If you plan to sail in the UK, Southampton is the place to go. With the port of Southampton being the best harbour in the UK, and a gateway between the rest of the world and Britain, it is no wonder that sailors love the city of Southampton so much, with the Southampton International Boat Show being an annual event held there which brings in visitors from all over the world. If you plan on having a day out on the water from Southampton, one of the best day boat trips is to visit the nearby island of the Isle of Wight, and we have put together the perfect route below.
Port of Southampton —> East Cowes Marina
11NM – 1 Hour 50 Minutes
When you are sailing from Southampton to the Isle of Wight, the first decision you must make is whether you will dock at Cowes and head anti-clockwise around the west of the island, or dock at East Cowes and head clockwise around the island. We recommend stopping at East Cowes, as the east side of the island holds some of the island’s better ports to dock in, and the cities on the east have some of the better attractions. In East Cowes, you will find the famous Osbourne House, which used to be a summer home for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and is now an open area to the public, along with the private beach and bathing machine. For boat enthusiasts, there is also a small boat museum near the East Cowes Marina that you can visit.
East Cowes Marina —> Island Habour Marina
1.7NM – 20 Minutes
When visiting the Isle of Wight, you must visit the capital of Newport, which is situated in the middle of the island. Despite not being on the coast, Newport actually has a nearby marina, the Island Harbour Marina, which you can dock at when you sail along the beautiful River Medina. In Newport, there is a range of activities to enjoy, including sanctuaries to visit for the animal lovers in your group, from the Monkey Haven to Butterfly World. The most famous attraction in the area is Carisbrooke Castle, which is where Charles the first was imprisoned before his trial, and where you will now find a museum and gardens which you can tour.
Island Harbour Marina —> Ryde Marina
4.9NM – 1 Hour
After visiting Newport, travel back up to East Cowes, and head clockwise around the island where you can dock at the town of Ryde. Here, you will find many attractions, including the Steam Railway, which is a little further out, where you can see train exhibits and enjoy a ride on an authentic steam-powered locomotive. As well as this, for the history buffs, Quarr Abbey is a fully functioning monastery complete with a pig sty where you can feed the monk’s pigs, a tea shop, and a learning centre, where you can leave the monks a message. For adventure lovers, Ryde has multiple attractions to enjoy including go-karting, tree climbing and escape rooms, and after enjoying a walk along the beach and a drink in one of the seaside cafes.
Ryde Marina —> Bembridge Harbour
3.1NM – 31 Minutes
A small distance from Ryde is the harbour of Bembridge. Here you will find Bembridge Beach which you can visit during the summer, as well as some classic English seaside restaurants, cafes, and pubs, including the famous fish and chip shops. Bembridge is also a popular village to go fishing or crabbing on Bembridge beach or Bembridge ledge, with crabbing being a very popular activity among English people in seaside resorts, and Bembridge is a popular place for this due to the rock pools and long coastlines of the beaches. Bembridge is one of the most beautiful places in the Isle of Wight with panoramic views of the Bembridge Lifeboat station, and the white cliffs of Culver Down.
In the South of the Island, there are a lot of other popular attractions to explore, however, there are not many places to moor so to visit these places we recommend you travel by bus, train, or car. If you want to relax, there is Ventnor Beach to explore, as well as Ventnor Park and Putting Green, golf is a very popular activity on the island, with multiple golf courses scattered on all corners of the island. Visit the donkey sanctuary, or the dairy farm in the south, to learn more about the local animals and farm life. Another unique activity is the Model Village in Godshill, which is a recreation of the fifties in the towns of Godshill and Shanklin Old Village and Chine on the Isle of Wight, and a popular destination for anyone who comes.
Bembridge Habour —> Port of Southampton
17NM – 2 Hours 49 Minutes
Return to Southampton the way you came, as travelling fully around the island will take around 7-10 hours for a professional sailor which will take up most of your day. Travelling down the Solent is an easy passage which should make this a nice journey back.
While the Isle of Wight is a great place to sail from Southampton, Southampton’s location on the coast means there are a ton of great day trips to be discovered, including sailing to Brighton, Guernsey and Hythe,