At the mouth of the Medina River Cowes is the Isle of Wight’s main port.
Cowes harbour offers all tide access, and berths are relatively easy to obtain and reasonably priced. Although during peak events including Cowes Week and Round The Island Race it can become very crowded.
The town is split into two East and West and connected by a chain ferry, with West Cowes being the yachting centre.
The narrow streets and numerous pubs and restaurants gives West Cowes an almost carnival atmosphere even when the regatta is not on.
Shopping in the narrow pedestrian High Street is a delight with an array of fashionable clothing shops, gift shops, delicatessens, cafes, restaurants and lively pubs.
There are two main marina’s in West Cowes, Cowes Yacht Haven and Shepherds Wharf. Cowes Yacht Haven can get quite rolly especially on the outside berths.
East Cowes Marina offers excellent facilities and is noticeably more relaxed and friendly with a superb on site restaurant & bar.
The river is well marked by buoyage and moorings and it is quite easy to find your way as far as the Folly Inn.
Vessels drawing upto 1.5 m can normally access the Folly Inn at most states of the tide and despite of the depths shown on the chart can remain afloat here at all times, although touching the soft mud bottom is a possibility at LWS.
Whilst there are a couple of alongside berths with walk ashore access on the Folly side these are seldom free. There are additional river pontoons although not connected to the shore & none are provided with power or water.
The Folly Inn welcomes visiting yachtsman and provides showering facilities. Lifts ashore are offered by the Folly Waterbus.