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The six best sailing spots on the South Coast

Destinations 21st March 2013

From Penzance to the Medway, the south coast of England offers some truly incredible sailing spots. Moving from west to east, we’ve chosen the top six options for those looking for exciting waters and beautiful scenery.


The natural deep harbour at Falmouth is the world’s third largest, making it a real hotspot among seasoned sailors. Inland, the River Fal caters for less experienced boating fanatics with a range of activities on offer. Head up the Carrick Roads for a real sailing adventure or explore the nooks and crannies of the harbour to your heart’s content. Falmouth town is packed with fantastic places to eat and drink, so don’t forget to sample some delicious Cornish fare while you’re there.


Well, if it’s good enough for the Olympics, it’s good enough for us! The Royal Yachting Association itself claims that Weymouth offers the best sailing waters in northern Europe. Cutting through the water at top speed with the dramatic Jurassic Coastline as your backdrop makes for a pretty exhilarating experience. Make sure you pack the camera!


The sailing scene in Poole is infectious. It seems everyone’s just itching to get on the water and the enthusiasm in the air is tangible. The beaches are amazing so you can enjoy yourself on and off the water and there’s a dedicated watersports area if you’re keen to try your hand at other pursuits. The shallow waters in Poole Harbour offer the idea environment for those who are finding their sea legs and the town of Poole itself is a hive of activity with plenty of bars, restaurants and pubs to relax in after a long day on the water.


Home to one of the best UK boat shows, Southampton is considered a central point for the marine industry. Southampton Water is rarely quiet: it’s almost always teeming with crafts of all shapes and sizes. Head inland on the River Hamble to check out the energetic community of houseboats and watch the boating world go by. By night, Southampton is alive with likeminded water enthusiasts if you head to the right places. Head to the city during the Boat Show in September and you’re guaranteed a rip roaring night on the town as well as plenty of fun on the water.


Home to the Royal Navy, history and sailing fans will have a whale of a time exploring everything that Portsmouth has to offer. The Solent offers up some exciting sailing challenges, which is probably why seafarers from all over the world flock to Portsmouth to test their skills. The area gets particularly busy when Cowes Week kicks off, transforming the area to a battleground on which 1000s of craft compete to win trophies.


If you like your sailing with a side of contemporary chic, Brighton is the hub for you. Cities don’t come much more cosmopolitan, and the well-equipped marina is the UK’s largest. The waves can get pretty fierce around Brighton so if you like a bit of white water, you’ll enjoy the challenge. Drying off, there’s loads to explore in Brighton including the exquisite Royal Pavilion, eclectic shopping in The Lanes and the activity-crammed Pier.

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