Look beyond the typical South coast boating bases and there are plenty of welcoming harbours that offer some delightful experiences

Recently I have promoted the idea of basing your boat abroad for a season or two, somewhere in France perhaps, or the Netherlands, or maybe one of the Scandinavian countries where the vast Baltic Sea lies waiting to be explored.

Keeping a boat away from familiar home waters can add new zest to your cruising, opening up interesting places you might never have considered reaching in a two or three-week holiday.

However you needn’t actually go abroad to enjoy this liberating experience. Our fantastic British coastline has a wealth of attractive berths in areas many South Coast boaters may not know much about.

In this article I highlight ten British boating bases giving access to some fabulous cruising worlds apart from the popular Channel harbours.

01-Neyland-Yacht-Haven-01Of course even moving your boat within Britain involves some effort and expense, though the logistics are easier in your own language.

Many marinas around our more northern coasts will welcome new berth-holders for a season or two, and in practice I’ve found that too much forward planning can complicate matters.

Sometimes it’s best simply to cut loose and spend a summer cruising in stages towards an area that interests you.

When you arrive, most marinas will do their best to accommodate your boat for a winter and plans for next season can develop from there.

As well as some English bases, I have included three in Wales, one in Northern Ireland and three in Scotland, offering a spread of local cultures, scenery and seascapes.

If you normally cruise from and around the Solent, some of these suggestions may seem considerably more foreign than ‘Le Continent’.

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Craignish Peninsula
  3. 3. Orkney Kirkwall Marina
  4. 4. Inverness Seaport
  5. 5. Milford Haven
  6. 6. Lleyn Peninsula
  7. 7. Menai and Conwy Bay
  8. 8. Solway Firth
  9. 9. Strangford Lough
  10. 10. Lowestoft Haven
  11. 11. Blackwater River
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