Solent Yacht Charter – Why the River Beaulieu is a Must Visit Destination

Solent Yacht Charter – Why the River Beaulieu is a Must Visit Destination

The Beaulieu River is rightly considered as one of the most picturesque and fascinating areas of Southern England. Situated on the South Coast of Hampshire, the 12 mile long river runs from the New Forest National Park to the internationally renowned sailing area of the Solent (a 30 mile stretch of water separating the mainland and the Isle of Wight).

Unusually for a river in the UK, the Beaulieu River is privately owned by the Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, and has been since 1926, along with the foreshore, and much of the surrounding countryside. It was previously Crown property, but was given away by King John in the 13th century to the monks who later founded the Beaulieu Abbey.

Starting near Lyndhurst in the New Forest, it flows through the forest heaths to Beaulieu where it becomes tidal. It flows through the forest to the historic ship building village of Buckler’s Hard, before continuing to the sea through the Solent, where the entrance to the river is marked by the Millennium Beacon. South West of the river entrance, only a few miles across the Solent, lies Cowes, a extremely famous sailing town on the north coast of the Isle of Wight, that plays host to the worlds largest sailing race every summer.

Nearly all of the river is navigable to small craft at high tide, making it ideal for a Solent rib charter, although a 5 knot speed restriction applies to the whole river, so it would be an extremely satisfying journey (especially for kids and seniors) and would not exactly be a white knuckle blast.

There are a substantial number of moorings in the river, an anchorage on the other side of Gull Island, and a marina at Buckler’s Hard between them provide ample berthing options for your Solent yacht charter, but be aware that access to the river can be testing, and should not be attempted at low tide.

Besides from the river itself, the most popular sightseeing attractions include:

Buckler’s Hard, which due to its maritime history, including building wooden warships for Nelson’s fleet,(his favourite was the Agamemnon), museum, authentic restoration of 18th Century life and comprehensive facilities for yachts and yachtsmen is an absorbing place to visit, and you’d be in extremely good company. Sir Francis Chichester who was the first person to sail single-handedly around the world in Gipsy Moth IV chose Buckler’s Hard for his home port, and you are be able to appreciate some exhibits pertaining to this.

The most famous of the master shipbuilders from Buckler’s Hard was Henry Adams, who lived at what is now the amazing Master Builder’s House Hotel. We really recommend you to see this Hotel!

Beaulieu, which is one of the South of England’s leading visitor attractions which contains a good variety of exhibits such as the National Motor Museum, the James Bond Experience, the World of Top Gear, the Secret Army Exhibition and the Jaguar Jamboree. It also contains the historic Beaulieu Abbey and the Palace House.

Buckler’s Hard and Beaulieu are linked by The Riverside Walk, which, is very pretty, rich in birdlife, and is highly recommended.

Exbury Gardens, which are a few minutes walk from Buckler’s Hard, on the west side of the river. This is a 200 acre earthly paradise, famous for its Rothschild Collection of plants, shrubs and trees. It also has its own steam railway.