Reports on marinas, harbours and anchorages in Hampshire can be seen here
The Solent and its associated rivers is one of the leading yacht charter and cruising areas in the world
Hampshire is an attractive county on the south coast of England. The County has a wide range of landscapes, and a rich variety of flora and fauna. Over one third of Hampshire is covered by the New Forest and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The Hamble Valley is an ideal place to explore, with its coastline stretching along the Solent and the River Hamble on Hampshire's south coast. With over 800 acres of unspoilt countryside, interesting attractions and quaint villages. The River Hamble is steeped in maritime history and for over two thousand years, people have been living and working on the banks of the Rive. From Alfred the Great's battle with the Danes in 897 AD to the Hundred Years War during which Hamble-le-Rice provided 7 ships and 117 mariners for the battle of Crecy in 1346 to the activities that took place along the River Hamble in the lead up to D-Day. The Hamble river today, is a Mecca to the sailing world and an ideal cruising base with excellent facilities. It is extensively used by yachtsmen competing in races such as the Isle of Wight Round the Island race and Admirals Cup; plus the huge annual Southampton Boat Show is only a short distance away.
Southampton is a popular destination. Southampton Maritime Museum tells the story of this important port. Southampton has been an important port for centuries, situated on Englands south coast and is a fascinating place to visit. Today Southampton is one of the premier venues for sailing and watersports, with some of the best marina facilities on the south coast. An interesting mix of old and new, with superb shops, beautiful parks and gardens, an ideal base for exploring the south coast, the New Forest and the Isle of Wight.
Southampton harbour has been in use since Roman times, witness to many historic events. Legend tells that in 1016 the Viking King Canute commanded the waves to retreat at Southampton. Armies embarked from here during the Hundred Years War to win the Battles of Crecy and Agincourt. In 1620 the Pilgrim Fathers set out from here in the Mayflower, bound for America. The Titanic sailed on her maiden voyage from Southampton on 15th April 1912. A memorial to the ensuing tragedy can be seen in East Park.
Southampton is one of the world's natural harbours, with double tides. The first high tide flooding into the bay from the west followed, in two to three hours by a second high tide from the east - a phenomenon, which makes the harbour suitable for large vessels. The harbour is the home port to some of the world's most famous cruise liners, including QE2, Oriana, Aurora and Arcadia. Visit the Maritime Museum to discover more of Southampton's heritage.
Portsmouth has a vast choice of attractions such as Portsmouth Historic Dockyard which includes Nelson's Victory, HMS Warrior and The Mary Rose. Look around MHS Victory and it's easy to imagine what life was like on board during Nelson's command. The ship is a living museum like no other and looks much the same as when she led the crushing defeat of the combined French and Spanish fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Nelson's flagship is the world's oldest commissioned warship and is still manned today by Officers and Ratings of the Royal Navy. The hugely popular Trafalgar Sail exhibition, in the nearby Storehouse No. 10, features the only surviving sail from the Battle of Trafalgar - battle scarred, pockmarked and full of holes from cannon fire, it pays testimony to the battle's ferocity
The Mary Rose is the only surviving 16th century warship on display anywhere in the world. She was one of the earliest ships to carry heavy guns. The Mary Rose sank off Portsmouth in 1545 during an engagement with a French invasion fleet - in full view of King Henry VIII. The raising of the Mary Rose in 1982 is a marvel of modern maritime archaeology. See the conservation process that will preserve her for all time. Thousands of personal, domestic and military objects were recovered, many of which are on display in the museum - a unique and fascinating insight into Tudor times.
HMS Warrior was bigger, faster and more heavily armed than any other warship afloat, Warrior was the world's first ironhulled, armoured warship powered by steam as well as sail and constructed of wrought iron. As you explore Warrior's four vast decks you enter another world - that of the Victorian sailor and life in a 19th century warship
Hayling Island, Havant and Emsworth are on the southern coast of Hampshire, often referred to as the Oyster coast, an unspoilt haven for those in search of tranquillity and relaxation. Discover the fabulous quayside villages of Langstone and Emsworth, with great places to eat and fantastic views of the harbours. Hayling Island has Blue Flag beaches, and is the place for windsurfing and water-sports. Windsurfing marathons and sailing championships take place in and around Hayling Island throughout the year, and even the inexperienced water-sport enthusiast can feel confident about having a go as, Hayling Island has some very safe waters to practice in.
Southsea is home to the Royal Marines Museum. The Museum is in what was one of the most stately Officers' Messes in England, built in the 1860s with beautiful ceilings, huge paintings and a grand staircase. The story of the Royal Marines begins in 1664 when a Marine Regiment was first formed. Visitors can discover how Hannah Snell posed as a man and served as a Marine in India; how the elite troops of the Royal Marines were closely involved in the Battle of Trafalgar; the heroism of Marines during both World Wars and more recently in the Falklands, Afghanistan and Iraq.
The Museum houses one of the most comprehensive medal collections in the world. It consists of over 7,000 medals awarded to Royal Marines. This extensive collection of medals represents the service and sacrifice of some of the large numbers of Royal Marines who fought in the great naval and military battles that are part of the Nation's history. The highlight of the Medal Room is the complete collection of ten Victoria Crosses awarded to the Corps.
Visitors can listen and watch a beat retreat in the Band Room. The Band Room is dedicated to the colour, sound and spectacle of the Royal Marines Band Service. Its displays include instruments, uniforms and mementos. One of the largest objects is the Steinway piano from the Royal Yacht Victoria and Albert. The Band Memorial Room displays the drums and trumpets that were purchased as a memorial to the members of the Band Service who lost their lives in the two World Wars.
No visit to Southern England is complete without a fun day out at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Discover the world famous historic ships - HMS Victory, the Mary Rose & HMS Warrior 1860 and the story of the Royal Navy from past to present at the Royal Naval Museum, Action Stations and with Harbour Tours.
Chichester is the County town and one of the UK's finest smaller Cathedral cities. Its plan and walls date from the Roman occupation and it has splendid examples of late 18th and early 19th century architecture. Chichester Harbour, is a few miles to the South of the city and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Eleven square miles of inter-tidal waters, provide a base for professional fishermen and facilities for sailing and angling.
The Isle of Wight is the ideal destination for a yacht charter in the UK. It is known as the home of yachting, with a great range of sailing events, which take place all year round. The offshore waters of the Channel and the Solent provide excellent conditions for sailing. Sailing is a favourite pastime for visitors and Island residents alike and the sea is busy with boats all year round. In August the seafronts and esplanades throng with spectators who come for Skandia Cowes Week the world's most famous international yachting regatta. From yacht crews to film crews, the whole Island buzzes with activity, culminating in a grand fireworks display on the last Friday of the Week. For those who want to join in the fun there are a number of companies offering equipment-hire, whilst for those who prefer the view from the shore there are plenty of perfectly placed bars and restaurants.
A bustling Quay, the best beaches in England and the stunning natural harbour make Poole, Dorset a natural first choice on the South Coast. Poole Quay offers a great fun packed day out for all the family with its bustling atmosphere, restaurants, cafes and pubs plus there's always lots of visiting yachts and vessels to see. Make sure you check out the events calendar as there's plenty happening on the lively Quayside.
Being situated on Europe's largest harbour, Poole has always looked to the sea for its prosperity. This has shaped its character as a town of merchants, mariners and foreign influences. Five hundred years ago the sea came up to where you are now standing. The medieval shoreline was level with the other end of the many alleys that run back from the quay. In their heyday these alleys would have been pungent with the smells of salt fish, seal oil, tar, wine, spirits and spices, stored in the warehouses. Under many of the buildings are wide storm drains which some say were used by smugglers.The views of the harbour haven't greatly changed. Looking across the water you can see the National Trust’s Brownsea Island, used by Baden Powell for the very first Boy Scout camp, and still home to the rare Red Squirrel.
Weather for the Yacht Charter Area of the Solent