The Marina at Sutton Harbour is perfectly situated to access some of the best cruising locations in the south west of England with a great mix of sea and river sailing including Bigbury and Burgh Island, Salcombe, Kingsbridge and The River Yealm, Fowey, Falmouth, St Mawes and the River Fal. In fact, The Isles of Scilly are only 90 nautical miles away.
With a mixture of coves and harbours, beaches, creeks and rivers, you really couldn’t ask for more variety. Here are a few highlights:
Newton Ferrers and its sister village, Noss Mayo, nestle in the coastal surroundings of the beautiful South Hams. The peaceful and sheltered, deep water harbour is favoured by sailors because it lies within an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Special Area of Conservation; easily one of the most beautiful riverside locations on the south coast.
East Looe and West Looe stand on either side of a tidal river. One of the resort's outstanding attractions is a fine land-locked harbour formed by two rivers, which unite just above the town. The harbour is a drying one, and primarily caters for a fishing fleet and pleasure craft. Looe is also notable for its dinghy sailing. For small craft of up to 16ft the river is navigable at high water for perhaps 2 miles, though the river itself runs almost to Liskeard 9 miles to the north.
Fowey is conveniently located approximately halfway between Plymouth and Falmouth. Being a ria, or flooded river valley, the natural harbour is deep and well enclosed, making it a port of refuge in pretty much any sea conditions. There are also plenty of visitor moorings for all sizes of boat. Narrow streets, steep hills, quaint shops and bustling restaurants make Fowey an ideal trip during your sailing adventures.
Porthleven lies on Cornwall's South coast between Penzance and Lizard Point. It is a small drying harbour. Care should always be taken on the approach to the harbour entrance as its position leaves it exposed to the wind and swell from the South and West. This is what makes he town one of the best known and highly regarded surfing spots in Britain. Waves, often exceeding 6.6 feet (2.0 m), break on the shallow reef that was shaped by blasting the harbour. They hold an annual food festival in spring and are very popular with local and tourists who visit to sample the various delicacies that the town has to offer.
Falmouth and the surrounding areas add to the many reasons that the areas accessed from Plymouth’s Sutton Harbour Marina are the best sailing waters in the UK. Sailing in the Carrick Roads and Helford River is a real treat. The expanse of water is like sailing on the open sea, but is usually much more sheltered and if you want bigger waves you can always venture into Falmouth Bay. The local area welcomes all sailing visitors, whether racing or cruising, and dinghies or keelboats.
St Mawes is the perfect place for any sailing enthusiast to visit. The St Mawes harbour and nearby boatyards offer moorings on a short-term basis and secure anchorages are also available. The Carrick Roads is the stretch of water between Falmouth and the Roseland and extends up to the river fal and this area offers some of the finest sailing waters in the UK and is an excellent base for all levels of sailors.
Mevagissey is a picturesque fishing harbour, which is a great favourite with photographers. It has a large fleet of fishing boats consequently moorings for visiting boats are not easily obtainable. The harbour provides protection from wind and weather in most directions except from the southeast. Entrance to the harbour should never be attempted during strong south-easterlies, the strong swell making the outer harbour dangerous.
The Helford River is a sleepy little place where once long ago, trading ships brought goods from far and wide to be sold in this small Cornish paradise. Although hard to believe, it used to be an important port. Being one of the most un-spoilt rivers in Cornwall, the magical oak woodland that surrounds it and shelters the deep valleys. There are many small quays on the river and its creeks that operate ferry links. The Duchy of Cornwall owns visitor moorings in the river but if you don’t want to pay to enjoy the beauty, there are some very good, popular anchorages as well as some lesser-known ones. Today the Helford is a haven for the rich and famous, celebrities own many of the grand houses. The charm of this area is breathtaking, and unique, when experienced from the water.
Penzance - is much more of a leisure harbour than neighbouring Newlyn, and from May until September is invariably busy. The town is a holiday centre and as much a market town as a port, so there is a wide range of shops. The whole of Mount's Bay provides ideal sailing conditions although there is a tendency for the wind to fade during the evening. The harbour consists of a wet dock in which craft drawing up to 4.5m can lie afloat, and there is a drying harbour alongside. Approach and entry are straightforward. The dock gates are open every tide from two hours before high water until one hour after high water. Visiting vessels normally lie alongside in the security of the wet dock where 50 berths are made available. There is a fair-weather anchorage for small craft 500ft to the east-north-east of the end of the Albert Pier.