All the appeal of a life on the ocean wave without any of the hard work – sea views guaranteed! Words: Adrienne Wyper
FOR HISTORY BUFFS
Albatros, Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk
Built in 1899, the Albatros was used to smuggle Jews from Nazi-occupied Denmark to Sweden and carry arms for the Resistance. Now docked in Wells-next-the-Sea, it is living a new life as a bar/restaurant specialising in local beers and Dutch-style pancakes. Those wanting to get a closer look can bed down in one of the six replica crew cabins, with bunks sleeping up to 14 people. This is a great option for families too: go crabbing with the kids on the quayside or head for the beach.
Albatros, Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk, prices from £70 per night for the double ‘captain’s cabin’, including breakfast (07979 087228, albatroswells.co.uk).
FOR WILDLIFE WATCHING
Hebrides Cruises, Inner Hebrides, Scotland
Departing from Oban, the six-night ‘Skye and the Small Isles Explorer’ cruise takes in the diverse islands of the Inner Hebrides – Canna, Rum, Muck and Eigg. Keep your binoculars by your side, as you’re likely to spot plenty of bird and sea life, with the help of the Hebrides Cruises’ walking guides. With just 12 guests aboard, it’s possible to anchor in beautiful, remote locations.
Skye and the Small Isles Explorer cruise – prices from £1,265pp for six nights (01631 711986, hebridescruises.co.uk).
FOR ISLAND LIFE
Harbour Houseboat, Bembridge, Isle of Wight
After walking up the gangplank you may feel no need to venture very far from this houseboat that sleeps up to four adults with five children. It’s light and spacious, with a roof terrace for secluded sunbathing. Use the telescope for a closer look
at boats and wildlife, and by night point it toward the stars. There are three beaches nearby, and behind the boat is Brading Marshes, the Isle of Wight’s first RSPB reserve, known for cuckoos, blackcaps and chiffchaffs in spring.
Harbour Houseboat, Bembridge, Isle of Wight, prices from £175 per night (0117 204 7830, canopyandstars.co.uk).
Looking for the perfect holiday right at the water’s edge? Try out our selection of exclusive cruise trips around the British Isles here.
MV Reliant, Troon, Scotland
The MV Reliant is a former fishing trawler, now moored in the marina in Troon. The boat’s owners have turned it into a unique accommodation option, with two double cabins, one family room and one apartment for up to six. Included in the price is a full Scottish breakfast and the owners also serve up authentic Thai food, on request, for dinner. At sunset, take a book and a drink on deck and enjoy views out to the Isle of Arran.
MV Reliant, Troon, prices from £50 per night for a double cabin (book through visitscotland.com).
FOR HERITAGE HEADLINERS
Faithful, Kingswear, Devon
Dartmouth is strong on maritime tradition: the Pilgrim Fathers stopped here on their way to America, Britannia Royal Naval College looms above the town, and Sir Walter Raleigh’s boathouse lies upstream. Across the river mouth from Dartmouth in Kingswear is Faithful, a former fishing boat with a kitchen equipped with utensils that used to belong to the HMS Ark Royal. Owner Yvette welcomes guests aboard with fresh patisseries and flowers. Take the ferry across to the Dart Marina Hotel, where Yvette’s guests can use the pool, steam room and hot tub during the day.
Faithful, Kingswear, Devon, prices from £120 per night (0117 204 7830, canopyandstars.co.uk).
FOR VARIED VIEWS
Fred Olsen Cruises, Land’s End to John O’Groats
Forget your passport for this 11-night cruise. After setting sail from Southampton, the itinerary takes you to north to Invergordon in Scotland before cruising on to Orkney, Shetland and the Isle of Skye. The tour takes a stop at Belfast for a Titanic Visit before heading back south via the Isle of Man and Cork.
UK scenic isles tour, prices start from £1,799pp (0845 314 3873, fredolsencruises.com).