Most weekends see the Solent hosting numerous closely contested races. Visit Cowes, voyage up the river Hamble, and sail on Southampton water. Other popular cruising grounds of the UK not to be forgotten are the west coast of Scotland, South West England, and the Pembrokeshire coast. Eat delicious local fare at waterside pubs as you sail down the famous waters of Solent.

Sailing conditions

With sheltered waters numerous marinas, creeks and bays to explore the UK coastline offers a huge variety of cruising grounds. With regards to the weather, well what can we say, Britain is certainly not famed for it’s year round sunshine, but keep your fingers crossed and you could be well rewarded. The Solent experiences what is known as a “double high tide” where the high water marker plateaus for approx 1 hour before then continuing to rise further for another hour before ebbing.

Getting there

The Solent is on the South coast of England and is accessible from either Portsmouth or Southampton. Coaches run from London Heathrow airport to both, and trains run to both from London Gatwick.

Ferries to the Isle of Wight operate out of Lymington, Southampton and Portsmouth, with hovercrafts from Portsmouth. The fast passenger service takes approx 20 mins whilst the slower car ferry takes approx 1hr.

Area map

Itinerary

Day 1: Southampton inland on the River Hamble to Bursledon – visit the famous Jolly Sailor pub.

Day 2: Bursledon to Lymington
Enjoy the unique double tides of Lymington. This is a bustling town full of cute boutiques and restuarants. Cool down in the historic seawater baths and watch the world sail. Rent a bike and explore New Forest, England’s smallest National Park, keeping an eye out for the ponies which roam wild over the grounds.

Day 3: Lyminton to Cowes
Cowes and neighbouring East Cowes grew from a cluster of fishermen’s dwellings around the two coastal forts built here by Henry VIII on the opposite banks of the River Medina, and were named after the two off-shore sandbanks or cows.

Day 4: Inland from Cowes on the Medina River to Newport and back to Cowes
The Medina Rivers flows the four miles between Cowes and Newport, offering welcome respite from the challenging sailing of Solent. Located at the heart of the Isle of Wight, Newport Harbour is a great place to explore the island from, See Carisbrooke Castle, where King Charles I was imprisoned.

Day 5: Cowes to Bembridge
Located on the eastern point of the Isle of Wright, Bembridge is home to the only remaining windmill on the island. Consider purchasing some local crafts or tasting the freshly caught seafood.

Day 6: Bembridge to Chichester
Chichester is a cathedral city in West Sussex. The city hosts an annual four week arts and music festival held in June and July.

Day 7: Chichester to Southampton

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