Places to visit in Lyme Bay

horatio_nelson

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I'm going to be making my way from the Solent to Plymouth in the next month, just wondering if anyone can recommend good places for a night or two's stay along Lyme Bay - anchorages and walk-ashores. 33ft 1.8m draft fin keel.

A cursory glance at Reed's hoping to find info about Charmouth got me wondering about West Bay - anyone been there?

I might well have a week or so to burn between Weymouth and Brixham (ultimate aim is to get Ellida to Plymouth so she's there ready for me when I step off the Class 40 I'm doing the Fastnet on!), all info / ideas / advice etc much appreciated :)
 

stephen_h

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Spent one rather wobbly night at West Bay. Very dodgy plastic floating pontoon
that was not easy to walk along. This was about a F3 westly so calm conditions
needed. Am a cat so no idea about depth :)
 

C08

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Spent one rather wobbly night at West Bay. Very dodgy plastic floating pontoon
that was not easy to walk along. This was about a F3 westly so calm conditions
needed. Am a cat so no idea about depth :)


I agree the plastic pontoon at Bridport is awful and not enough cleats. Totally exposed to the west as well. Lyme Regis also has a plastic pontoon-we lasted 1 hour on that and then went to anchor.
 

SimonFa

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We visit West Bay regularly by car, lovely place, and were there this morning. I've chatted to the HM a couple of times and reckon I could get in at the end of the pontoon at neaps and I draw 1.7m. However having seen it this morning I wouldn't go in on any wind from the South, it looked very uncomfortable.
 

SimonFa

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Oh dear, doesn't sound very promising :(

How would you burn a week between Weymouth and Brixham? (Don't say "go to France" :) )
If not France, CIs?

It's not between the 2 but you could try a couple of nights in Lulworth Cove. The ranges are closed for summer so you could anchor in Mupe/Worbarrow bays and visit Tyneham. The range walks are also enjoyable.

If you are going to spend any time in Weymouth you might want to think about the D&R marina as its a bit quieter.

It's not brilliant but a night in Portland marina gives you access to the Cove Inn, but book a table.
 

VicS

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How would you burn a week between Weymouth and Brixham? (Don't say "go to France" :) )

I think I get across Lyme baY without any interruptions and then spend the week around Brixham, Dartmouth, Salcombe and the Yealm
Brixham would be a new place for me but I've been to the others several times and would be happy to revisit.

I think the only place I have stopped between Portland and Dartmouth has been a very pleasant afternoon anchored off where Chesil beach meets the Isle of Portland while waiting for the tide to round the Bill.
 

prv

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How would you burn a week between Weymouth and Brixham?

I wouldn't!

Weymouth and Brixham are the departure and arrival points, respectively, for the passage across FLB. Then you have arrived in the lovely West Country. FLB is the gap you have to cross to get there, it's not a destination in itself.

Pete
 

Seajet

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horatio,

I have 3 words; don't do it !

Even a lift keel A22 had problems at West Bay, if bothered see the ' Buyers Guide / articles ' in the website in my signature below, shows the boat over at quite an angle, they settle upright in mud.

Hate to think of a fin keeler trying it.

I personally find Studland - outside The Race - Brixham is the best, going either way; if solo a decent Autohelm - say 2000 - will be worth its weight in gold.

There is a huge need for a decent port of shelter in Lyme Bay, and for centuries they've talked about channels & locks through Chesil Beach, but while boats get better so do environmentalists & nimbys so for my lifetime I expect to keep going outside !
 

Seajet

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horatio,

going around Portland inshore passage is OK from Weymouth heading west, if in daylight and you have a rope cutter on your propshaft ( prevailing SW means engine very likely ) - the channel is littered with lobster pot buoys which are pulled just under the surface by the current.

Coming from west to east, I once made the mistake of committing north into the bay planning on the inshore passage...

Despite a perfect forecast we ended up with a rather bothering SW 6-7 and an interesting inshore passage around the Bill - in fact it was over in minutes, the horrible bit was the hours before as we headed for the very crinkly water on the horizon.

So now I always aim to go outside the Race from the west, forget Weymouth and slant into Studland; usually the same in reverse heading west now.
 

mainsail1

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My experience is that there is nowhere suitable for overnight along the North Coast of Lyme Bay. On the East the only comfortable place is Weymouth or Portland. Lulworth and all the other bays to the East are disturbed by swell even when there is little wind. On the West side there is Exmouth which is OK with visitors moorings but check tides. Then there is Teignmouth which is OK but you need some tide to get you over the bar. Torquay I have never visited in a yacht. Brixham is fine although in Easterly winds it can be a bit lumpy. Dartmouth is fine. Salcombe is fine and so too is the Yealm.
 

eddystone

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The plastic pontoon at Lyme Regis is vile in anything with an E in it (and don't think it supports more than 1.5M draft) but so are visitor moorings then only option is to dry out in the harbour if there is room. LR nice to visit, but choose weather carefully.
 

eddystone

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horatio,


There is a huge need for a decent port of shelter in Lyme Bay, and for centuries they've talked about channels & locks through Chesil Beach, but while boats get better so do environmentalists & nimbys so for my lifetime I expect to keep going outside !

I enjoy sailing but not to the point of losing my sense of perspective; if anyone tried to drive a channel and locks through Chesil beach, I would personally lie down in front of the digger; and no I don't hug seahorses, even less NGM (though they are cute - seahorses that is)
 

horatio_nelson

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Bugger, I'm going to have to rethink this one

Great responses, thanks everyone, much appreciated :)

The bottom line is that I need to get as close to Charmouth as I can for 5th Aug. SWMBSWMBO* will be there :)

(*She who may become she who etc :D )
 

Seajet

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Torquay marina might be a better bet for potential SWMBO overland; but beware it's not a nice place , lots of yobs, weekend violence and not that handy to sail to.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mawObchMnCE

I had crew get to me by Torquay - I think - then not too pricey taxi to Brixham - if OK for a lady on her own, maybe at least meet her there.

Might be more romantic to soldier on to Dartmouth then go and meet her to join on the steam train - if smitten that's the sort of daft thing I've done in the past !

Then take her to the Cherub pub...if that doesn't do the trick put her on a banana boat to Somalia. :)
 
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longjohnsilver

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I know this area well, had my first boat moored in Lyme Regis and have dived in the area regularly for 35 years.

When they re developed West Bay about 7 years ago they effectively created a funnel that compounded any swell from an easterly and often southerly direction. It's an interesting place to visit with a few good pubs and restaurants, but I'd definitely want offshore or very light winds if staying overnight.

A few other options, one being Lyme Regis, again you'll want offshore or light SW to stay there. I'd forget the wobbly pontoon and either pick up a mooring buoy or put down your anchor and take the dinghy ashore, it's still one of my favourite places to visit.

A little further on there's Beer, if you tuck in close to the beach the anchoring is fine in sand and you're well protected from SW winds. Again plenty of pubs and a good fish and chip shop, and interesting shopping if that's what you like, as well as a good fish shop by the car park on the beach. Seeing the sun rise in the morning on the cliffs is simply stunning. And I've only ever anchored there with one other boat, strangely enough about 15 years ago, the other boat being the one we now own! Tis a small world.

Between Beer and Exmouth there's nowhere that has a recognised anchorage. There been lots written about the Exe, mostly true, but again I know it well still having an interest in 2 boats on the river. There's Exmouth Docks which has pontoons, but on a spring most of the docks dry out into soft mud which may explain why there's only 1 or 2 sailing boats moored there. There are visitors buoys toward where the channel turns N at Cockwood. A little further up toward Starcross there's a great floating cafe/restaurant, and further up there's Turf Locks hotel that's really a pub doing good food, and further on again there's Topsham which is a lovely place to spend a day or two, but I wouldn't recommend taking your boat any further than the Turf Locks as it then gets very shallow.

So far no one has mentioned Teignmouth which is another interesting place with a few visitors pontoons just off the beach, a stones throw Fromm 2 decent pubs. As with the Exe, care needs to be taken when entering and leaving, and the tidal streams in both rivers can be very strong.

Just before you reach Torbay there's Babbacombe and Ansteys cove which both provide good shelter from the prevailing SW winds. And there's the Carey arms with great views over the bay.

So lots of choices, but most depend on settled offshore winds. As others have said, there's a good argument to skip straight across the bay and spend time in Dartmouth and Salcombe, Dartmouth in particular has lots of mooring options with lots to do ashore. Whatever you do or choose, I'm sure you'll enjoy it.
 

colhel

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Thanks for posting LJS. We took our boat to Torquay via Lyme Regis a few weeks ago and stayed on the wobbly pontoons ( they are basically like the plastic blocks used by jet skis for berthing in marinas) and had a comfortable night with the wind being more West than SW. I rang the Harbour Master a couple of days earlier and found his manner and knowledge very pleasant and helpful.
Due to the distance between home and boat we will be bringing her back, possibly next week, so won't have the opportunity to explore much this time but will be back when we have a longer time aboard.
Incidentally (for the OP) Torquay is quite a lively town but I haven't witnessed any trouble, just people enjoying themselves. It also has some quiet areas and a very picturesque coastal path. The train station is about a 20 minute walk to the Harbour/Marina where you can catch a ferry to Brixham for 3 quid return.
 

Ripster

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Thanks for posting LJS. We took our boat to Torquay via Lyme Regis a few weeks ago and stayed on the wobbly pontoons ( they are basically like the plastic blocks used by jet skis for berthing in marinas) and had a comfortable night with the wind being more West than SW. I rang the Harbour Master a couple of days earlier and found his manner and knowledge very pleasant and helpful.
Due to the distance between home and boat we will be bringing her back, possibly next week, so won't have the opportunity to explore much this time but will be back when we have a longer time aboard.
Incidentally (for the OP) Torquay is quite a lively town but I haven't witnessed any trouble, just people enjoying themselves. It also has some quiet areas and a very picturesque coastal path. The train station is about a 20 minute walk to the Harbour/Marina where you can catch a ferry to Brixham for 3 quid return.

Further to the other comments on Torbay, Dart and Salcombe (Our regular area)- my twopenneth Teignmouth is nice but limited mooring and you need a tender to get to shore. Torquay is fine for a visit - easy access anytime. Don't believe all this over-hype about it being some sort of unsafe ghetto. Its lively on a Fri and Sat night yes, but not unsafe. Nice coast walk too. The MDL marina and town dock have serviced visitors spaces and walk ashore. Brixham is quieter and more traditional (boat lift and diesel there) and fine in all but a strongish easterly when it get a bit swelly. Dart is beautiful, lots of mooring, some walk ashore, lovely place to be. Salcombe same - but virtually no walkashore. Diesel on the Dart and in Salcombe.
 

colhel

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I certainly don't believe all the over-hype Ripster ... It's nice to be made aware of when visiting somewhere new as to what the ideal conditions are and when best avoided but it seems to me that people could be put off visiting somewhere new that they might really enjoy by reading this forum.
If I beleived all I read on here I wouldn't go anywhere.
 
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