Sailing to Plymouth and back, taking a bit more time to explore
26th June 2021 by Martin
15 days, 350NM - This was our 3rd trip down to the West Country. The goal this time was to just get as far as Plymouth and to spend more time in each place relaxing and exploring.
River Hamble to Lymington
Lymington to Poole Harbour
Poole Harbour to Weymouth
Weymouth to Dartmouth & Kingswear (across Lyme Bay)
Kingswear to Dittisham
Dittisham to Salcombe
Salcombe to River Yealm
River Yealm to Plymouth
Having phoned around the main marinas en-route to Plymouth and having no luck (some big sailing event on in Plymouth over the weekend), I called Plymouth Yacht Haven and was pleased to be offered a berth for the night. The Yacht Haven is across the water from the Barbican on the Mount Batten peninsular. Whilst Sutton marina remains my favourite due to its location in the Barbican, the Yacht Haven has definitely pushed QAB into 3rd place. They have a ferry that runs back and forth to the Barbican every half hour and is really no bother at all. It’s actually quite nice to be close the Barbican but just far enough away from all the “revellers”.
For us, every visit to Plymouth involves a visit to the Stable pizza and cider restaurant. I know it’s a chain but it’s great fun and I really enjoy the Cider Tasting Menu. We had a short trip over on the ferry complete with the obligatory Hen and stag parties. It was a night during the football European cup and England were playing so there was quite a lot of activity in the Barbican that night.
The following morning the forecast had changed and was full of rain and F6 winds so the Yacht Haven let us stay an extra night, as long as we left by 7:30am the next morning. They had put us on the large Princess dock and the big motorboats were due back that day. So despite the wind and occasional rain (hey, it’s Plymouth, it rains practically every day in Plymouth anyway) we took a walk around Mount Batten and up the hill to the tower. Shame the tower itself wasn’t open but the views from the hill across Plymouth Sound are great.
For dinner we decided to check out the Yacht Haven marina’s own restaurant, The Bridge. From the moment we stepped through the door we realised this wasn’t your average marina restaurant. This was probably one of the best meals we had on this whole two week trip. The decor, service and food are probably better than than anything you could find in and around the Barbican. I can’t recommend their restaurant enough!
Overall,the Yacht Haven was a big surprise for us. With the really helpful, friendly staff, access to the Barbican, plus the excellent restaurant I am sure we will be back.
Plymouth to Brixham
To shelter from the big storm that was forecast for the next couple of days, we managed to book a couple of nights in Brixham Marina. It’s always a bonus when we can book into an MDL marina as we get to stay there for free, thanks to MDL’s Freedom Berthing scheme.
We’re trying to spend more time exploring the places we visit so we have taken up Geocaching again. We enjoyed a geocaching-led guided tour of the harbour before heading off in search of a couple of caches on the way to Battery Park. We were rewarded with some amazing views over the harbour and the small bays next to Brixham.
As a reward for our 20k steps we stopped at one of our favourite little cocktail and cake bars, called Liberty. The decor in that place always makes we smile, my Dark and Stormy cocktail helped too.