If you’re coming to the coast, chances are it’s because you want to spend as much time near the water as possible and if that’s true, you’ve come to the right place as Sidmouth, like most of the Jurassic Coast has plenty of water based activities on offer.
Sailing and boating
Not surprisingly for a town that has an annual regatta, sailing and boating are two important parts of Sidmouth’s history. The town’s maritime heritage ranges from the locals heading out on small fishing boats for food to eat and sell in the region’s many local markets to being the home of people like Commander John Carslake, Nelson’s midshipman on the HMS Victory, which headed into the Battle of Trafalgar.
Walking along the seafront, you’ll spot a number of small fishing boats and further out on the horizon, pleasure cruises. There are a number of organisations offering boat trips around the Jurassic Coast both to and from Sidmouth, you can find out more information at the Tourist Information Centre.
Boats for fishing and leisure leave from Sidmouth’s Port Royal Marina, an idea that has been in development since the 1800s. Back when the town was a Regency resort, there were plans to create a harbour at Sidmouth and work actually began to start building one, however the plan was abandoned and then picked up again in the 2000s when plans were submitted for the Port Royal Marina. This can be found at the end of Sidmouth Esplanade and offers mooring booths for boat owners and hirers as well as being an ideal place for boat launches.
Sidmouth Sailing Club is a family run sailing club with a full programme of training and races taking place throughout the year. You’ll find them at the top of the Lyme Bay and both the club and the clubhouse are open to the public during events including the Sidmouth Regatta which they organise.
The Sidmouth Sailing Regatta takes place every year over the August bank holiday and sees some of the region’s best sailors putting their skills to the test. This hugely popular event brings competitors and spectators from all across the south west and a number of events, workshops and other activities are put on throughout the duration of the race. Don’t forget to wait for the end for the annual fire work display!
Watersports in Sidmouth
Sidmouth’s iconic position beneath the cliffs of the Jurassic Coast and views across the Lyme Bay make it the perfect place for anyone wanting a scenic trip out on the waves. During the summer months, you can find concession stands offering equipment hire for a variety of vessels including kayaks, body boards, paddle boards and more.
For those of you who want to give it a go, this is the perfect place to give it a try. The equipment hire companies are run by experienced surfers, kayakers and members of the Sidmouth Life Boat crew who are more than happy to talk you through the techniques and to make sure you have the right equipment for your age and ability. They even offer tuition, so there is no excuse not to give it a go! Not only is it a great way to have a solo adventure, there are also opportunities for the whole family to get involved, so make sure to seek them out along the sea front.
If watersports aren’t your thing, don’t forget that there are a host of other activities on offer in Sidmouth and the surrounding areas, click here to find out more.