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.
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’.