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Bembridge: A sailor’s guide

Bembridge, on the Isle of Wight, offers stunning beaches and an array of things to do on and around the water. Whether a quick lunch stop or staying for a couple of days, it’s one of our favourite trips.


Where is Bembridge?

Bembridge is on the far east tip of the Isle of Wight. It’s worth travelling to this island extremity for a delicious taste of village – and maritime –  life.



What’s Bembridge like?

Bembridge is a charming, bustling village with plenty to do on and around the water. The marina is where seasoned Solent sailors and boat owners hang out for long weekends (often centering around the convivial outdoor marina bar!).

The busy harbour is home to a range of houseboats, fishing boats and a cafe where you can taste some of the freshest crab around. When the tide is in, the harbour will be busy with local pleasure boats and dinghies racing from the two local clubs. It’s a spectacular sight on a Summers day….

If you have time, it’s worth catching the water taxi from the marina to the Bembridge side and strolling down Ducie Beach to the iconic RNLI lifeboat station, with its spectacular architecture rising out of the Solent. The station is often open to the public for visits. Keep walking and you’ll find Bembridge ledge which, when the tide is right, offers amazing rockpooling, swimming and snorkelling.

The harbour itself is a site of special scientific interest and home to an RSPB site at Brading Marshes where you can spot buzzards, egrets and marsh harriers. Just a short 5 minute walk from the marina, you can enjoy St Helen’s beach and at low tide it’s a short walk round to the beautiful sands of Priory Bay and beyond to Seaview.

We usually stop for a spot of lunch at The Best Dressed Crab. Located on a renovated barge in the harbour, and with a fresh local catch landed each day, this restaurant is one of our favourite Solent lunch stops.

Look out for the Pure Latitude annual Bembridge Crab Run.

View our social sailing events on our calendar.



How to sail from Hamble to Bembridge

Bembridge is a tidal harbour with restricted access so you need to plan your trip. As a rule of thumb, yachts that draw 1.5m+ can access the harbour  +/- 1.5hrs either side of HW. The channel to enter Bembridge is well-marked, and whilst dredged, the depths can change as the sandbanks shift. Plan with caution and always avoid needing to enter or exit the harbour with the tide falling quickly.

If only visiting for a lunch stop, a spring tide is ideal to benefit from the East going flood in the morning and the West running ebb in the afternoon. Visiting on a spring tide also ensures you’ll be close to the high water stand as you approach and depart Bembridge either side of lunch.

A prevailing south westerly wind often makes for a fast morning reach to Bembridge, although depending on the exact wind direction the homeward leg may be upwind. Always navigate with particular care on the approaches to Bembridge.


When should you make the trip?

Bembridge is best visited in the main boating season March-October, but the sheltered harbour and good shoreside facilities also make it an excellent year round destination. Visiting out of season means less crowds and you’ll often have the beaches, like Ducie pictured below, to yourself when walking!



How to moor at Bembridge

Short stay moorings are available at Duver marina in the harbour, which is just a 20 minute walk from the crab cafe across the old stone causeway.

Duver Marina is dredged to a depth of 2m MLWS with finger berths along both sides of the main pontoon spine. You can book a berth online.

A water taxi service also operates all year, with a reduced service in winter.



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