I’ve been staring at the edge of the water, as long as I can remember, never really knowing why. I love the water; the Scottish coast, the inland lochs, the flowing rivers and the deep canals. I love the life the water holds. If you follow The Aye Life on social media, you’ll probably already know that. I’m drawn to water like a coo to the trough. The Highland Lassie boat hotel could have been a basic dinghy, and I’d have been in seventh heaven. But no, Highland Lassie was so, so much more than that. She was truly special.
Highland Lassie Floating Hotel
We have walked past Highland Lassie on the Caledonian Canal lots of over the years. She’d always been covered up. We had no idea what she was to become. We even joked about how wonderful it would be to live aboard her. Little did we know, that we would get a taste of life aboard. All my watery dreams were coming true.
Owners Gaby and Gus have breathed life into rust with a story. And that was no mean feat. Highland Lassie has had several identities over the years but has always remained a proud water beauty at the core. Born in the 80’s, she was once a great fishing boat, who fished some of the roughest seas in the Outer Hebrides. We sat comfortably in the saloon whilst Gaby’s love for her flowed through us and out onto the decks.Highland Lassie usually cruises the Scottish Islands. Due to the pandemic, she has again, formed a new identity; a unique floating hotel, and the Oakwood Restaurant. I’m not too worried about Highland Lassie, Gaby or Gus. They are made of resilient stuff.
Whatever floats your boat
We enjoyed a marvellous platter from Hampers and Champers Inverness in the Wheelhouse. Alongside some bubbles, because it would be rude not to. We had fresh langoustines from our friends at Amity Fish Co and sumptuous cheeses before retiring to our cabin.The cabin was sympathetic, spacious and comfortable. There were pretty Scottish touches but it was very much about inviting the outdoors in. It’s door opened directly onto the upper deck so we felt like we were aboard our very own vessel. It was a windy evening and we barely felt the boat move, but when she did, it felt like she was gently rocking us. She felt loving. We even opened the door to our cabin and lay in bed listening to the wind outside. It was truly special.The next morning, I woke up at 5am and walked out onto the deck. It was just light enough to spot the ripples on the canal and just early enough that the birds were still in their slumber. That moment was mine, and it was magical.
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