What makes a good sailing destination? Nice scenery, decent attractions and of course, good food.
These top South Coast sailing destinations have plenty to offer the avid sailor, like well-known historical landmarks and picturesque seaside towns.
Top Sailing Spots Around The South Coast of England
Brighton Marina is the largest marina in the UK, so there is an abundance of space for you to store your boat whilst you explore this vibrant city. The marina also offers you the opportunity to hire diving equipment, which you can take out on your boat and explore the marine life. This includes jellyfish, starfish, and there have also been rare reported sightings of dolphins.
After all that marine life sightseeing, it may get you feeling somewhat peckish. You are in luck, as the Brighton Marina has recently been redeveloped with the addition of 7 new restaurants, from Tapas to fast food, there will most definitely be something here to cater to everyone’s palate.
A 15-minute bus ride will have you in central Brighton, here you will be met with a wealth of shops and restaurants. Brighton is also famous for its cobbled highstreets known as The Laines, which boast an eclectic range of independent shops and great food restaurants. A new addition to Brighton is the i360, the world’s tallest moving observation tower. The food, music and art scene is huge here and with so much to discover, you will not be bored.
As well as having numerous mooring opportunities for small sailing boats, Portsmouth is home to much larger, iconic and historical boats such as The Mary Rose and the HMS Victory. Thanks to extensive conservation programmes, visitors can take a step back in time and tour these boats. Nearby there is a selection of Royal Navy museums, and with Portsmouth being the birthplace of Charles Dickens, further inland is the Charles Dickens’ Museum with exhibitions of his stories.
Portsmouth also does not fall short of great places to eat and shop. As next to the harbour, there is Gunwharf Quays with plenty of outlets and restaurants to go before setting sail again. If you are more of a thrill seeker, Portsmouth is the place to be. Being the only island city in the UK, means that the city is surrounded by water, giving ample opportunity for all things watersports. From powerboating to 13 meter climbing walls, Portsmouth Watersports Centre has great experiences for those wanting an active visit.
These beautiful islands are located just off the French coast in the English Channel. Being so close to France means that French and British culture have been wonderfully merged together – making this a one of a kind place to be. Sailing between the islands, Guernsey, Jersey and Alderney, are short relaxing sails with enough challenges for active and adventurous sailors.
If you have the correct technical clothing and gear, you could explore the diverse marine life the Channel Islands have to offer from one of the many sheltered spots around the coast. Known as the gentle giants, Basking Sharks are popular around the Channel Islands, as well as a diverse coral reef due to the influence of warmer water from the Gulf Stream.
There isn’t a specific place in Cornwall that you should sail to, as the whole place has fantastic mooring opportunities and things to do. In terms of sailing locations, Cornwall is a haven for keen sailors. Discover the stunning Isles of Scilly, explore famous smugglers coves or grab a surfboard and join the vibrant surfing scene. Cornwall has a huge nautical history, with some events being incorporated into popular TV shows like Hornblower and Poldark.
On land, there is plenty to see and do. The beautiful seaside town of Falmouth boasts a large harbour, popular attractions like Pendennis castle, as well as the array of independent shops and eateries on Falmouth High Street. If you are sticking to the water, Cornwall is known to be a good dolphin spotting location. Other common visitors are the Basking Sharks and Blue Sharks. There have been sightings of Porbeagle Sharks too, however this is extremely rare.
Sailing around the South Coast has never been more exciting, with all of these seaside destinations boasting fantastic attractions and good food, you may find yourself spoilt for choice.
Each one of these destinations have unique offerings, perfect for keen sailors and those with a thirst for adventure.