Day sail ideas from Plymouth

Sutton Harbour Marina is perfectly positioned on the South-West coast with an abundance of stunning places sailing destinations from Sutton Harbour Marina. We’ve put together our top places to go on a day sail from Plymouth – whether you prefer cruising to a river or harbour or a quiet anchorage at a secluded beach – this coastline has it all.


Sail to the River Erme

This is the perfect place for a day visit for motorboaters due to the limited depth as you go onshore. This unspoilt river has an anchorage at the mouth, but make sure you venture further up to see the wonderful green landscape. The surrounding area is mostly private estate, so it feels very rural. 

A chart plotter would be a good idea, as the river has some dramatic meanders. Once you’ve anchored up, take a walk up the hill to the Schoolhouse Cafe at Mothecombe, it’s a stunning seafood restaurant, cafe and takeaway only a few minutes walk from the water – a real gem!

Visit Polkerris in St Austell Bay

On this secluded beach you can anchor just offshore and take in the gorgeous scenery or tie up at the old harbour wall at high tide, where you’ll find a great pub and cafe to visit on the shoreside. 

You could also join the SW Coast path and walk up to Gibbin Head to see the famous Red and White tower, locally known as the ‘The Stack’, which marks the entrance to Fowey Harbour. Or you can stay and just enjoy the beach – hire a SUP and soak up a few hours of paddling on the calm waters.

Relax at Cellar Bar on the River Yealm

This is another lovely secluded beach that’s easy to visit by boat from Plymouth; it’s a little bit of paradise for us sea-lovers! There’s lots of space to anchor off the beach and plenty of caves to explore once you’ve got ashore. 

If you fancy a walk, The Ship Inn is a mile away – a delightful, traditional waterside pub, where you can enjoy local beers and fresh homemade food.

Sailing from Plymouth to the Fal River

Within easy cruising distance from Plymouth, you’ll want to leave plenty of time to have a full day on the water. The Fal offers so much; on one side of the river you have the busy, historical town of Falmouth, a bustling town with old quays and a maritime museum  as well as Pendennis Castle. 

On the other side you have the stunning village of St Mawes which also boasts a castle and St.Anthony’s Head. If you head further up river you’ll find beautiful winding creeks with plenty of wildlife. The Pandora Inn in Restronguet is an award-winning 13th century pub on the water with a large pontoon that is well worth a visit.

Visiting Dittisham by Boat

Beyond the main towns of Dartmouth and Kingswear is the River Dart, heading past Agatha Christie’s house. As you cruise past the busy towns, the river becomes really peaceful with its tall woods lining both sides of the river. When you reach Dittisham it opens up into a large bay where you’ll find The Ferry Boat Inn, a traditional, family-friendly pub with plenty of visitor moorings. This beautiful, un-spoilt riverside village is a great place to explore.