The Solent is the mecca of UK boating and offers beautiful beaches, quaint harbours and historic nautical towns.
It is a beautiful and relatively sheltered place to sail, but can be challenging with variable tides and busy waterways. The Solent is an ideal area to build experience with a range of fantastic destinations all within each reach.
Newtown is about nature
A National Trust Nature Reserve, and one of the Solent’s most unspoilt locations which dates back to the 1300’s when it was a busy harbour with a prosperous saltworks and oyster beds.
Most yachtmen pick up a mooring bouy or find a spot to anchor and it makes for a peaceful lunch or overnight stop in beautiful surroundings (it can get busy peak season). There is public landing on the East side of the river at Newtown Quay. From Newtown Quay you can walk across the boardwalk to the historic Newtown village and follow one of the two nature trails.
Our top tip: If you’re anchoring make sure you have enough depth for the tidal range. If you do, you might have time to walk up the river for a pint at the New Inn in Shalfleet.
Lymington oozes charm
Nestling against the stunning backdrop of the New Forest, it’s hard not to succumb to Lymington’s nautical charms with cobbled streets and a fantastic choice of restaurants and pubs for crew suppers. Out to sea, Yarmouth and the beautiful beach at Totland are both easy day sails from Lymington.
Our top tip: The Haven restaurant at Lymington Yacht Haven offers an outside terrace, beautiful Solent views and great food.
Beaulieu is about beauty
Beaulieu river, set in the heart of the New Forest, is a beautiful natural environment for just messing about on boats.
Set against the backdrop of rolling countryside it’s a great place to pick up a mooring buoy, pour a glass of wine and let the beauty of nature absorb you.
Our top tip: Book a mooring at Bucklers Hard for a drink and a bite to eat at the Master Builders Hotel (pictured).
Yarmouth is about relaxing
Yarmouth sits at the mouth of the River Yar and contains some of the oldest architecture on the Isle of Wight, making it a real gem of a fishing harbour. The town is filled with a range of quaint cafes, shops, galleries and great local pubs to enjoy a drink as you watch the sunset over the water.
Our top tip: Book a table at the nearby Hut restaurant in Colwell Bay and they’ll come and pick you up in their landrover.
Thinking of planning a boating staycation this Summer?
Chichester’s natural harbor is an area of outstanding natural beauty and a haven for boating, bird watching and walking.
The estuaries and rivers of the harbor make for boating paradise. Whether you prefer the tranquility of a mooring buoy or the bustle of a marina, Chichester harbour will accomodate you.
Our top tip: The historic village of Bosham lies at the head of Bosham Channel. There is a drying quay accessible at the top of the tide for a drink at The Anchor Bleu or pick up a deep water swinging mooring in the pretty channel.
You might also enjoy: A trip to Mupe Bay
Find out more about the health and wellness benefits of boating with journalist Libby Taylor as she took a trip to Mupe Bay……..