10 best places to drop anchor on the Isle of Wight
Home of The Hut, the ever-expanding, celebrity-spotting, rosé-swilling eatery that’s fast becoming a legend on the Island and beyond (book well ahead). It boasts its own moorings and a RIB pick-up service.
Don’t think of the visitor moorings outside Yarmouth Harbour as the cheap seats – the sunsets are worth it alone. Grab a harbour taxi to the Quay and head to The Terrace for a super supper.
It’s all about the birds at Newtown Creek. This National Trust anchorage is wildlife heaven – even the seals are friendly. Get up at dawn and listen to the chorus – and bag a mooring early.
The Medina River & The Folly Inn
Motor up the Medina and you’ll come to The Folly Inn. Tie up on the pontoon in the middle of the river opposite the pub and a taxi will do the rest. It’s a lively spot – you have been warned.
You might not be allowed to get ashore at Osborne Bay – that’s a royal privilege, but it’s an idyllic wooded bay, with glimpses of Queen Victoria’s palatial holiday house, popular in the summer months.
A beautifully sheltered spot with easy access to pubs and restaurants (Med-style Cibo gets our vote), but it’s very shallow so only those boats that are able to take the ground should venture here.
It boasts a lovely sandy beach and a time-warp of a village, plus cracking crab sarnies at Best Dressed Crab, but access is tricky so grab a spot on the visitors’ mooring which can accommodate most boats regardless of tides.
Picturesque Totland Bay towards the Needles is a pretty spot to drop anchor on a sunny day – the swimming is good too, and soon there will be another smart place to eat in the transformed Totland Pier.
On the eastern coast of the Island, Priory Bay runs from Horestone Point to Nodes Point and is edged by 7.5 acres of National Trust Woodland, so it’s no surprise that it’s a popular spot for visiting boats to drop anchor.
It’s a bit of a secret this, tranquil and full of birdsong. Clamerkin Brook sits upriver, to the left of Newtown Creek. Though it’s best enjoyed overnight on a mooring (managed by the National Trust) after those-in-the-know have left.