Sailing around the British Isles is one of the great adventures, complete with challenging conditions and breathtaking scenery. For 12 weeks the Round Britain Experience® transports you to some of the most memorable locations in Great Britain whilst you have the opportunity to learn all the skills necessary to sail anywhere in the world. For a full list of the sailing qualifications available, click here.

The Round Britain Experience offers:

◦    The unique sensation of sailing around the British Isles in your own cabin at an unhurried pace, meeting a diverse range of challenges along the way.

◦    An adventure that will appeal to beginners and experienced sailors in equal measure.

◦    An experience that will live in the memory forever, visiting over 60 destinations, many of which people only dream or talk about, on board a modern cruising yacht.

◦    The opportunity to be fully involved in the running of the boat, deciding her destinations, charting her passages and piloting her into rocky anchorages.

◦    Instruction to RYA Coastal Skipper standard and the opportunity to earn qualifications up to Yachtmaster.

◦    An additional professional sail-training programme for Yachtmaster candidates which consists of Yachtmaster preparation and independent assessment.

◦    Our departure port is the beautiful town of Brixham, Devon in April and July, we return 12 weeks later having covered a minimum of 2500 miles and having visited some of the most spectacular locations our islands have to offer

In Brief

The Round Britain Experience starts on a Sunday; On arrival we greet you with a Champagne reception and nibbles to let you get to know us and your crewmates. We then introduce you to your yacht and give you a short safety brief before we leave you to get to know each other during your first evening. On Monday morning we start your initial training, we spend 3 days getting you used to sailing one of our 36 - 38 foot yachts interspaced with three of the RYA one-day courses: Sea Survival, First Aid and VHF Radio, (these courses are the only compulsory ones we ask you to complete for yours and your crewmates safety). 

Brixham Harbour Brixham

7 days after your arrival we set sail on the first leg of the trip toward the picture-postcard harbours of Salcombe, Newton Ferrers, Fowey and Falmouth before heading further west to the Scilly Isles, the source of many Experience stories, and then possibly overnight along the north Cornwall coast to Padstow. 

The Southern Irish Sea presents some of the most exhilarating sailing of the voyage, as accompanying dolphins become a regular feature, sharks have even been observed regularly.

Continuing up the Irish coast a couple of days in Dublin is a must before maybe heading back across the Irish Sea to the stunning Isle of Man, Belfast Lough and Port Patrick are possible destinations to be enjoyed before sailing past the Mull of Kintyre and into the mists and magic of the Scottish islands.

Whichever of the islands you choose to visit, and let's be clear here, you ultimately decide the yacht's ports of call, you will not be disappointed. From remote anchorages to friendly fishing villages and distillery towns, the variety of settings coupled with the spectacular beauty never fails to impress. Depending on the conditions you may even have the opportunity to pass through the Gulf of Corryvreckan, one of the most fearsome channels in the British Isles with a worldwide reputation.

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Oban, West Scotland

Moving further north, destinations include Oban, Skye, the Outer Hebrides and the Shiant Islands. Seabirds now continuously surround the yacht, puffins are ever present and large schools of Minke and Pilot whales are often encountered. Rounding Cape Wrath and anchoring in, say, Loch Eriboll allows you to explore one of the most remote parts of mainland Britain before setting sail for Orkney and hopefully Shetland. To date every Experience has explored Orkney and most have managed the remote outpost of Shetland, both highlights of the trip.

Leaving behind the Atlantic Ocean and turning your back (metaphorically) on the prevailing wind, the North Sea offers a whole new set of challenges as you sail south along Scotland's north east coast before heading up the Firth of Forth for a day or two in Edinburgh. By the time you arrive in Edinburgh you would have learnt and put into practice new sailing techniques daily for over two months and will have reached a high level of competence, if you have chosen to earn RYA qualifications you will normally be awarded Day Skipper certificates at this stage and be well on your way to Coastal Skipper.

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The famous Forth Rail Bridge

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Edinburgh Castle at sunset

The East Coast is often underestimated but our skippers are very conversant with the beautiful areas on offer on the beautiful untouched Northumbrian coastline, taking in the seal and bird colonies of the Farne Islands before heading up the Tyne and to the bright city lights of Newcastle. Scenic Whitby and the East Anglian rivers and waterways are among the many destinations as you wind your way to London.

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Leaving St. Katharine's on the final leg

London is a must-see stopover where we normally moor in St Katharine's Marina right under Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. We normally stop here for three or four days to allow you to sightsee the bustling capital. The final leg from London to Brixham takes in some of the busiest waters in the world and allows you to put your skills to the test with challenging navigation and exhilarating sailing in the English Channel.

We normally take in the Channel Islands of Alderney, Jersey and Guernsey on this leg. But remember you as the crew make the decisions on where you would like to sail! 


Passing the white cliffs of Dover

Almost 3000 miles later, Brixham greets your return in much the same way as it marked your departure 12 weeks earlier. A champagne reception awaits as you celebrate being one of only a few who have circumnavigated the British Isles. 

It is, truly, an adventure of a lifetime.

© South West Marine Training 2012