Chartering in The Solent
Some of the great places you can visit

Yacht Charter Solent Sailing Area – A Complete Guide

The Solent & Isle of Wight

The Solent encompass a large area of protected water and is probably one of the busiest and most famous sailing areas in the world.

It is an area steeped in history and natural beauty, with pretty fishing ports, islands and a wealth of activities.


Just outside of the Solent are other great cruising locations, including Chichester Harbour to the East and Poole Harbour to the West.

The Solent and Isle of Wight is world famous as being one of the premier yachting and cruising areas in the world with many beautiful locations and pictureseque harbours, marinas, rivers, creeks and beaches to explore.

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These include Cowes, Yarmouth, Lymington, Beaulieu River, Newtown River, Hamble River and Portsmouth Harbour.

Not only is it home for thousands of leisure craft, it is a port for very large container and tanker vessels, cruise liners and ferries of all descriptions.

The area is generally divided into the East and West Solent, with Southampton Water and the River Medina at Cowes as the dividing line.


The East Solent has the harbours of Portsmouth, Langstone and Chichester on the mainland, and Ryde and Bembridge on the Isle Of Wight.

The West Solent has The Beaulieu River and Lymington on the mainland and Newtown and Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight

It is inevitable that at some point during your charter you will visit the Isle of Wight.

It is a stunning Island with un-spoilt scenery and a wealth of fascinating attractions that will offer plenty to do at any time of the year.

The Isle of Wight for a place that measures only 23 miles by 13 miles and has over 60 places to visit with plenty of things to do come rain or shine!


It has over 500 miles of footpaths, 30 miles of Heritage Coastline while more than half the Island is recognised as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

If you are on a weekend charter then you are unlikely to explore beyond the surrounding area of the harbour. However on a long charter and with more time on your hands there are plenty of opportunities to explore further inland.

There is something for all ages and a well established public transport network to make travelling around the island very easy.


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Wherever you go on the Isle of Wight you will see evidence of a fascinating past going back to the time of the dinosaurs, roman villas, medieval castles, historic houses and exhibitions which reflect life in a bygone age.

No holiday is complete without a visit to Queen Victoria’s favorite seaside home, the magnificent Osborne House, given to the nation by King Edward VII.

Children love to journey back to prehistoric times, looking at fossils and life-sized animated models at the Island’s dinosaur museums or visit the adventure theme parks at Blackgang Chine and Robin Hill.

This website offers plenty of ideas and things to for with children on the Isle of Wight.

Maritime heritage can be discovered at a number of museums, with displays of pirate gold and silver, and countless artifacts recovered from shipwrecks.


Throughout the year, the Island is alive with local carnival celebrations, confirming a reputation as England’s carnival island. The Isle of Wight Music Festival, White Air Extreme Sports Festival, Cowes Week, Isle of Wight Walking Festival, Wight Diamond Mountain Bike Festival plus many other carnivals and concerts – the list goes on.

Places of Interest:
Newtown Creek
Osborne Bay

The Eastern Solent

The Eastern Solent is commonly defined as an area extending from an imaginary line between Cowes on the Isle of Wight and Hill Head on the mainland shore, eastwards towards Chichester Harbour.


The waters are easily navigable and often more protected from the prevailing winds. The main shipping lane into and out of Southampton docks runs along the island shore so there is always plenty of interest as you sail within these waters.

The Eastern Solent benefits from a wide range of places to visit.

Osborne Bay offers a well protected and comfortable anchorage, either overnight or more commonly as a lunchtime stop and a place to swim.


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The main harbour is Portsmouth, home port of the British Navy. Immediately inside Portsmouth Harbour lies Gosport and Haslar Marina and at the top of the harbour Port Solent.

There is Gunwharf for the shopping and Port Solent where you can stroll the boardwalk or go to the movies and with all its old Naval history there are no end of museums and historic places of interest to visit.


On the island side you have Bembridge Harbour and beyond there are all the delights that Chichester Harbour has to offer.


Places of Interest:
Chichester Harbour
Portsmouth Harbour
Osborne Bay

The Central Solent

Best known as the world’s premier yachting centre, Cowes is the Island’s main port with a natural harbour at the mouth of the Medina River.

Each year during the first week of August yachtsmen from all over the world participate in the season’s prestigious sailing event Cowes Week.


If you venture up to Medina River you will discover East Cowes and further still The Folly Inn.

Second only to Cowes in terms of importance, the Hamble River is home to many thousands of yachts moored at various marinas and on piles.


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A delightful and picturesque river, there are a number of places to moor and find a good restaurant or pub ashore.

Hamble village itself has the greatest concentration of watering holes, but if you want to go somewhere a little quieter, try Warsash on the eastern shore or right up to Bursledon where, amongst others, is the famous Jolly Sailor pub.

Ocean Village is situated in the shelter of Southampton water and right in the heart of Southampton. It is surrounded by a wealth of shops, restaurants, bars and cinemas offering outstanding recreational facilities.

Overlooking the marina is the Royal Southampton Yacht Club which is a members club but still offers berth holders and visitors a warm welcome.

Places of interest
Osborne Bay

The Western Solent

Solent sailing at its finest – this is the most popular area for sailing.


Within a few hours sail from Hamble there are an array of beautiful and picturesque harbours and anchorages to explore.

So even if you have sailed these waters for years there is plenty of variety to keep you interested. You are spoilt for choice with Yarmouth a quaint little village on the island boasting new walk ashore marina pontoons. Yarmouth is a is a wonderful place to visit time and time again. There are some lovely walks along the beach towards Hurst Narrows to be enjoyed. A number a great pubs and restaurants including the infamous Salty’s Fish restaurant.


In the heart of the New Forest there is the River Beaulieu. A delightful river meandering all the way up to historic Bucklers Hard where you can moor and enjoy a meal at the Master Builders or why not take the 2 mile walk along the coastal path up to Beaulieu itself. Here you will find the world famous motor museum and a delightful village to enjoy.

Last but not least Lymington, an attractive old market town close to the Needles and a good stopping point if you are heading off to Poole or further afield.

The two main anchorages are Alum Bay within sight of the Needles and ideal for a lunch time stop and Newtown Creek.


Whilst Newtown Creek is a popular lunch time destination you will find that mostly all of the visiting vessels head off in the afternoon leaving you with a secluded perfect overnight spot to enjoy.


Places of Interest
Newtown Creek

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