Top ten alternative British boating bases

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.

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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’.

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