With long stretches of stunning coastline, Suffolk is undoubtedly an idyllic location for watersports and adventurous vacations. Bring your own sailing boat and set sail or if you’re new to the idea of a sailing holiday, take a look at some of the Activity Centres below and book yourself on a course to try it out. From small and large yacht charters to exciting sailing trips and celebratory and corporate events through to Ocean Yacht-Master to comprehensive RYA sail training for beginners, Suffolk has it all!
Alton Water on the Ipswich Reservoir is a great place for beginners to start to find their sea legs. This is Suffolk’s largest reservoir, and Alton Water provides a variety of sailing, windsurfing and kayaking courses with fully qualified and enthusiastic instructors. Short courses could be a morning or a day, or if you’re in the area for a holiday, check out some of their longer watersports courses at Alton Water.
They also have an extensive range of Kayaks, paddle boards, dinghies, row boats and windsurf equipment available to hire, so bring the family down and make a day of it.
Find out more here – Alton Water Watersports Activity Centre
The River Stour Trust
The River Stour Trust actively encourages the use of the river and organises many river-based activities and fundraising events on or near the river. This charity operates river trips along the Stour for the public at Sudbury, Flatford and Dedham, so if a gentle day ‘messing about on the river is what you’re after, you couldn’t be in better hands. See The River Stour Trust, Sudbury, for more information about their cruises & activities.
The East Anglian Saling Trust
The EAST ANGLIAN SAILING TRUST provides disabled sailors and their carers with regular chances to participate in sailing ventures whilst promoting enhanced confidence, independence, and involvement in the community. EAST is a registered charity based run entirely by volunteers from Suffolk Yacht Harbour on the River Orwell near Ipswich. There is a programme of activities throughout the year so check them out now – East Anglian Sailing Trust.
Lady Florence & Allen Gardiner River Cruise Restaurant
Why not try a River Cruise Restaurant if you love being on the water but want to enjoy it more leisurely? The Allen Gardiner River Cruise Restaurant, situated at Ipswich Marina, provides wonderful Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, and Supper excursions, including a knowledgeable commentary on the sights of the River Orwell. Located at the Orford Quay, Lady Florence provides Brunch, Lunch, and Dinner Cruises accompanied by a narrative about Orford. During the cold months, the Lady Florence and the Allen Gardiner are both outfitted with cole fires, and both can be hired privately as a unique celebration venue in the scenic spots of the Suffolk rivers.
Deben Cruises, Walberswick
The company provides wildlife and history on-board commentary on two-hour boat rides down the River Deben with trips departing twice a day and also offers exclusive evening trips. From May 17, it plans to resume regular service, but for now, the company is only accepting group reservations and will post a notice on its website when individual reservations are allowed again.
To make a group booking, please visit Deben Cruises’ website or contact them via 01473 736260.
Suffolk River Trips
Wildlife watchers can once again take a paddle on the Alde and Ore rivers this spring and summer. Beginning April 12, trips will once again be departing from Snape Maltings Quay and starting mid-June from Orford. A shallow-draft launch operates from Snape to Havergate Island, which is part of the RSPB reserve, for Orford boat trips. Wading birds can be seen there, so keen birdwatchers will appreciate being welcomed aboard these boat trips. Visit www.suffolkrivertrips.com for more information.
One of the most spectacular and beautiful locations for river cruises on the Suffolk coast is the tidal Deben Estuary. The estuary is part of one of our two Heaths area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the East coast.
Orwell River Cruises
The lower deck of the Orwell Lady will be accessible from May 17, provided everything goes well. From April 17 to June 21, she will be taking people on sightseeing cruises, exclusively using the top deck.
Despite being one of the driest counties in the country, Suffolk still experiences rain. The Jahan is an all-weather boat, and you may book individual seats or group seating. The MV Jahan is 38ft long and holds 54 people, two crew members included. She has broad hatches and two hydraulic floor lifting spaces to allow for up to two disabled persons in small standard wheelchairs, in addition to life-saving equipment, a toilet, and a small galley providing snacks.