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Anchorages We've Stayed In

Let us share with you the very best of British anchorages which we've visited and stayed in, plus how we found them. This work will be ongoing so be sure to book-mark the page. 

It's an absolute privilege and a pleasure to explore and share the very best locations with everyone that we can and it's our sincerest hope that this resource over time develops into something of use to everyone and perhaps helps narrow down some locations for you to enjoy, especially when time feels as if it's increasingly becoming more scarce. Let us find and share Britains gems with you all and save you some time on the hunt.

If you'd like to support our efforts in building this resource then you're more than welcome to do so over on our Patreon Page here. You really would be helping us create (hopefully) an amazing resource.

Now, enjoy the fruits of our labour.... So far.

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South Tresco (Isles of Scilly)

Barn Pool - Plymouth (Devon/ Cornwall border)

Anchoring Cost - Free!


This beautiful little anchorage inside Plymouth harbour is totally free of charge and it's very easy to get to shore. The anchorage itself was very deep, the water depth from the beach drops off very sharply and so you can find yourself anchored very close to the shore indeed, which felt a bit concerning at times.

It took a few attempts to get our anchor set and some of the locals we spoke to attributed this to large concrete slabs being dumped in the water many years ago by the military. Regardless, we managed to bed in, but after warnings from the locals about potentially getting our anchor stuck, coupled with the depth of the water, we decided to use a trip like with our anchor here, just in case we did get snagged on anything down there.

There's frequently passing boats here and so there's some wash to be expected but this all calmed down by the evening, although we were caught off guard one evening when we went to take Hank to shore for his last toilet break, in the dark, and a group of Royal Marines jumped out in front of us who were practicing water craft landings at night. Certainly an interesting spot. 


This place is steeped in history and there are several amazing walks, right off of the boat. 


Cawsands - Plymouth Harbour (Cornwall)

Anchoring Cost - Free!


Another little gem of a location inside Plymouth harbour again. There were a good few boats here even at the end of the season when we arrived probably because it's so close to Plymouth itself and it's a beautiful spot.

The anchor dug in easily and set first time. it's then a short dingy ride to a quaint little English coastal village with a couple of pubs and a little shop to get some food if your supplies run low.

If you're interest in what's below the water too then there were a good few bass and a couple of lobsters crawling about when I jumped in for a snorkel.

All in all a very pretty stop and although it gets busy, there seems to be plenty of space for everyone.


Helford River (Estuary) - Cornwall

Anchoring Cost - Free!


Hope Cove - Devon

Anchoring Cost - Free!

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There is surely only so many times I can use the term 'one of our favourite destinations' before it loses all meaning, but this place is so, so special. 

You need the wind to be from the north to fully reap the rewards of this anchorage but if you can, boy oh boy! The water was gin clear, the place is teaming with life as people enjoy the water, and there are a handful of delightful beaches which at high tide, in the evenings, you could very well have all to yourself.

The walks are just more of what you'd expect from this part of the country, perfect, and there's a lovely little village with a couple of pubs, just a short walk from where you'd land your dingy. Hope Cove is a little slice of paradise when the weather is on your side. 

Fishcombe Cove - Brixham (Devon)

Anchoring Cost - Free!


This little beauty of a spot actually gets quite busy with bathers, swimmers and family enjoying the tiny little beaches found inside this tranquil little cove.

The water is a beautiful turquoise colour and is surrounded in an almost horseshoe shape with stunning hillsides and cliffs which you can easily walk up for a better vantage point, much like this picture that Carly snapped of me swimming in the cove, that tiny black dot is actually my head.

At the time we stayed there you had one free mooring in the cove itself and then the rest of us had to anchor just outside the entrance to the cove.

There's a little cafe just off of the beach when you can land the dingy where you can grab a coffee before heading off on a choice of stunning woodland walks.

There seem to be some resident seals swimming around in the cove, which we saw almost every day, we think one of them may have had a nibble at Hanks paws when he was swimming in the Cove too, as Hank swiftly got out of the water and then spent the next ten minutes barking at anything which seemed move in it.

You're also walking distance to the hustle and Bustle of Brixham town centre itself.

Falmouth - Cornwall

Anchoring Cost - NOT FREE

Falmouth is one of the major ports of call along the south west coast, along with Plymouth and it shows. You have a thriving university town in Falmouth itself and a collection of smaller villages not too far out.

To moor in close to the town quay itself came at a cost of around £10 a night for our 38ft boat. You could then leave your tender tied up at Falmouth Yacht haven as you come and go.

We paid for a few nights here as it gave us great protection from some stronger south westerly winds  and it was also very handy to stock up on supplies. The holding is great but be mindful to pay attention to the notice board for large vessels coming in and out as the anchorage regularly needs to be cleared to give these ships room to manoeuvre .

Falmouth - Trefusis Point (Cornwall)

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Anchoring Cost - NOT FREE

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Located on the opposite side of the river to Falmouth is a place called 'Flushing' and the water directly off of there which you can anchor is is called 'Trefusis Point'. This anchorage has only recently become another paid spot and we understand that it's about £10 per night for a 38ft boat.

Away from the hustle and bustle of Falmouth this spot is an easy dingy ride to the beach where you're again spoiled for breath-taking walks and depending how fit you're feeling you can walk right round to the little village of 'Myler'. 

Anchoring Cost - Free!

Lantic Bay - Cornwall (Near Fowey)

Paradise if you have wind from the North! This place is just stunning. The picture you see is shot just straight out of the camera. The place is perfect.

Well, it's perfect as long as you don't need to pop to the shop as there's nothing close by at all if you want to dingy and walk. Speaking of which, if you want to get from your boat to the top of the coastal path, it's quite the hike, but worth it for the vantage point!

The water is crystal clear, the holding is mostly sand and in many cases you can see the seabed from your boat.The beaches got very busy with sun worshippers when we were there, but who can blame them. Most people had to make quite the hike to get to enjoy this spot and it's well worth it.

If things get rolly then Fowey is just a couple of miles around the corner. 

Osborne Bay - Isle of Wight

Anchoring Cost - Free!

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Osborne Bay was the first anchorage that we ever ventured to. This was the genesis of our sailing adventures when we were taken on a sailing day trip to Osborne Bay by a chap who we rented the boat from just to stay on as an interesting 'air bnb' type of situation.

We've only ever used this bay as a stop for the day to have lunch and enjoy simply being on the water. We've never stayed the night here because landing ashore is restricted and that wouldn't work for Hank.

The bay is also fairly busy during the summer months and there's a decent amount of wake caused by all manor of passing vessels. 

Lulworth Cove - Dorset

Anchoring Cost - Free!

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Picture taken from my Instagram account here

One of the most dramatic anchorages along the souths 'Jurassic Coast'. Lulworth cove is a staggeringly beautiful place to spend an afternoon, and if you're very lucky, maybe in a few days, as we did.

It's another spot that's great in a northerly with settled conditions. The anchorage gets really busy in the summer months and it can be tricky to find a spot. Luckily the water is generally so clear in Lulworth that you can see where you're dropping your anchor. There's a whole host of stunning walks from the beach, with a pub and small local shop within touching distance, what more could you ask for?

However, if there's any chance of a wind shift to the south, then it's very much time to leave ad the entrance to Lulworth cove can become dangerous to try and navigate out of if a southerly whips up.

Lower Town Beach - St Martins (Isles of Scilly)

Anchoring Cost - Free!

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Picture borrowed from Google images as ours was lost 

Mevagissey - Cornwall

Anchoring Cost - Free!

The Isles of Scilly, arguably the jewels in the crown of the south coasts cruising grounds. Technically this spot is really tight for anchoring and there were several mooring buoys available to be picked up.

This spot is located on the west side of the island of St Martins and has crystal clear waters and perfect Sandy beaches. The island is packed full of great places to walk to with even more stunning beaches dotted all around, with a great pub to break up the walks between them.

The vibe on St Martins is much more of a working island than the others we'd visited but equally just as stunning and beautiful, with it's own unique charm.


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I need to find new words, clearly but Mevagissey is another one of our favourite stops along the Cornish coast. Offering good protection from winds coming in from the west, Mevagissey also offers a god, sand holding.

The beach is a short dingy ride and then you find yourself on perfect sand with crystal clear, blue water lapping on to the shore.


The town of Mevagissy itself is chock full of little shops with plenty of pubs and food stops. The town is a blend of a traditional fishing community with plenty of tourists during the summer months. 

Mevagissey is beautiful both above and below the water with plenty of of Bass, Mullet and lobsters to be found under the waves. I was even checked out by a large, male seal whilst I was hunting for dinner.

Mupe Bay - Jurassic Coast (Dorset)

Anchoring Cost - Free!


Mupe Bay is an incredibly dramatic pit stop along the Jurassic coast. Surrounded by steep cliffs dropping off (in some cases quite literally) down to shingled beaches which extend out into crystal clear water and then a bed of sand.

The holding was good although the anchorage was quite busy. There's a lot of luck involved in getting into Mupe Bay, as you can only venture in when the military firing ranges are not in action, so you will have to check with the ranges themselves here. 

Like Lulworth Cove, Mupe Bay gives you good protection from the North, but nothing from the south. You also want to be mindful of potential catabolic winds which can rip down off of the cliffs and into the anchorage.

Netley Abbey - Solent (Southampton)

Anchoring Cost - FREE

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Netley Abbey anchorage is set on Southampton Water, in the Solent. Southampton water itself is very heavily trafficked with vessels of all shapes and sizes which do create a far amount of wake.


Truth be told the wasn't so much a destination for us but rather somewhere we just popped and stayed the night after being on the hard for so long, recovered from a bought of Covid, and just wanted to 'get away from to all', for a night when we were relaunched that is, and this was a half hour sail away.

The shingled beach is easily reached on the tender and then there's plenty of space for Hank to run around. Netley Abbey itself has a really interesting history, worth looking up and what remains of her ruins are quite remarkable.

New Grimsby Sound - Isles of Scilly

Anchoring Cost - NOT FREE

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Another remarkable spot in the Isles of Scilly, New Grimsby Sound is nestled between the north of Tresco and the south of the island of Bryher.

The water is once again gin clear and looks almost tropical in its colour and abundance of life. The anchorage itself is set within an area packed full of moorings. Spending a night on a mooring ball costs about double what it is to drop your hook here, boat size dependant.

The payment for the anchorage is fairly informal, like most things on the islands things are very laid back and much of the commerce relies on 'honesty boxes'. The same is mostly true of the anchorage, you take yourself to the pub on Tresco called 'The New Inn', although a harbour master will pop round from time to time, we only spoke to him once in ten days and instead went to the pub, you know, to do our duty.

There's fresh water available by tap on the jetty for Tresco too.

Priory Bay - Isle of Wight

Anchoring Cost - FREE

Priory bay was another early anchoring destination for us when we started off on these humble little adventures. Sailing to Priory Bay from Southampton took you right across the Solent, past some interesting forts in the water and into what was, in the Autumnal months, a beautiful, fairly quiet spot for the night.

Now when I say 'quiet' there was very few other boats there as the picture will attest to, but it's an entrance to the Solent, one of the busiest waterways in the country, so you do get a decent amount of swell from large vessels passing in the distance.

The holding was good, however, the anchor dug into a sandy sea bed, and there's a beautiful beach to go and explore too.

Penzance - Cornwall

Anchoring Cost - FREE

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Porth Curno - Cornwall

Anchoring Cost - FREE

Penzance is right at the end of the Great Western railway and is a launching point for many to head over to the Isles of Scilly. 

The water was crystal clear and the anchor bedded nicely into a sand bed. From here it was a quick dingy ride into the harbour where you can pick up or drop off guests, do a spot of last minute supplies shopping, or pop to one of many local pubs.


Porth Curno is a magnificent anchorage. We arrived close to sunset, the night before we were due to head over to the Isles of Scilly. 

The holding was strong and the anchor bedded in well to the sand bottom. The beaches are stunning as are the dramatic cliffs which surround them.

The dingy ride to the beach is short but beware the depth drops off quite quickly and when the swell starts to come in this quickly turns into decent sized breaking waves on the beach, which, as we found out, made for getting the dingy back off the beach a bit tricky.

It was a bit rolley in the anchorage in the morning though and made conditions onboard fairly uncomfortable before we set sail.

River Fal - Close to Malpas

Anchoring Cost - NOT FREE

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Although we did anchor a couple of times when we ventured up the River Fal, the fact of the matter was there was just a far more handsome yacht than Cadoha waiting to be snapped.


The holding is good, it's a mud bottom. Beware though as the tide can seriously rip down the river during a spring tide, so I wouldn't want to be away from the boat in a strong wind over spring tide situation.

There's plenty of options for mooring your boat all up the river, with both mooring buoys and floating pontoon moorings to choose from, and an official mooring is roughly double the price of the cost for dropping the hook.

For a 38ft boat it cost us roughly £7 to drop the anchor in 2022.

There are plenty of amazing walks to take yourself off down here and if you take the dingy up to Malpas, there's a charming little local produce shop just off of the dock and you can see the day out at the Heron Inn pub.

River Tamar - Near Calstock

Anchoring Cost - FREE

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The River Tamar wowed us with miles of unexpected beauty. It was one of those unplanned stops that ended up being one of the real highlights of our exploration along the South Coast.

Truth be told we actually stayed on one of our Patrons moorings (Thank you again Stuart!) so this technically isn't somewhere we've anchored... yet! But we wanted to add it the list for a couple of reasons, firstly when we took the dingy up the river to a place called 'Calstock' we passed by and explored some absolutely staggering British countryside.

On our way up there we 'discovered' (with the help of some locals as well as our almanac and charts) a deep pool anchorage on the bend of the river, right before you get to the bridge you see in this picture. We have every intention on hading back to drop the hook in this spot ourselves, at which point we'll update this addition to the anchorages.

The entire area was so stunning that it's really worth taking the time to head up river.

St Mary's Pool - Isles of Scilly

Anchoring Cost - FREE

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St Mary's Pool sits just outside St.Marys main harbour which us heavily trafficked with a mix of private and commercial pleasure vessels, a large ferry, and fisherman.

For this reason the harbour master will maintain an open space near the entrance of the harbour where many boats can end up dropping their anchor in as the anchorage gets very busy.

It's a sandy bed with some seaweed dotted around but the hold has good when we stayed there for a few days.

We left Cadoha several times for extended periods as we ventured off on walks around this stunning island, including stopping for lunch where we could look down on the anchorage from a great vantage point. 

St Mawes - Falmouth

Anchoring Cost - FREE


The amazingly pretty anchorage of St Mawes is just across the water from Falmouth but feels a million miles apart in terms of it's culture. 

St Mawes has good holding and protection in North through to easterlies. There's a mixture of paid moorings and places to anchor but there's always been plenty of room to get in.

There's a large amount of recreational boat traffic here, mixed in with a few fishing vessels and a regular ferry to and from Falmouth. 

St Mawes itself has a floating pontoon which is free for 20mins or £5 for the day (in 2022), there is no in between. If you head over to the other side of the anchorage you can pull your dingy up on the beach and head off on amazing walks, but do take care not to get caught out on a sharp, jagged reef by the tide, it's a real pain, ask me how we know?

Studland Bay- Dorset

Anchoring Cost - FREE

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Studland Bay is one of the happiest accidents we've ever had after engine failure saw us dropping the hook here in an evening of our first sailing season ever, when originally we were en-route to Poole Harbour.

The ground is mostly sand but there's a lot of eel grass around the closer you get to shore. This eel grass is now being actively protected by environmentalists and as such 'eco moorings' have been set up for yachtsmen (and women) to stay on if they want to spend some time in Studland Bay.

At the time of writing this the 'no anchor zone' that's been set up is voluntary, as is the cost for the moorings (optional donation to the cause) but do check if this has changed, again, this was the case back in 2022.


Salcombe - 'The Bag'

Anchoring Cost - NOT FREE

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Salcombe is a beautiful destination, no question. As soon as you sail in you immediately know that you'e entered a playground for the rich and famous and for good reason, it's stunning. 

However, with a highly attractive area comes a lot of people and so this is possibly one of the busiest places (outside of the Solent) that we've visited so far. 

Upon entering the harbour there are a large selection of moorings dotted about and the first thing you notice is how packed they are. Every rental mooring had at least two boats on them, with three being a common sight too. 

It was for this reason that we ventured further up the river to an anchorage known as 'The Bag' (which you can see in this picture) which had great holding and a little more tranquility. From here it's about 5-10 mins on the dingy to get into town.

St Michaels Mount - Cornwall (Near Penzance)

Anchoring Cost - FREE

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St Michaels Mount is a stunning backdrop and provided a great nights sleep for us all the evening before we sailed across to the Isles of Scilly.

We actually moved to St Michaels Mount from the anchorage in Penance when the swell got too much to bare and the mount provided us with shelter from hit.

There are big sandy patches to bed into but there are also lots of rocks and kelp in the area so you need to be mindful of that. When we did bed into the sand we held well and had a great nights sleep

What a perfect surrounding to see the day out.

South Tresco (Isles of Scilly) 

Anchoring Cost - FREE

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We actually moved to this anchorage from St.Marys Pool when the wind shifted. Remarkably there was only one other boat there and we essentially had the entire place to ourselves.

The water was crystal clear and mostly sandy bottom with patches of eel grass dotted around.

At low spring tide we had just under two meters beneath our keel (1.52m draft). A short dingy ride gets you over to a small ferry stop on the south side of Tresco with great walks no matter which way you turn. 

The swimming was amazing in the glass clear water, but beware, when the tide starts to run it accelerates at a pinch point near the rocks as the channel narrows and can become overwhelming quite quickly. As us how we know? 

Portland Harbour - Dorset

Anchoring Cost - NOT FREE

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Portland harbour is such an interesting place. We've stayed in the marina there which is fantastic, we've stayed on a friends mooring (which you can see in the picture) and we've anchored there a couple of times too.

There are harbour fees to pay which either the harbour master will collect from you on his rib, or you can go onto the Portland harbour website and pay there.

The holding was great where we dropped the hook, we dropped straight into sand. 


There's a Lidl store very close to the beach where you can land the dingy. There's also great washing machine facilities in the marina itself which always seemed very well priced. 


Porth Scatho - Cornwall

Anchoring Cost - FREE

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Porthscatho is another one of those perfect feeling anchorages (when the weather is onside). With crystal clear water which is a beautiful teal blue, leading to immaculate sandy beaches with staggering coastal walks along the cliffs when you can look out, over the top of so many reefs.

The holding is good, with lots of uninterrupted stretches of sandy beds. 

A short walk from the beach is a popular 'secret cafe' called 'The Hidden Hut'. Truth be told it's not too hidden or that secret, but it's a lovely spot to grab a snack before heading off on a stroll.


River Dart - Dartmouth (Devon)

Anchoring Cost - NOT FREE

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Anchoring in the heart of The River Dart  was a fairly daunting prospect at first. You. again have to pay harbour dues to anchor in the river itself which would out to be approximately half the cost of a swinging mooring. This pricing is the case for the entirety of the River Dart.

The holding was good but beware as there are chains laid for moorings close to the designated anchoring spots. The harbour master will help you out if you struggle to find the spot but just be careful not to drop the hook in the wrong spot and risk getting fouled up. 


White Rock Anchorage River Dart - (Devon)

Anchoring Cost - NOT FREE

The anchorage up the River Dart at 'White Rock' is idyllic and tranquil. Quintessential English countryside at it's finest.

The anchorage itself is a deep pool and the holding is really strong, in mud. We were anchored here for a couple of weeks and saw all kind of weather, including strong winds and tides, we never budged.

The river forks here and the left fork takes you to a wonderful pub/ restaurant (formerly owned by Kieth Floyd) called 'The Maltsters Arms'. If you take the right hand fork then you can go on a very tranquil dingy ride up to the quirky town of 'Totness'.


River Dart Entrance - Nr Brownstone Battery

Anchoring Cost - FREE

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I'm not sure what the official name of this anchorage is, but we stopped here for an afternoon to have lunch when we we're visiting Dartmouth.

It's just slightly along from the 'Brownstone Battery'. We dropped the hook into sand and the holding was solid from the word go. We took the paddle board to the beach which looks like it would otherwise be very hard to access, unless you fancied ab-sailing down the side of the hills.

We had this entire place all to ourselves, although I imagine you'd be joined by a few exploring kayakers in the summer months.

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