Under new management
Across from Oban on Scotland’s west coast lies the Isle of Kerrera. Last September, local couple Tim and Gill Vollum became full-time managers of its marina. They have changed the name from Oban Marina to Kerrera Marina to avoid confusion with the short-stay marina in Oban, as well as to celebrate their island home. The pair, along with their small team of dedicated staff, have plans to develop the marina further to cater for families visiting in yachts, including the inviting new Waypoint restaurant and bar, full customer facilities and now, with the addition of a road linking the north of the island to the Cal Mac ferry, there are greater connections to the mainland and general exploration of the island is easier. See kerreramarina.com for details on berthing fees and boatyard services.
Power from the people
Gaze out on the marina as you work out, and be one of the first to convert human energy into electricity. The doors are now open 24/7 to MDL Marinas’ gym, MDL Fitness, at Queen Anne’s Battery in Plymouth. With SportsArt ECO-POWR™, MDL Fitness transforms a gym into a power plant that offsets electrical usage. All the usual kit you’d expect is here – treadmills, bikes, free weights, fixed resistance machines, etc – but the difference is they are combined with energy-generating technology. There are a range of memberships available, and the good news is boat owners and visitors to the marina can use the gym too. There is a one-day access pass which is valid for use multiple times in one single day (midnight to midnight). To find out more, visit mdlmarinas.co.uk/mdl-fitness.
VirCru is a new smart boat system enabling you to remotely monitor and control your boat via smartphone. Easy to install, onboard sensors connect to a smart device to give you a comprehensive view of your boat’s condition, wherever you are – allowing you to monitor battery power, boat position, temperature and bilge levels. The VirCru Launch Bundle costs £250 – find out more and subscribe at vircru.com.
Buy into life on the waterfront – No 45 The Winerack Apartments is a spacious two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment within the brand-new Winerack development in the heart of sophisticated Ipswich marina. With 837 sq. ft. of interior designed luxury, contemporary finishes and large balcony off both bedrooms with south-facing views over the marina, this is one of the Winerack’s finest examples within the second quarter. Q2 is the tallest and most prominent quarter in the development, spread over 17 floors, offering some of the best views of the town, marina and beyond. Priced at £275,000 – Help to Buy is also available to first-time buyers on all Q2 and Q4 apartments at The Winerack. For more information, go to thewinerackapartments.com.
Fun for foodies in Wales
A popular event in Milford Waterfront’s annual calendar, the Street Food Festival will be back for the first time since the pandemic. In partnership with Street Food Warehouse, it takes place from 5-7 August along Mackerel Quay, between Milford Marina and the waterway. Free from noon to 10pm for three days, there will be dishes and cuisines from all over the world to sample, from North African to Mexican, fresh local seafood and sweet treats, plus drinks and live music too. Make a weekend of it – stay in the centre of the action at the new Ty Hotel Milford Waterfront, where a two-night stay over the festival weekend will cost from £301, based on two sharing on bed and breakfast basis (milfordwaterfront.co.uk).
Marina extension at ardrossan
Plans for a 150-berth extension to Ardrossan Marina are moving forward – a design team is soon to be appointed, and Clyde Marina, which operates the existing marina, will continue to partner with the council on the new development. Currently providing 260 berths and over 300 boatyard spaces, the marina reached full capacity and saw record visitor numbers last year. The proposed extension is part of an ambitious £170m regeneration programme for Ardrossan, which also includes new homes, a coastal path and an Educational and Community Campus. It is hoped work should get under way in the second half of 2023, bringing more job and tourism opportunities to this west-coast Scottish town.
A harbour holiday
Experience the tranquillity of a tidal harbour when not out at sea, with a stay at Thornham Marina in Chichester Harbour. Two floating high-spec ‘Arks’, Seabreeze and Samphire, are ideal for a luxurious, romantic getaway for two – they each have a kitchenette, en-suite shower room, Freeview TV, mood lighting, a music surround system, and your own private deck to enjoy your complimentary breakfast. Walk around Thorney Island and you might be lucky enough to see seals. Bring kayaks or paddleboards and get out onto the water from the slipway at high tide, or if cycling is more your thing, head along the coast or up to the South Downs for amazing views. Prices start from £135 per night, rising to £260 per night, depending on the season. All bookings are on a minimum two-night stay basis. See thornhammarina.com/boat-stay for more info.
Be part of the #boatgen
Marina operator Boatfolk and charity the Andrew Simpson Foundation are working together to inspire children to become a boating generation. The #boatgen campaign aims to bring young boaters together and give them all the tools they need to start having fun afloat. From training for beginners to the opportunity to meet and inspire other like-minded young sailors, the goal is to build skills and confidence, on and off the water. Know someone this would appeal to? There’s bound to be a sailing or watersports event near them – you’ll find Boatfolk marinas in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Find out more at boatfolk.co.uk/boatgen/boatgen-activities.
See Norfolk from the water
Inject adventure into a stay on the North Norfolk coast with a privately chartered RIB from Morston Quay. Tour options include sunrise wildlife-spotting along the coast to Salthouse and family picnic trips to Wells-next-the-Sea. A travel photographer by trade, skipper Ian Aitken also has plenty of tips for those keen to capture spectacular shots of the scenery (£250/90-min charter, up to 5 passengers, ages 6+. doglegcharters.co.uk).
Go deep on the Dart
Set on the eastern bank of the River Dart a few minutes from Dartmouth, Noss on Dart marina offers easy access to some of the most beautiful anchorages and ports in Devon. Now, as part of Premier Marinas’ £75m ongoing redevelopment programme, there is an opportunity to secure one of just two 25m deep-water berths for larger yachts too. ‘The floating marina was completed last summer and we’re delighted to now offer these deep-water berths, which are extremely rare on the River Dart,’ said Andy Osman CMM, general manager. Both berths will be on D Pontoon – two spaces on a run of pontoon measuring approximately 100m long. For information on berthing at Noss on Dart, call 01489 884060, or go to premiermarinas.com.
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