, Gin and Scotland, sound like the perfect mix.

The day started early at 6.30am as we travelled by train to Largs Yacht Haven, where we were going to be sailing for the day. While the yacht haven was easily accessible by car, neither of us wanted to miss out on the opportunity to try some amazing Gins later in the day! The morning train journey provided plenty of beautiful scenery as we travelled along the Scottish coast under clear blue skies. Despite what people may say, Scotland is known to treat its residents to great weather every once in a while!

Largs Yacht Haven

Upon our arrival at Largs Yacht Haven we were met by deckhand Hugh, who accompanied us onto the yacht to meet our Skipper, Pete. We were immediately offered cups of tea and coffee as we accustomed ourselves to the yacht, which had 4 bedrooms and could fit up to 10 people.

Elliot ready to go sailing

Kylie The Dolphin

After this, we set sail towards the Isle of Cumbrae for the Gin-tasting. The calm waves ensured an enjoyable sail. We took this opportunity to ask the crew all of our questions about sailing and their experiences. We were rewarded with their vast knowledge of the Isle of Cumbrae and its surroundings. Peter told us about Kylie the dolphin, often spotted near the Isle of Cumbrae. Kylie adapted her vocal sounds to that of the local porpoise population after being split from his group years ago. Sadly, Kylie didn’t pay us a visit this time. However, we did manage to spot a seal jumping in and out of the water around our yacht during our lunch break! 

After sailing for about 2 hours, we anchored and were brought onto shore in a small motorboat. This was one of my favourite parts of the day as we powered through the water. Waterproofs (provided onboard by Flamingo Yachts) are definitely recommended as you are certain to get wet!  

Once on shore, we walked to the Isle of Cumbrae Distillers. Easily visible along the shore-front and only a 2-minute walk from where we were ferried ashore. The Isle of Cumbrae was bustling with locals and tourists, and had many shops and visitor attractions. These are definitely worth a visit if you decide to plan your trip around the area.  

As we arrived at the Distillery, we were greeted by Philippa. She immediately prepared us a delicious Gin and Tonic in the unique Isle of Cumbrae glass. Philippa explained why this glass was perfect for a G&T as it ensures that the Gin is not overpowered by tonic. We were delighted to be gifted one of the glasses at the end of the tasting in our very own “Nostalgin” goodie-bag. Philippa then began a short talk on the history of Gin and it’s rise to success in Scotland over the years.

Crowd Funding Success

However, the story which I found the most interesting was that of the five women who founded Nostalgin; developing from an idea conceived after a night at the town hall bingo to crowdfunding a staggering £22,000 to turn their Gin into a reality. It was an empowering story and included hilarious anecdotes of challenges along the way as the women mastered the nuances of Gin distillery. Philippa let us try three different Gins and even gave us a sneak peak of their newest Gin due to be released in the Summer of 2022.

Back on the yacht, we enjoyed a delicious lunch. I was particularly impressed by the dessert selection which included all types of sweet treats. After lunch it was time to continue sailing. We sailed smoothly and managed to see the Isle of Arran and parts of Bute, before returning to the shore. It is no exaggeration to say that myself and Elliot definitely did not want this beautiful day to end. Thanks again to Flamingo Yacht Charters and the Isle of Cumbrae Distillers. 

Lunch out at sea😍

Click to see the full YouTube video of the trip👉

Clara Wilson<br>
Clara Wilson

Clara Wilson recently spent some time as part of the Ginspired Scotland team, helping us with some language translation projects.  We asked her to join one of Flamingo Yacht Charter’s new day trips to the Isle of Cumbrae, and specifically to visit Isle of Cumbrae Gin Distillery!  We hope you enjoy her blog as much as she clearly enjoyed researching it!