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United Kingdom

United Kingdom (UK) Yacht Charter & Sailing Holiday

Proud nautical heritage

The UK is a region with a long, proud maritime history, with England’s south coast home to dozens of port towns with rich nautical heritage. In the English Channel, strong winds and a large tidal range provide an exciting challenge for even the most experienced sailors.

The windswept waters of the Solent allow access to the Isle of Wight, where you’ll find fine beaches, the famous Needles rock formation, the Cowes Week regatta, and a pace of life that recalls the golden age of British seaside towns. Busy towns, quiet villages, popular race meets, and the ever-changing nature of the sea mean that a sailing vacation on England’s South Coast always has something new to offer.

United Kingdom

Portsmouth

  • Strong winds, excellent sailing conditions
  • Isle of Wight and France's northern coast
  • Experience Portsmouth's long naval history

Our charter types

Choose from bareboat yacht charters or skippered charter holidays in Portsmouth and you’ll enjoy windswept waters perfect for adventurous, experienced sailors.

Portsmouth bareboat charter holidays

Charter a Match First 40 monohull and tackle the choppy waters of the Solent. On a bareboat charter holiday, you can enjoy executing tricky tacks and gybes in the strong winds of the Solent or point your bow to the horizon and sail on to adventure. With France, the Isle of Wight, and England’s sleepy south coast all within reach from our base in Port Solent, a bareboat charter holiday is your opportunity to create a bespoke sailing getaway in one of the world’s most celebrated nautical regions.

Portsmouth sailing school

Visit the Portsmouth sailing school and learn to sail in the company of expert, Royal Yachting Association (RYA) accredited instructors, earning the qualifications you need to sail on your own along the way. From complete beginners to more advanced sailors, we offer a range of courses out on the Solent to suit all experience levels and abilities.

Portsmouth skippered yacht charter

Charter a skippered yacht from our base in Port Solent and set sail for the English Channel. A skippered charter holiday is your opportunity to improve your sailing skills and get to know England’s south coast thanks to expert recommendations from your local skipper. Let your skipper take the helm and kick back on deck, or go hands-on and build your confidence in this renowned sailing area. On a skippered charter holiday, it’s entirely up to you.

Where is the best place to sail from The UK?

There are many beautiful locations for sailing in the UK, from England’s Jurassic Coast to Isles of Scilly or the Outer Hebrides. The bustling Port Solent, Portsmouth, is home to our Sunsail base (provided by our partners Prometheus) and is the perfect place to start if you choose to sail the Jurassic Coast or down to the Cornish Coast and Isles of Scilly. If you choose to travel the South West Coast, we have summarised our must-see stops, depending on what type of charter you plan.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

For Families

The New Forest, nestled between Portsmouth and Bournemouth, is the perfect family day out – expect horses and horse riding, long walks and stunning woodlands. Or, If your kids are dinosaur fans, or simply love to explore rocky coves and tide pools, the South Coast of England is the perfect location for you, especially the following UK beaches: 

  • Weymouth, 
  • Lyme Regis,
  • Lulworth Cove, 
  • Charmouth, 
  • Isle Of Wight: Newtown, Bembridge, Compton and Yaverland beaches.

For Sandy Beaches – ideal for making sandcastles – we recommend either Bournemouth, or travelling down to the Cornish coast.

South of England’s Jurassic Coast, is the beautiful Gyllyngvase (or Gylly) beach; A bustling golden beach, with restaurants, botanical walks on its doorstep and Falmouth Town only a short walk away nearby. Or on the North coast of Cornwall, you can find the beautiful town of Newquay – home to Fistral beach and Watergate Bay – which are stunning gold-sand beaches with an incredible surfing scene – perfect for beginner lessons or boogie-boarding (just stay within the lifeguard zones!). South of Newquay is the famous St.Ives. This village is absolutely stunning and has no shortage of family-friendly activities. 

From Porthmeor Beach (home to The Tate St.Ives, surfing companies and many epic eateries) this UK beach runs almost parallel to St. Ives Harbour – with the thin piece of land running between them. St.Ives is also home to Porthgwidden Beach, which is a smaller, cove-like beach and firm family favourite and Porthminster Beach. Porthminster Beach is large and is very easily accessible by train (and a very picturesque train line it is).

For Couples

Travel up the Exmouth Canal for a unique view of Exeter City offers stunning architecture, beautiful restaurants and lovely walks along the harbourside (you can even hire paddle boards and kayaks from here too). From here you also have easy-access to Dartmoor, for couples looking to get outdoors and go hiking. 

The Cornish Coast has ample Harbour Sides that radiate romance – especially at night. So if you enjoy quaint fishing villages, outdoor dining,  and evening walks along the harbour, as the town’s lights play across the water, these are the best spots for you: 

  • Plymouth Harbour (this is a great choice for those looking for a bigger port, with both a University and Naval Academy based here, Plymouth Harbour is Buzzing with life and may not be the right choice for anyone wanting a more peaceful stop.)
  • Salcombe
  • Looe
  • Penzance and Mousehole
  • St. Ives
  • Padstow
  • Bude

For First-Time Sailors

If you are a novice sailor or want your first sailing experience to be in the UK, we would recommend looking at our Sailing School which is based in Port Solent. We recommend being an advanced and confident sailor before setting out on your own from Portsmouth (you must be a level 3 qualified to sail with us from Portsmouth) or, alternatively, you can hire a skipper.

For Large Groups

There are a lot of great coastal towns and cities for large groups – such as hen and stag do’s, birthday groups and family getaways. Below are our top recommendations for the best locations for nightlife, eateries and daytime activities that will accommodate larger groups:

  • Southampton (also, a great spot for a shopping trip! Visit West Quay shopping centre)
  • Bournemouth 
  • Plymouth
What are the best things to do in The UK?

The UK has a wealth of History and landscapes to explore, below we have summarised some of the best places for things to do in the UK: from Large town & City Escapes, Rural Charm and Relaxation, Exploration, as well as Dining and Nightlife.

City Days 

London will always have our hearts, it is easily accessible from most locations across the UK and has a wealth of history. You will never struggle to find something to do in London – from Museums and Art Galleries, to Historical Tours or Open-Top Buses, Michelin-Star dining or Street Food, Street performers in Covent garden or a West-End Production, there is always something to fit your mood. From London it is also easy to do day trips to other, quaint cities such as Oxford, Cambridge, Canterbury and Reading. But what about other gems across the UK? Below are our top picks. 

Top 5 Cities Near The Coast:

  • Newcastle
  • Edinburgh
  • Liverpool 
  • Bristol 
  • Bournemouth

Top Cities further in-land: 

  • Bath
  • Norwich 
  • Leeds 
  • York 
  • Manchester 

Outdoor Exploring

Best places for Hiking, expect multiple trail options for differing abilities, some high peaks, the odd waterfall and plenty of lush green hills: 

  • The New Forest (this is the most beginner and family-friendly hiking spot)
  • Dartmoor National Park 
  • Exmoor National Park 
  • Peak District 
  • Lake District 
  • Eyri National Park (Wales)
  • The Lochs – Loch Ness, Loch Lomond & Glencoe (Scotland)

Eating and Drinking

For Seafood: 

  • Tynemouth and North Shields (North East)
  • Whitstable and Folkestone (South East) 
  • Padstow (South West)

For a Vegan and Veggie paradise:

  • London 
  • Brighton
  • Manchester 

History and Culture

Below are our top picks for castles, historical architecture, history tours and the perfect blend of the past and present.

  • London
  • Canterbury 
  • Edinburgh 
  • Cambridge 
  • Oxford 
  • Bath
  • York 
  • Durham

For Nautical Heritage: 

  • London (HMS Belfast tours and National Maritime Museum especially)
  • Portsmouth
  • Irvine (Scottish Maritime Museum)
  • Liverpool (Merseyside Maritime Museum)
  • Hull 
  • Glasgow
When is the best time to visit The UK?

If you’re planning to sail around the UK, the best time to visit (in our opinion) is during the Summer (June-September), as this is when the temperatures are warm and the tides are calmer. 

However, April, May and October can all be quite lovely too – if you don’t mind the risk of rain and slightly colder days!

UK beaches are  stunning on a warm, breezy day but some can get very popular and busy on particularly warm days, so we recommend considering this before planning your days.

What are the sailing conditions in The UK like?

The Sailing Conditions in the UK are turbulent, windswept and are quite dependent on the area you sail from. 
From our base in Portsmouth, we require sailors to be Level 3 certified to do a Flotilla or Bareboat Charter, or you can Hire a Skipper.

How much does it cost to charter a yacht from The UK?

This depends on the time of year, length of your charter and type of holiday you’re after: our Sailing Schools, Flotilla Charters and Bareboat options all vary in price. 
We recommend you Speak to Prometheus on learn@prometheus-sailing.co.uk or call 02394 350 505 to make a booking (Monday to Friday 9.00 – 17:30).

How much are the mooring fees in The UK?

The cost of mooring will depend on where you decide to stop: each harbour or marina has its own policies – some charge for day passes, others are hourly and both will depend on the yacht size you choose. Speak with our holiday planners to get more information on this before you set sail.

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