Imagine a whole week sailing on the UK's beautiful South Coast, in a modern well prepared yacht. And someone else does all the boat maintenance and management for you. All you have to do is book in, turn up and complete the handover. Then the boat is yours for you and your family or friends for the week to explore.
There’s plenty of places to sail to in the Solent that can easily to fill seven days or more. However, with a seven day trip it means you can get further afield without feeling rushed. Sailing to Poole Harbour, Studland Bay or a trip into Swanage Bay becomes very doable. It allows time to stay around the Poole area too.
You'll complete a thorough yacht hand over with the base team and get settled in on your Sunsail 41.0 yacht.
Eat locally at Port Solent where there is a great range of bars and restaurants.
Or you can set sail and head to one of the local Portsmouth Marina's so you are ready for a prompt get away into the Solent in the morning.
14nm - approx 3 hours sailing
We suggest a gentle first day sail while you get used to your boat – after all, you’re on holiday! So – how about a trip to Cowes Harbour with its yachty environment, sailors pubs and excellent choice of restaurants?
Perhaps a stop in Osbourne Bay for lunch and a swim on the way.
A good shake down, while you get familiar with the yacht. With the added opportunity to pick up any missing supplies for the next couple of days or enjoy some holiday shopping.
10 nm - approx 2 hours sailing
Set sail up the Western Solent. No need to rush – there’s plenty of time to enjoy the scenery and perhaps stop for lunch at Newtown Creek. When you’re ready, head in to the busy town of Lymington. You can berth in the large Lymington Yacht Haven or Berthon Marina, which are in easy reach of the town.
Or choose the well-maintained Town Quay, where you'll in the heart of Lymington itself and watch the world go by. It’s a great place to practice a bit of pilotage as you negotiate the Isle of Wight ferry and the fleets of colourful sailing dinghies racing in the river.
24 nm - approx 4 hours sailing
You may need an early start to catch favourable tides through the Needles Channel. Lymington always provides a stunning sunrise and views of the Solent. And you can’t help feeling a lift of excitement as you pass the Needles and head out into the open water across to Poole.
Look out fors dolphins as you sail down to Poole, entering the stunning natural harbour by the narrow Sandbanks Channel. Poole Quay Marina is in the heart of the Old Town, with Georgian houses. Don't miss the local Poole Museum, and explore the towns local history based in four different but connected buildings.
Sailing - optional
It’s worth spending a day exploring Poole because there's something for everyone to do. There are beaches and nature trails to explore> Or even try out some kitesurfing and other water sports in the shelter of the harbour when the wind is at its calmest. It gives you the best learning conditions!
The shallow draft of your Sunsail 41.0 means you can explore some of Poole Harbour under sail. In the evening take advantage of the local restaurants and nightlife or stroll through the old town.
Another great option is picking up a mooring off Studland for swimming and snorkelling. Be alert to the anchoring requirements and restricted zones in Studland Bay. There are major efforts to protect the rare seagrass and seabed from anchor damage. A mooring buoy is the best option.
21nm - approx 3.5 hours sailing
With luck you'll have a nice South Westerly breeze across Christchurch Bay to the beautiful seaside town of Yarmouth. The busy harbour bustles with ferries and the lifeboat.
Many sailors stop here before leaving for France or further afield and it is often the first port of call on return. The cheerful Yarmouth Harbour staff are on hand in their boats to guide you into the right berth.
Once in, the tiny town has several excellent bars and restaurants and is a great place to start a walk round some of the Isle of Wight’s most beautiful coastline. Or follow the old railway line beside the River and walk across the Freshwater Bay.
Sunrise and Sunset always seem to sparkle more brightly here and it’s worth getting up in the dawn to enjoy the morning.
11nm - approx 2 hours sailing
A short sail takes you across to the stunning Beaulieu River. As you approach the river from the Solent the yachts appear to sail on land as they glide up the protected waters behind the spit of land that shelters the entrance to the river.
The Beaulieu Motor Museum is nearby and it is a wonderful place to enjoy a walk in the peace of the New Forest.
20nm - approx 4 hours sailing
Time to think about returning to Portsmouth. Remember to check the sailors guide to entering Portsmouth Harbour to avoid any ships and ferry traffic.
It’s a satisfying sail back from Beaulieu. Crossing the busy shipping zone at the entrance to Southampton Water and negotiating the notoriously shallow Bramble Bank is a real achievement.
It gives your whole crew a chance to reflect on their experiences and how much more confident and knowledgeable they feel by the end of a week.
Then, as you sail back up the river to Port Solent you will realise that you’ve truly had an amazing adventure.