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Explore the best of Devon and Cornwall with a sailing staycation

07 August 2013

Swap the Med for a sailing holiday in the southwest

The lure of a holiday brochure with its tantalising images of foreign beaches can make it easy to forget that Britain has stunning coastlines of its own.

With the current run of gorgeous, summer weather, there’s no need to escape to the Med. Given the geography of our country, you are never more than 70 miles from the coast, so what better way to enjoy a British staycation than a sailing holiday around the stunning natural coastline of the southwest?

Follow your forefathers and sail from Plymouth


With a glorious mix of city and town harbours in the southwest, there is always somewhere new to discover. Choosing a marina in Plymouth is the logical gateway for a sailing holiday around Devon and Cornwall, whilst the city itself also provides plenty of attractions before you head out to sea.

Plymouth has a vast wealth of historical importance thanks to Sir Francis Drake setting sail from here to circumnavigate the globe in 1577, closely followed by the pilgrim fathers leaving for the new world aboard the Mayflower in 1620.

The Mayflower museum and the UK’s largest aquarium, The National Marine Aquarium are both must-see attractions housed here in Plymouth.

Set sail south

Heading south from Plymouth, you are spoilt for choice with beautiful Cornish coastal towns such as Looe and Fowey to explore on the east coast. Both have ample provision for visiting boats so you have no excuse not to step ashore and appreciate the stunning landscapes that inspired the writings of Daphne du Maurier.

Further south, the Fal estuary is the third largest natural harbour in the world and the shoreline has fabulous creeks and inlets that are a joy to explore at a leisurely pace. The sheltered nature of these waterways makes them manageable in all weathers and a thoroughly rewarding sailing experience.

Breath-taking beaches and fashionable food

Heading towards the north west coast of Cornwall you’ll find the hugely fashionable ports of Padstow and Newquay.

In Newquay you’ll be spoilt for choice with some of the most naturally beautiful beaches in Europe.  There are 11 to choose between and they are well equipped to receive the many water-sports loving tourists that regularly descend.

If gastronomy is your passion, then you won’t have failed to notice that Padstow is something of a hub for great restaurants. In addition to the four eateries run by TV chef Rick Stein, there are plenty of bistros, brasseries and pubs all serving great local fare with, naturally, a predominance of seafood.

Marina options in the southwest

There is so much to satisfy sailors in Devon and Cornwall, that one trip could never take in the jewels of the southwest coast fully. Why not consider berthing options in the area to give you the perfect excuse to sail in this idyllic location all year round?

Plymouth Yacht Haven offers 450 fully serviced berths in a marina that is fully accessible 24/7.  As a further benefit, as a berth holder you can automatically enjoy visitor nights at any of the eight marinas run by Yacht Havens offering you the perfect opportunity to flex your sea legs around the UK.

In the words of local legend, Sir Francis Drake, “It isn't that life ashore is distasteful to me. But life at sea is better."  

For further information, email: plymouth@yachthavens.com