*Written by Yacht Haven Quay - Plymouth's Dry Stack marina and the home of motorboating in the westcountry*
So the forecast looks good. You've got the whole day to be on the boat. So where to venture to?
There are hundreds of hidden gems to discover around the south west. Whether you enjoy cruising to a river or harbour, or you prefer quieter anchorages and secluded beaches, the Devon & Cornwall coastline is a boater's paradise.
As passionate boaters ourselves, we've covered nearly every corner of the south Devon coast. We've therefore compiled our favourite spots to share with you in our latest article...
1. Cellar Bay, River Yealm
6nm from Yacht Haven Quay. Under 30minutes trip if you go at 15knots.
This secluded beach is away from the beaten track for landlubbers, which makes it paradise for us sea-goers! There's plenty of space to anchor off the beach and a few caves to explore once you've got ashore.
The Ship Inn in Noss Mayo is a mile walk away, but we prefer to just to anchor up and enjoy the scenery! A really good spot in an easterly breeze.
2. River Erme
13nm from Yacht Haven Quay. Around an hour cruise at 15knots.
With limited depth as you go inshore, this immediately makes this the perfect place for motorboaters with our low draft (sorry sailors!).
The unspoilt River Erme has an anchorage at the mouth, but it is worth venturing a little further to see the beautiful green landscape. The area surrounding the river is mostly private estate land so it feels very rural! A chart plotter would be useful as the river meanders dramatically as you head upstream.
Once you’re anchored up, our top tip is to venture up the hill to the newly opened Schoolhouse Café at Mothecombe – it’s a gem!
3. Polkerris, St Austell Bay
26nm from Yacht Haven Quay. Under 2 hours cruising at 20knots.
At high tide, you can tie up at the old harbour wall on this secluded beach where you'll find a great pub and cafe on the shoreside (alternatively, you can anchor just offshore). Join the SW Coast Path and walk up to Gribbin Head to see the famous red and white tower, known locally as “The Stack,” marking the entrance to Fowey Harbour. Alternatively, stay on the beach and hire a SUP to enjoy the calm waters.
4. Dittisham, River Dart
40nm from Yacht Haven Quay. Just over 2 hours cruising at 20knots.
Venture beyond the main towns of Dartmouth and Kingswear on the River Dart, heading north past Agatha Christie's house.
The cruise beyond the busy towns becomes peaceful with tall woods lining both sides of the river. At Dittisham, it suddenly opens up into a large bay where you'll find a brilliant pub (The Ferry Boat Inn) and plenty of visitor moorings.
5. The Fal
41nm from Yacht Haven Quay. Just over 2 hours cruising at 20knots
Where to start when talking about the Fal and Carrick Roads? On one side of the river, the busy and historical town of Falmouth with Pendennis Castle, a bustling high street, old quays and the maritime museum. On the other, the stunning St Mawes village with the infamous Castle and St Anthony's Head. Heading further upstream, you'll find large ships laid up, Pandora's Inn pub in Restronguet, beautiful winding creeks and plenty of wildlife. What's not to love?
Want to learn more? Read our full guide for boating from Plymouth
Photo credits: Love Falmouth (link), Visit South Devon (link), Fowey visitor guide (link), Yacht Havens