Best Boating Holiday Destinations in the UK

Nautique Inboard

Your RIB is a fantastic way to explore the best of what the UK has to offer. We have an amazing coastline, dramatic lakes, and natural and manmade waterways that wind through cities and countryside. This year, don’t limit yourself to your local area – whether you transport your RIB via a trailer or attached to your yacht, secure it on and head to these destinations for a summer of adventure.

The best UK boating holiday destinations are:

  1. 1. The Jurassic Coast
  2. 2. The Norfolk Broads
  3. 3. Suffolk Coast and Heath
  4. 4. The Cornwall Coastline
  5. 5. The Welsh Coast
  6. 6. The Thames
  7. 7. The Lake District


Top Boating Holiday Destinations: Everything You Need to Know

All of the destinations that we’ve picked offer a great choice of places to launch your RIB and moor up for lunch. Each destination should be thoroughly researched before you head off. Some locations, like Windermere in the Lake District, require you to register your boat with the local authorities, and while some places allow you to launch your RIB for free, others require a small fee.

1. The Jurassic Coast

The best boating destination for history lovers

Durdle Door

We wouldn’t be a proper Dorset-based business if we didn’t shout about the World Heritage Site that sits on our doorstep first. The Jurassic Coast is the name of a stretch of coast located between Studland Bay and Exmouth in East Devon. A hotspot for fossil hunting, its rugged cliffs and hidden coves have revealed some of the best dinosaur remains in the world.

The best place to launch your RIB in this area is Portland Marina, from which you can explore the historic seaside towns of Weymouth and Swanage, potter round to Studland Bay for a spot of sunbathing on the beach, and get up close to the dramatic Durdle Door landmark next to Lulworth Cove.

2. The Norfolk Broads

The best boating destination for pottering about

The Norfolk Broads

Offering over 120 miles of navigable lock-free waterways, The Broads are the perfect adventure warren. Found to be flooded peat workings, The Broads are now a protected area, with the grazelands and marshes home to a huge variety of birds, mammals and aquatic species. With towns and villages dotted around The Broads, many of the waterway’s pubs have dedicated mooring areas, so you can hop off and enjoy a refreshment.

Because there are lots of town and villages situated within The Broads network, there are plenty of places from which to launch your RIB boat. The Broads Authority is a great site to find information on where to launch your boat on The Broads, how much it may or may not cost, and where to moor your boat.

3. Suffolk Coast and Heath

The best boating destination for pubs on the water

Suffolk Coast

The Suffolk Coast and Heath area around Ipswich and Felixstowe is an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Felixstowe Harbour acts as a confluence area for the River Orwell, the River Stour, and the River Deben. These river estuaries provide the perfect playground for motorboat owners, and have a thriving community of boat owners who spend summers cruising up and down the various rivers and visiting the numerous watering holes that line them.

With areas to water ski and places to feel the full throttle of your RIB engine, this area of Suffolk offers something for everyone. There are numerous places to launch your RIB, including Levington Marina – if the River Orwell is your first port of call – and Waldringfield if it’s the Deben.

4. The Cornish Coastline

The best boating destination for beach lovers and surfers

The Cornish Coastline

TV shows like Doc Martin and Poldark have helped to boost further Cornwall’s position as one of the UK’s most popular holiday destinations. The Atlantic facing north coast and English Channel facing south coast offer completely different experiences for boat owners. For wide sandy beaches and wild craggy cliffs, head to Cornwall’s north coast, and for rustic beaches and picture postcard scenery head to Cornwall’s South Coast.

Chef Rick Stein’s realm of Padstow in north Cornwall offers three potential places to launch your RIB and a whole host of places to grab fish and chips (including Rick Stein’s restaurant), have a drink, or do some shopping. In south Cornwall, head to Falmouth harbour to launch your boat, and anchor up in the sheltered Falmouth or Fowey estuaries after a day of exploring the dubbed Cornish Riviera.

5. The Welsh Coast

The best boating destination for sun worshippers

The Welsh Coast

Boasting four mile stretches of wide open, sandy beaches, the Llyn Peninsula on the Welsh coast is one of the finest coastal stretches in the UK. From blue flag beaches to pretty coastal towns, there’s plenty to explore on your Welsh boating holiday – and it can all start Pwllheli – the perfect place to launch your boat.

One of the other great things about the Llyn Peninsula is its south facing orientation. It means that beach-goers and boat owners can enjoy the sun from sunrise to sundown, making it the ideal location to enjoy the best days of the great British summer.

6. The River Thames

The best boating destination for urban explorers

The River Thames

While the River Thames runs straight through our capital city, the stretch of water starts life as a lazy river in the Cotswolds. With popular towns and villages including Marlow, Henley-on-Thames, Oxford, and Windsor on its route, the River Thames is a fantastic way to explore both quintessential rural areas and busy, urban stretches.

Taking in the sights of our capital city from your RIB could be part of your next big adventure – just be mindful that the River Thames is tidal, meaning it can see one metre plus waves particularly around high tide, and things like speed limits – in addition to other rules – apply.

7. The Lake District

The best boating destination for thrill-seekers

The Lake District

Within the dramatic landscape of The Lake District, there are so many activities to indulge in. The area’s flagship lake – Lake Windermere – plays host to whole range of water sports – from sailing to water skiing. If this is your thing, taking your RIB up to the lakes will guarantee a holiday of adventure.

To launch your boat onto Windermere, you’ll need a license. If you haven’t registered your boat before, it’ll cost you £20, and you’ll need to pay an additional £10 for the license plates. There are also speed limits and other bylaws to adhere to. That’s not to put you off, though. The Lake District is a truly impressive place to experience, with tonnes of walks, eating establishments, and villages to explore, too.

Choose a Cobra RIB for your summer adventure

If you’re looking to have the ultimate summer adventure, a Cobra RIB is one of the best ways to do it. If you’re a Cobra RIB owner, have our engineers ensure it’s raring to go for the summer. And if you’re considering purchasing or upgrading a Cobra RIB, why not speak to the team to explore new and second hand options that can be completely customised to your specifications.

We look forward to seeing you on the water soon!