Plain Sailing

Have a sailing staycation

With the annual summer exodus to the Med it’s easy to forget that the UK has a great deal to offer the holidaymaker who aims to avoid the interminable airport queues and inexplicably delayed flights.

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That’s why in recent times, many people are starting to choose the staycation as their holiday option – and a good proportion of them are doing it on water. Thanks to the relatively calm waters around the UK, not to mention over 7,750 miles of coastline, it’s the perfect place for sailors from relative beginners to salty old sea dogs.
Unsurprisingly, one of the real hotspots for those wanting to holiday afloat is the English Riviera, that runs along the South Devon coast taking in resorts like Torquay, Babbacombe, Paignton and Brixham. Not only is the climate kind virtually all year round, it also boasts some of the best beaches in the UK for those who fancy a little time ashore in the middle of their holidays.
A little further west, Cornwall has some equally delightful places to moor for a night or two including the picturesque Fowey harbour. Very much geared up for the tourist rush of the Summer, Fowey still manages to retain real old-world charm with narrow winding streets echoing to the sound of seagulls and there’s even a small aquarium filled with marine life caught in the nearby waters.
Head east, however, and there’s Dorset’s Jurassic coast to explore and there’s no better base than Lyme Regis – famously featured in The French Lieutenant’s Woman. Again, moorings are plentiful for every size of boat and there’s a great deal to explore ashore.   Even further along the coast The Isle of Wight has long been a mecca for sailors – after all it is home of Cowes where the sailing week in the middle of the summer attracts competitors from all round the UK as well as the world.
On the subject of regattas and events, these are even more good reasons to holiday afloat. They take place all summer long at different harbours around the coast with everyone welcome and one of the most famous is in the previously-mentioned Fowey.
Eating well is another of the highlights of any holiday and, with the harvest of the sea all around you, you can look forward to many memorable dining experiences. Most people will know how Padstow in Devon has become famous for Rick Stein’s expanding food empire. However there are many culinary delights awaiting you from far lower profile chefs. At many of the harbours you can even buy freshly caught fish straight from the boat – the perfect centrepiece for an unforgettable beach barbecue.
So now could be the time to put away your passports, forget about how many euros you’ll be getting to the pound and to look forward to a holiday afloat that promises a great deal - and which will deliver even more.