The Solent is one of the best destinations for a sailing holiday in the UK, and it is the perfect destination if you are looking for a UK ‘staycation’ holiday, closer to home! A Solent yacht charter holiday is simply the best way to explore the unique and beautiful area between the Isle of Wight and the UK mainland’s south coast, taking in highlights including Cowes, the Needles, the New Forest National Park, Studland Bay and Poole harbour. Avoid all the crowds and hassle of airports this summer but enjoy all of the same sailing, sunshine and scenery as if you were in the Med!
Chartering a yacht in the Solent is perfect for families and beginners as the Solent is a well-protected, sheltered and safe stretch of water. For those looking for more of a challenge, the Solent is also a fantastic starting point for longer trips towards Dorset and Devon, or even across the channel to France too.
This itinerary is intended as a suggestion for a 5-day trip, sailing between the Solent’s highlights, but we can also offer shorter weekend Solent charters, as well as 7, 10 or 14-day yacht charters (or longer!) starting from either Portsmouth, Lymington, Southampton or the Hamble river. Get in touch to start planning your UK yacht charter with a tailor-made quote from The Big Sail. We'll include a Skipper if you need one plus we’ll help create a bespoke sailing itinerary for your group.SAMPLE ITINERARY
Arrival & check-in, Portsmouth and Lymington
Start your sailing adventure by departing from Portsmouth and sail through the Solent towards Lymington, a picturesque coastal town in Hampshire, situated within the New Forest National Park. This route allows you to drop anchor for lunch in the iconic Osbourne Bay, just off the Isle of Wight. This lush bay is overlooked by Osbourne House which was once Queen Victoria’s house on the island. Once you arrive in Lymington later in the afternoon, you will find a beautiful market town teeming with shops, pubs and restaurants scattered amongst colourful brick houses and cobbled streets.
Depart Lymington and sail past the iconic ‘Needles’, through the Needles Channel and set a course for Studland Bay, which is just outside Poole harbour. As the UK’s first ‘super nature reserve’, Studland Bay is a beautiful sheltered bay – perfect for a swim or paddleboarding, or you can head to shore for an afternoon hike or just some relaxation on the beach. It is then just a short, relaxing sail into Poole harbour and to the town quay in Poole itself, where you will spend the night. Known as a protected harbour with flat water conditions, Poole harbour is a great spot for some water-based daytime activities including waterskiing, paddleboarding and kayaking. Retire for the evening to one of the great pubs or seafood restaurants along the waterfront or hidden down one of Poole’s many side streets.
Yarmouth, Isle of Wight
Now it’s time to head east, back towards the Solent and explore the small port town of Yarmouth, named so for its location at the mouth of the River Yar on the Isle of Wight. If the conditions are good, anchor in the beautiful Alum Bay for some lunch with a view of The Needles, before you continue your sail to Yarmouth. The harbour is always bustling with ferries and smaller boats coming and going, and Yarmouth itself offers a variety of things to do for visitors. Take time to explore the town, including visiting Yarmouth castle, sampling food from local bakeries and cafes, and walking along the Grade 2 listed pier, which boasts views across The Solent. Like all good English coastal towns, you’ll find plenty of pubs in Yarmouth to keep you busy in the evening!
From Yarmouth, enjoy a short sail to the yachting capital of the UK – Cowes. As it is only a short sail from Yarmouth to Cowes, you can stop off at Newtown creek or Beaulieu River on the way (if the tide is right!). Cowes is internationally famous for it’s sailing scene and is home to 6 yacht clubs as well as several sailing clothing retailers, independent gift shops and many cafes and pubs too. If you’re looking for a seaside souvenir, a pair of deck shoes, artisan sourdough, or some local produce from the Isle of Wight then head to the high street! You also won’t be short of options for dinner with several good pubs and restaurants serving Cowes – you’ll soon see why visitors keep coming back to this charming island town!
Solent and Return to Portsmouth
This is your last chance to enjoy being onboard! Spend the day cruising around the Solent, head up towards Southampton or the Hamble river, or if you are feeling ambitious – set off early and take a day trip to Chichester Harbour to the east of Portsmouth, and then head back to the marina at the end of the day.
Check out is typically 5pm Friday evening, but extensions into the weekend can be arranged, as can 7, 10 or 14-day charters if you are looking for a longer trip!
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- Choose any destination worldwide.
- Yachts available to meet every budget, and any group size.
- No experience required – we’ll provide a skipper if you don’t have sailing certification.
- We’ll create a tailor-made itinerary for your group including restaurant recommendations and anchorage tips.