Exploring Wildlife Gems Along the Southern UK Coastline

When sailing along the southern coast of the UK, you are pretty much guaranteed awe-inspiring views of rugged cliffs and serene harbours. Along with the fabulous scenery, there is also the potential to encounter diverse wildlife.

Sea-Bird Spectacle

Prepare to be inspired by the colours and graceful flight of seabirds as you navigate your way. Along the Dorset coast, near the iconic Durdle Door and the majestic cliffs of Lulworth Cove, keep your binoculars ready for sightings of gulls, razorbills, guillemots, and cormorants. These regions host thriving breeding colonies, offering a splendid showcase of avian life against the stunning backdrop of the Jurassic Coast’s dramatic landscape.

Marine Mammals

The southern coast is a sanctuary for marine mammals, presenting numerous opportunities for memorable encounters. Keep an eye out for seals sunbathing on the sun-soaked rocks or playfully poking their heads out of the water as you sail past the chalk stacks of Old Harry Rocks near Swanage. Further east, around the Isle of Wight and the Needles, dolphins and porpoises frequently grace the scene with their playful frolics, adding an enchanting touch to your sailing trip.

Whale Spotting

As you venture around Cornwall and Devon, remain vigilant for sightings of whales on the horizon. Minke and fin whales often swim in these deep waters, occasionally appearing above the surface. The waters surrounding the Isles of Scilly also offer promising opportunities for encounters with these almost magical creatures, adding an exhilarating dimension to your expedition.

Underwater Marvels

Beneath the waves along the southern coast lies a vibrant underwater world teeming with marine life awaiting exploration. Sail around the bustling fishing ports of Brixham and Plymouth, and you may be treated to sightings of shoals of mackerel and bass darting through the waters. Closer to shore, the area around Portland Bill occasionally attracts basking sharks, the world’s second-largest fish, gracefully gliding through the nutrient-rich currents in search of plankton.

Guardians of the Deep

While sailing around the Cornish coast, you may be fortunate enough to encounter two orcas known as ‘John Coe’ and ‘Aquarius’. Their distinctive dorsal fins and unique markings make them easily recognisable. Although sightings of orcas in Cornwall have often been surrounded by uncertainty, an encounter in 2021 provided evidence of their presence in UK waters.

An Expedition of Discovery

Sailing along the southern coast of the UK offers an immersive wildlife adventure like no other. From the bustling seabird colonies atop towering cliffs to the majestic whales traversing the depths, every moment on the water presents an opportunity to witness the wonders of the natural world in all its splendour.

So, hoist your sails, explore these wildlife hotspots, and prepare to be enchanted by the diverse tapestry of life that awaits along the shores of the southern UK coastline.