Inspiration to explore the UK’s inland waterways…

Neptune's Staircase lock on the Caledonian Canal

Neptune's Staircase lock on the Caledonian Canal - Credit: Getty Images

This video clip, sponsored by leading boat insurance specialists Haven Knox-Johnston and created by award winning documentary filmmaker John Boyle, features footage from The Great Motorboat Tour in which John undertook a circumnavigation of the British Isles in his motorboat ‘Shark Bay’. It covers the journey from Lossiemouth into the Caledonian Canal and the journey through Scotland’s most spectacular scenery to the West Coast. This particular stretch of canal is definitely a fantastic inspiration for all inland boat owners.

Haven Knox-Johnston

Haven Knox-Johnston - Credit: Archant

The Caledonian Canal is Scotland’s great short cut - 21 miles of canal linking with 38 miles of lochs to provide a route from East Scotland and the North Sea through to West Scotland and the Irish Sea. A third of the entire length is man-made, the rest being formed by Loch Dochfour, Loch Ness, Loch Oich, and Loch Lochy.

It’s a route John and Fionn had contemplated should rough weather have prevented them negotiating the notoriously difficult conditions around the north coast. But this is a scenic detour - and provides unexpected vistas of snowy peaks and a very different landscape.

The footage shows the team battling early engine problems and their quick thinking to get the issues resolved; the laid back attitudes of canal residents and also local landmarks including the Urquhart Castle, a popular tourist sight attracting hundreds of visitors a day. John and Fionn make sure to visit the Harbour Lights Café, which is rumoured to have the best fried breakfast in Lossiemouth!

John Boyle comments on the difference between busy ocean boating to slower canal ways: “The Caledonian Canal - we are in the first lock and a long way to go. But there’s a real buzz just entering it - it’s one of those things you hear about so much and we are here! I’m just looking forward to it. It’s bizarre isn’t it, we have been out in this wild hectic ocean for a couple of weeks and then suddenly we are in this calm, tranquil canal environment where everything happens at 4 or 5 knots, the lock gates don’t open until 9:30am and close at 4:30pm. Beautiful, a completely different pace of life, it’s going to be a fun…”

Haven Knox-Johnston believe that not only boat owners will enjoy this great ‘boat’s eye’ view of the canal’s tranquil beauty - from Inverness to Fort Augustus, across fabled Loch Ness taking in sunshine, snow-capped peaks and ruined castles, but also those who wish to see the sights and sounds of one of Scotland’s most prized and celebrated canal ways.

For more information on the Great Motorboat Tour, a 32 clip series following John Boyle circumnavigating British waterways visit …all great inspiration for boat owners to explore further afield.

If you would like to find out more about Haven Knox-Johnston, the boat insurance people who share your passion… visit our website and read about the boat types we cover and why our team provide one of the UK’s leading boat insurance services.

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