Readers share favourite places to anchor, moor and explore

Don’t sidestep Swanage

Simon Gardiner keeps his Moody 31 Windrose moored on the River Hamble near Southampton

My new favourite lunchtime or overnight stop is not new at all, it’s very well known and quite obvious on the charts, but it’s often bypassed in favour of Studland or Poole. I think it’s still waiting to be rediscovered by many sailors.

Swanage is sheltered in west-to north-west winds and offers a glorious bay with lots going on along the beach or around the pier. There’s a choice of buoys courtesy of the Swanage Sailing Club (donations for use appreciated) or you can anchor near the beach.

The curve of the bay between Peveril Ledge and Ballard Point is greater than it looks either on the chart or from offshore, and the scenery is superb. We were bound for Weymouth from the Solent and a stop-off overnight at Swanage and a run ashore to savour the Victorian seaside charm, sandy beach and local hostelries was time well spent.

In fairness there’s not as much shelter as you get in Studland in a south westerly, but if you get it right there are few more peaceful, yet accessible places that offer so many options. We’ve spent 25 years sailing the Solent and nearby waters, and know a few quiet anchorages, but sometimes the greatest surprise and pleasure comes from the ones you usually sail on by!

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