UK Yacht Charter Planning and Destination Guide
United Kingdom Yacht Charter Guide and Destinations
The United Kingdom consists of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and is located just off the Northwestern coast of continental Europe. Surrounded by four different bodies of water; the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, the English Channel and the Irish Sea, chartering in the UK can offer some of the most incredible sailing in the world!
The UK, being an island nation, has a long tradition and history with the sea - it's culture is inextricably tied to it. Yacht chartering allows you to explore not just the coastline, but also the essence of being British (as well as a few pubs along the way). The most famous charter destinations are the Solent/South Coast, which provides access to the Isle of Wight, or for the more adventurous the Normandy Coast of France, just 20 miles away at its nearest point. Other popular areas are the Isles of Scilly, the East Coast of England, the Channel Islands, and the wild West Coast of Scotland.
The United Kingdom is just under 1,000 km from top to bottom and approximately 480km from east to west and with nearly 12,500 km of coastline to explore, spanning from the northernmost point of Dunnet Head in Scotland to Lizard Point on the beautiful Cornish Coast. Whether you wish to experience the thrill of sailing in the Solent during Cowes Week amongst some of the most spectacular sailing vessels in the world, quietly prefer to explore the delights of the rugged East Coast or feel like a going and discovering the delightful Isles of Orkney, the UK really does have it all!
From the sunny south of the Scilly Islands to the coast of Scotland, the United Kingdom marinas offer shelter from some of the most extreme weather conditions and also allow first-time charterers a glimpse into the ever seductive sailing way of life.
Whether it is relaxing with a cold beer after one of the numerous regattas that take place – observing or participating – or indulging in some Great British Cuisine after a long day on the water, the marinas and ports throughout the UK offer superb facilities as well as a gateway to some of the best sailing on offer to you anywhere in the world! We can help you in locating the perfect charter location for you in the British Isles and ensuring that you make the most of your sailing experience.
What better way to discover this incredible landscape than on a sailboat charter available in a wide variety of destinations throughout the UK? Bareboat charters are very popular in destinations where a local guide can be extremely beneficial in finding the best moorings, anchorages and places of interest.
The UK has some of the most famous and diverse sailing grounds in the world, from the Solent in the South to the wild coastline up in the North and West of Scotland, with pretty much everything in between! Choosing where to charter may simply be a question of convenience, or you might decide your point of departure in order to take part in any one of the numerous events which happen on the UK coastline. Whether or not you seek the swirling tides of the Channel, the deep dark of the North Sea or the truly otherworldly feeling of sailing in Atlantic waters in the West Coast of Scotland, the UK can offer the perfect location and sailing ground to suit your needs.
The South Coast of England
Apart from the hallowed sailing ground of the Solent and the Isle of Wight, the South Coast of England provides some beautiful sailing areas and ideal departure points to France, the South of Wales and the South of Ireland as well as perfect conditions for day and weekend sailing. Whether you’re looking for an alternative destination for a corporate charter or a weekend away from it all, the South Coast boasts some of the most stunning destinations in the UK such as Gosport, Torquay and Newquay, the glorious Cornish Coast stretching to Plymouth and the Atlantic Ocean that waits beyond. The stunning South Coast of England should be a must on any charter vacation.
The Solent is a stretch of water which separates the Isle of White from the mainland and is one of the most important centres for sailing in the UK, home to the Hamble, Southampton and Portsmouth marinas. The strong tidal patterns make for great sailing and it is an excellent area to explore, with enchanting areas of the coast often just a short trip up one of the many inlets, or a short trip across to Cowes, making it an ideal point of departure to be involved in any of the activities in Cowes Week. Equally, for week-long charters, a trip to the north of France is a great sail from any of the conveniently situated marinas within this most remarkable of sailing grounds.
East Coast of the UK
Sailing in the cold grey waters of the North Sea from Whitby heading north is a truly wonderful experience due to the stunning scenery and extremely friendly people you will meet on your charter holiday. Whether you wish to sail all the way up to Edinburgh and the Firth of Forth, or go and visit the mystical castles which guarded the Northumbrian coastline against Viking invaders hundreds of years ago, the East Coast of the UK has it all. Charter a yacht to explore this beautiful region, and discover for yourself all the delights of southern hospitality.
Salcombe is a favourite town for sailing and yachting in the UK. From boutique shops to michellin star restaurants this town has something for everyone! Spend a day on a speed boat waterskiing and exploring the shores or sail around the coast for a week! Salcombe is the perfect get away for anyway wanting to charter in the UK.
Isles of Scilly
The Isles of Scilly are located off the Cornish Coast in South England and provide an idyllic setting for a sailing holiday devoted to pottering around discovery perfect harbours and English hospitality whilst still enjoying the uniqueness of island chartering. The Iles of Scilly offer a tranquil haven of peace and fine dining, even attracting royalty to their shores whilst still catering to those wishing for a slightly more dynamic holiday. Combine yacht charter with enjoying some of the most magnificent sunsets, taking advantage of golden sandy beaches as well as sampling local fresh cuisine - the Iles of Scilly has it all!
The Channel Islands
The Channel Islands consist of Jersey, Guernsey, Herm, Alderney and Sark and are easily accessible from most of the ports on the South Coast of England, as well as a brilliant charter destination in their own right, the Channel Islands are popular amongst holiday makers due to the laid back attitude of their inhabitants and idyllic positioning between England and France. Stop off in Guernsey or Jersey before heading for French shores or spend a week or two circumnavigating these beautiful islands situated in the English Channel.
East Coast of Scotland
Easily reached and a brilliant sail up from the East Coast of England, take in the stunning scenery of the East Coast of Scotland from Berwick-upon-Tweed right the way up to Peterhead, and on to Inverness and the Caledonian Canal'. There are plenty of opportunities to discover the delights of the East Coast of Scotland in any one of her numerous inlets or harbour towns, including sailing into Granton which gives you easy access to Edinburgh! Sailing the East Coast of Scotland is also an incredible experience if you intend to brave the Caledonian Canal and discover whether or not the Loch Ness monster really does exist. Wild and stunning scenery will not disappoint in this area of Scotland.
West Coast of Scotland
This famed sailing ground is undoubtedly one of the most stunning charter destinations in the world. Beautifully wild, oozing with both Celtic and Nordic history, many of the islands have been largely untouched and remain uninhabited; providing some of the most secluded anchorages and moorings in the world. Sailing in the West Coast of Scotland is a true sailor’s playground and not for the faint-hearted however there is also plenty of opportunity for discovery for novices as well. Home to the Inner and Outer Hebrides leading off from the battered Atlantic Coast of the Highlands of Scotland, the West Coast offers unique and sailing opportunities not to be missed! Find out more about sailing on the West Coast of Scotland here.
The Orkney Islands
Located off the northeast coast of Scotland, the Orkneys offer a true Scottish experience. The Orkneys are an archipelago of 70 islands off the North East Coast of Scotland offering legendary hospitality, unparalleled beauty and some of the most scenic sailing in the whole of the British Isles. This is one destination not to be missed!
The UK enjoys a temperate maritime climate thanks to the Gulf Stream bringing warming winds across the Atlantic Ocean. The summers are slightly cooler than those found on the continent however the winters are also somewhat milder.
The best months to charter are obviously the summer months; June- September, however you may enjoy a charter season as prolonged as May – October as the mild weather in these months makes for some idyllic summer and evening sailing. For the more hardy sailors amongst you, you can charter a yacht in the UK all year round, however be prepared to bring some wet weather gear!
British cuisine has come a long way in recent years offering a wide variety of dishes so you are sure to find something to suit you. British cuisine draws on international influences reflecting this truly multi-cultural society and you are sure to find some incredible restaurants in the weirdest and wonderful places throughout the British Isles as well as trendy restaurants in more cosmopolitan areas of the UK. Great Britain offers some of the freshest and upcoming trends alongside fresh lobster and fish and chips!
For those wanting a hearty meal and an excellent pint of beer after a rewarding day’s sailing, most marinas are within walking distance of a good old fashioned British pub where you can enjoy favourites such as scampi or fish and chips, steak and kidney pie or even a roast dinner with all the trimmings. However in the summer if you’re looking for a true British experience, there’s nothing quite like sitting outdoors with a perfect glass of refreshing Pimm’s after a day out on the water. Pure bliss!
The United Kingdom truly is one of the world's fastest-growing charter destinations, for all the reasons listed above. Boatbookings.com knows the region and boats and can find you the ideal charter yacht, be it bareboat, crewed, sail, motor or catamaran. Click here to see our UK Charter Yachts or simply contact us and we'll recommend the best boat for you.