A guide to sailing on the Solent: Part one

15th May 2020

The south coast of England has long been known for some of the country’s most stunning natural beauty, with a quiet, sheltered anchorages and thrilling sailing conditions, making it one of the best places to visit for a UK yacht charter.

Dream Yacht Charter’s UK base is located in the prestigious Port Hamble Marina at the mouth of the picturesque River Hamble – perfectly positioned to enjoy a UK sailing holiday on the Solent, where you can experience some of the most exhilarating sailing the UK has to offer.

Our UK fleet consists of 50 expertly maintained yachts and motorboats ranging from 30 – 50ft and includes a new Dufour 460 GL and Dufour 430 GL, both of which arrived into the fleet in early 2019 and are available for bareboat charter.

With such a vast range of things enjoy while on a yacht charter in the south of the UK, we’ve put together a complete guide to sailing the Solent to help you plan you summer sailing holiday with us.

Why choose a UK sailing holiday on the Solent?

With our UK base perfectly positioned at the mouth of the River Hamble, guests can enjoy all aspects of the Solent, one of the UK’s most exciting sailing grounds, heading out to locations including Hamble, Cowes, Lymington and historic Portsmouth.

“No two days out on the Solent are the same, which is part of the reason why it is one of my favourite sailing grounds in the world, and right on our doorstep. There are so many beautiful little ports, anchorages and harbours to visit and the changeable weather is part of its charm.” – Martin, Dream Yacht Charter Skipper

The protected waters of the Solent provide a sailing experience like no other in the UK and are a popular choice for first timers and returning guests, where the area is rich in magnificent maritime history and home to some of yesteryear’s most significant vessels including Nelson’s HMS Victory located a short sail away in the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

Related article: The highlights from a fantastic year at Dream Yacht Charter

What are the sailing conditions like on the Solent?

The sailing conditions in the Solent are thrilling, which is what makes it such a popular place to embark on a UK yacht charter. During the summer months, wind speeds can go from 3knts to 40knts overnight!

“With a prevailing south-westerly wind direction, the western Solent offers perfect sailing in safe waters, with The Needles as a final destination. The eastern Solent offers shelter from the breeze and areas such as Osbourne Bay offer wonderful views while at anchor.” – Martin, Fairview Skipper

While the winter months are much colder and visibility can be affected, the light winds that encompass the south coast can make sailing conditions favourable.

What is the weather like on the Solent?

UK summer sailing on the Solent can see some of the best weather in the UK with average temperatures of around 22°C, warm sunshine and light winds. Winter sailing can also be favourable, with average temperatures of 5°C from November to March.

The best anchorages on the Solent

Beaulieu River

Head up Beaulieu River from the Solent and anchor overnight along this quiet, calm estuaryof water. One of the most peaceful rivers on the south coast of the UK, an overnight anchorage here is highly recommended.

Beaulieu River

As one of the world’s only privately owned rivers, the Beaulieu River has been carefully maintained for over four centuries by the Montagu family, who live along the quiet banks of the river. Enjoy watching the wide variety off wildlife that call this area their home from a mooring buoy which can be reserved overnight for just £10.

Newtown River, Isle of Wight

Situated along the western coast of the Isle of Wight close to Yarmouth, head to Newtown River and anchor in Clamerkin Lake, where you can go ashore and enjoy a walk along the beach and up towards Hamstead Farm, where you will be rewarded with stunning views out over the Solent.

The entrance to Newtown River is fairly narrow and is located approximately 3/4 of a mile east of Hamstead Point where careful navigation is required due to strong cross tides. There are a number of moorings in the deeper parts of the lake but anchorage is often crowded during the summer sailing season, so we recommend arriving early to secure your anchorage.

East Head, Chichester Harbour

Located on the eastern side of the entrance to Chichester Harbour, head to the sand dune spit of East Head for an overnight anchorage with stunning views and calm waters. A Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), the area is popular with nature enthusiasts and bird watchers.

Accessed from the far western end of nearby West Wittering Beach, you can moor here either by anchor or mooring ball. Uncluttered by coastal defences, the area is as picturesque as it is relaxing, and we recommend enjoying the view with a sundowner drink on the back of your yacht. Pure bliss.

Whitecliff Bay, Bembridge, Isle of Wight

Located on the east of the Isle of Wight, Whitecliff Bay in Bembridge is a popular location for anchorage while on a yacht charter in the Solent. This beautiful bay ensures calm mooring, with the towering white cliffs of Culver keeping your yacht out of any prevailing winds.

The sandy beach and clear waters are ideal for swimming and sunbathing (in the summer) and the rock pools at the southernmost part of the bay are a great place for families to enjoy a spot of exploring and maybe crabbing.

What yacht charters are available from our UK base in Port Hamble?

Dream Yacht Charter offer a large fleet of 50 yachts and motorboats from our base in Port Hamble Marina, all available for bareboat charter. Choose from a range of monohull yachts, such as the Dufour 382, perfect for smaller parties of up to eight or for larger parties of up to 12, opt for our Dufour 460 GL, new to fleet in spring, 2019.

All of our yachts in Hamble are also available on a skippered charter basis*, so even if you can’t sail yourself, you can still experience this wonderful location with the help of a professional skipper, who will work with you to arrange the perfect itinerary.

*Government guidelines may restrict us from being able to offer a skipper for your charter. Contact us to find out more.

How do I get to Port Hamble?

If you are travelling to Hamble from the south of England, it is located around an hour from the M25 London Orbital. Head towards Southampton and then follow signs for Hamble.

Once in Southampton, Port Hamble Marina is around a 20-minute drive from the M3 motorway. For full directions enter SO31 4QD into your SatNav.

Find out more

To find out more about bareboat charters in the UK, contact our team today on 02380 455527 or email sales@dreamyachtcharter.co.uk

Read next article: Part two – Discover the Solent on a UK yacht charter – top things to see and do