Britain’s wealth of quaint coastal towns and ruggedly beautiful coastline means that sailing around Britain is never boring, whether it’s your first circumnavigation of Britain or your fifth. The route you take will largely be decided by the anchorages you choose and the towns you want to visit on the way. The waters of the Solent, with Southampton at its northernmost reaches, Portsmouth Harbour on its shores and sheltered by the Isle of Wight, are a good starting pointing. From there, the prevailing South Westerly will probably dictate that you head in an anti-clockwise direction towards Edinburgh, instead of first visiting the dramatic west coast of Scotland.
The Solent is prime sailing territory in Britain, due to its sheltered position between the South coast and the Isle of Wight and complex tidal pattern. I It also hosts to the popular Cowes Week sailing race. The coastal area is of particular interest to naturalists and the estuary has been declared a conversation zone owing to its rich fauna and flora. The Solent is also one of the most popular places from which to learn to sail yachts in Britain.
All the way up north, the Hebrides arguable possess the most evocative and breathtaking coastlines in Great Britain, and offer endless opportunities for coastal sailing and exploration owing to the dozens of islands that are scattered across Scotland’s western waters. The only drawback is that the weather is harsh and the waters can become extremely dangerous. The islands support small populations of local people, and so the villages preserve old Celtic traditions. They also support populations of puffins, seals and otters and you are bound to see dolphins while on the water.
Tinker’s Hole off the isle of Mull has been voted as one of Britain’s best anchorages. It offers all-round shelter to yachts and magnificent views, sandy beaches and a cave that can be explored by dingy.
Northumbria in North East England offers some great sailing and interesting anchorages. Holy island provides a peaceful haven to escape to while sailing around Britain. It boasts an attractive and historic village called Lindisfarne and an imposing castle that sits above the cliff faces. The Farne islands off the Northumbrian coast are home to the largest populations of many coastal species in Britain, including grey seals and puffins and are the ideal location for animal and bird lovers. There are two good anchorages around the islands called Pinnacle Haven and the Kettle. The islands also boast an interesting cultural history.
Sailing around Britain allows intrepid explorers the opportunity to escape from city life and explore places that are completely off the beaten track and is also a perfect way to see the best of Britain.