Fixing Boats in Exotic Locations - Amelie Rose’s Top 5 Cruising Destinations

Amelie Rose cruising home from the ScillyFans of Ratty from the Wind in the Willows will know his oft quoted line about there being “…nothing . . . absolutely nothing . . . half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats.” and when the boats are as lovely to be aboard as Amelie Rose we can’t agree more.

Cruising – the big boat equivalent - has also sometimes been described as the process of “fixing boats in exotic locations” so a skippered charter cruising holiday is probably the best way to sample the experience of exploring a coastline by sea, without all of the maintenance and worry.

Over the years we’ve sailed Amelie Rose all over the Channel area and have developed some firm favourite cruising grounds. Read on for our list of perfect locations for fixing things whilst our guests relax and soak up the atmosphere…

1: Isles of Scilly

Amelie Rose anchored in The Cove, St Agnes, ScillyOk, so we might be a bit biased, Amelie Rose is a Scillonian Pilot Cutter after all, but for us these magical islands really do have it all. Clear blue waters, white sandy beaches, fascinating history and a plethora of flora and fauna combine to make this our very favourite cruising area. Each island has a different character and there are no marinas to spoil the view – just Amelie Rose rocking gently at anchor as her guests explore a new island every day.

In amongst the islands there’s marine wildlife to spot with seals and puffins lounging and flapping around the Western rocks whilst shore-side the Islands are a haven for all manner of exotic birdlife from the stunning Golden Pheasant to the many migratory species that stopover here. For history lovers there’s prehistoric remains to discover and we have a special place in our hearts for the St Mary’s Maritime Museum wherein lies a half model of the AZ – a Scilly Pilot Cutter from which Amelie Rose’s lines are taken. That each trip begins and ends with a passage past maritime legends like the Lizard Peninsula and Land’s End really is the icing on this very moreish cake.

Click if you’d like to sail to the Scilly on a Scillonian Pilot Cutter.

2: North Brittany

Amelie Rose moored in St Malo From St Malo in the East to Douarnenez in the South West the North Brittany coastline is dressed in spectacular scenery of jagged granite (pink in some places), sandy beaches and green hills rolling down to the sea. Studded along this natural beauty are some of the Channel’s most welcoming harbours – for the French do love traditional sailing boats. Our favourites include the ancient walled harbour town of St Malo, the stunning Baie de Morlaix and the home of one of our favourite French Festivals, Douarnenez.

What makes cruising this coastline win out over other favourites however, is the chance to immerse ourselves in the wonderful Breton culture. The language, food and drink are all uniquely Breton and no trip is ever complete without sampling the lovely local cider (says Nick). Added to this we often get the chance to pop into our other cruising favourite the Channel Islands either on the way there or back so it really is the recipe for a perfect cruise.

If you’d like to sample the best of Northern Brittany click here

3: Channel Islands

Amelie Rose anchored in Dixcart Bay, SarkJust a few miles from the French Coast the Channel Islands are packed with historical and navigational interest in almost equal measures. Home of the infamous Swinge and the Alderney Race it’s the perfect place to practice your pilotage under the tutelage of Yachtmaster Instructor Nick, and there’s still plenty to see and do if you’d rather let the skipper take care of all that.


There’s nothing quite like the sensation of raising Alderney after the Channel Crossing. Being out of sight of land for a few hours puts one in touch with how mariners throughout history must have felt as the cry of “Land Ho!” rings out on deck. From this point onwards the islands are a delight. For us St Peter Port in Guernsey is always a welcome break in the sailing, giving us a chance to wonder round the shops and re-provision before we head off to the true gems of the Islands; Herm, Sark and occasionally a visit to the only French Channel Islands of Les Iles Chausey. Sark is our particular favourite though, and we rarely miss an opportunity to stay for a whole day to explore this lovely island properly.

Fancy visiting the Channel Islands? Click here for more details

4: Cornwall and Devon Coast

Amelie Rose sailing off St Mawes, CornwallWe love the dramatic vistas and natural harbours of this granite coast. From Dartmouth to the Helford the South Devon and Cornwall coastline is bristling with stunning places to visit. As you ghost your way in from seaward, some of the harbour entrances appear as nothing more than an hiatus in a tree-lined cliff and this enhances the feeling of welcome as you round a turn in the river to be presented with the prettiness of Fowey, the old worldliness of Newton Ferrers or the drama of Dartmouth.


Of course no trip to the West Country can ever be complete without wandering at least some of the way up the lovely Helford River towards Gweek where Amelie Rose was “born” and most of our downtime between trips will be spent at anchor off the beautiful village of St Mawes in Falmouth Harbour. If rugged landscapes hiding bustling harbours are your thing then you must put a West Country Cruise (or Dash) in your diary.

Click to find out when you can visit the West Country aboard the Amelie Rose

5: Solent & Jurassic Coast

Amelie Rose at anchor in Newtown Creek in the SolentFull of hustle and bustle in the Summer, our home turf can still muster secluded anchorages in the Spring and Autumn as well as having a wide selection of interesting harbours and fishing villages to explore. Our favourite haunts include the lovely anchorages of Newtown Creek, Gull Island (up the Beaulieu River) and Worbarrow Bay on the Jurassic Coast.


If it’s a harbour buzz that you enjoy then Yarmouth is pretty hard to beat – both for the friendliness of the staff and for the number of hostelries packed into such a diminutive space, although Weymouth and the Hamble both manage this combination pretty well too. Even though it does get busy in high season, the sheer amount of places to go and the sheltered waters sailing it offers guarantee the Solent a place in our affections.

Click here to check out our Solent Cruises


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