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Here’s our guide to the best anchorages in Plymouth…

Top Seven Anchorages in Plymouth

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Warmer temperatures, beautiful scenery and great food. It’s easy to see why the South West is so popular in the summer months.

What's more, we get no greater pleasure than getting enthusiastic boaters onto the water so they can enjoy our little corner of the Westcountry!

Plymouth Sound, the Cattewater, and the Tamar and Lynher rivers offer great anchoring spots during all-types of weather. So if you're not able to venture further afield, we guarantee you'll find somewhere sheltered to enjoy a picnic, swim or just to relax!

So here's our favourite spots and navigation tips...

1 - Jennycliff

Position: 50,20.59.7N;  4,7.32.1’W

Approach: Wide open from the west, anchor well to the south of the green conical wreck buoy in 2m. Deeper water close in near Withyhedge directional beacon. If the wind’s in the east it’s possible to tuck in under the sheer cliffs.

The best anchorage in Plymouth Sound if the wind’s in the east, with very few obstructions and beautiful views. Jennycliff is a popular spot, and a great place for a walk along the cliffs. The beach has recently been repaired and reopened after a three-year closure.

2 - Eastern Gear

Position: 50,18.80N;  4,13.10W

Approach: After clearing Draystone, approach from the East or South East. Anchor on the 5m contour line E of pinnacle rock.

Eastern Gear is a remote and attractive location for a daytime trip in a north wind, with beautiful views of the Rame Head cliffs. You can even head ashore and have your own little private beach for a short time, although it’s best not to leave your boat totally unattended in this remote location.

3 - Barn Pool

Position: 50,21.34N;  4,10.30W

Approach: Via deep water Drake Channel, The Narrows or The Bridge. Anchor close in to shore in 3-4m in the northern end of bay.

In a west wind, Barn Pool is a wonderfully peaceful spot. With the Edgecombe Arms pub nearby, it’s surrounded by trees and the gorgeous Mount Edgecombe Country Park. It’s not recommended for an overnight stay, but it’s well worth a visit.

4 - Kingsand, Cawsand

Position: 50.19.92N;  4.11.84W

Approach: Through the Western Channel entrance from Plymouth, wide open & safe.

This is a really popular spot, and it’s easy to see why. If you like pubs and restaurants (who doesn’t?) then this is the ideal location to anchor during a south westerly wind. On the beach, you'll even find kayak and SUP hire - alternatively, it's a great place for a swim.

5 - Dandy Hole

Position: 50.22.52N; 4.16.31W

Approach: A depth sounder and a chart plotter will make this easier from Ince Point. Plan for a rising tide 2 hours after low water. The anchorage is close in to the south shore

If you’re after total isolation, look no further than Dandy Hole in the River Lynher. Ideal in south westerly winds, it’s a picturesque getaway with an abundance of natural beauty. Remember to use your anchor light, because it gets really dark. When we said total isolation, we meant it!

6 - Drake’s Island

Position: 50.21.45N; 4.09.13W

Approach: NE of Drake’s Island, slightly east of the pier, well clear of local moorings in about 2m CD, in the allowed anchorage.

If you want to stick close to marinas, then you may want to visit Drake’s Island. It’s tight, but it’s an attractive locale for a south wind and there are even yellow mooring buoys. However, please note that they’re owned by the Ministry of Defence and they may ask you to move, so don’t leave your boat unattended!

7 - Clifton Quay

Position: 50,27.6N; 4,13.5W / 50,27.3N; 4,13.6W

Approach: Deepest water is through moorings & on outside of bends. Anchor in 2.7m or further south in 4.9m pool.

Clifton Quay in the River Tamar is quiet and secluded, and it’s perfect for an east wind. Why not take a dinghy up to Cotehele or Calstock while you’re here? If you want to moor, you can go a little downstream where visitor moorings are usually available for hire at Weir Quay. 

 

 

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