There is a place in England steeped in tradition bordered on one side by the Country's largest Island and yet which at it's closest point is scarcely an hour's drive from London. Queen Victoria loved the area so much she built her summer home and indeed her final home in the area. The poet Alfred Lord Tennyson lived there, another Lord, Lord Monagu still owns a river and wild horses wander unchecked in the New Forest, which is actually quite old having been created in around 1079 AD.
The area is of course the Solent and surrounding areas. Long since the mecca for all things boating it is now possible to take a Solent cruise in the area on board a luxury modern motor boat with all the creature comforts. Unlike cruises on Britain's canals and waterways such as the Norfolk broads the Solent is tidal, your cruise comes complete with its own skipper, if necessary crew and things are somewhat more luxurious.
A full width owner's en suite stateroom replaces the usual sofa which converts to a bed. The boat is finished in luxurious natural woods and fabrics, there is a lounge area with its own pop up flat screen television for nights in with a good film and a bag of popcorn. The elevated inside dining area also allows guests a captain's eye view when underway. A fresh coffee machine is on hand and the crew are experts in the art of rustling up the perfect latte, Americano or Expresso.
There is an open bar on hand featuring soft drinks as well as wine, beer and spirits. The icemaker ensures a constant supply. Up on the flybridge you can enjoy the view or soak up the sun, even in winter there is nothing quite like a crisp afternoon watching the world go by snuggled up in your warm coat sipping on a hot chocolate.
Self generated mains electricity, air conditioning, heating, in fact pretty much all the mod cons. Then there's the skipper, not only is he able to get you to your destination safe and sound he is also the font of all knowledge when you have arrived. The best restaurants, a good pub, a scenic walk or a must see historic sight., even how to attach the bait if you fancy dangling a rod over the back of the boat for a spot of fishing. Depending on your skill level or personal wishes there is a second mate on hand to tidy up, sort out the ropes and do the odd spot of cooking.
In fact a luxury Solent cruise is one of those must do experiences, being so close to London, the Home Counties and even Heathrow airport there is no excuse. Usually lasting between two and four nights it's the perfect get away. A chance to see real England at its most natural and most beautiful.
Anchor up in a national park, explore historic castles and forts, shop amongst the narrow cobbled streets or in premium brand superstores, eat locally grown produce from both land and sea or just marvel at the scenery from your very own luxury motoryacht whilst enjoying your favourite drink. Tomorrow is another day and a short hop away from a different experience.
Many of the towns and villages which make up the Solent area have international status far beyond their size due to their boating associations. Cowes, Lymington, The Hamble, Yarmouth, Beaulieu, Portsmouth, Southampton, Newtown Creek, Bembridge. Every one of these places is worth visiting and a few days cruising is all you need, especially when your luxury live aboard charter boat is a fast planning vessel capable of 30 knots.
The best part of taking a Solent cruise aboard a private charter boat is that you get to choose what you want to do and when you want to do it. Unlike conventional cruises catering for hundreds or thousands of people where itineraries have to be set in stone you can take your time. If you decide you like somewhere and want to stay on longer simply tell the skipper.
You also get to explore without having to elbow your way past thousands of other cruise ship guests trying to do the same before the ship leaves. The whole experience is more relaxed and intimate. You can treat the motor boat as your own. Before you even board there will have been communication with the charter company to determine your likes and dislikes, any favourite drinks, snacks or foods. After a private charter Solent cruise.
Whether visiting the UK as a tourist or just looking to take a short break the Solent and surrounding areas are a perfect backdrop to kicking off your shoes and relaxing aboard a luxury charter motor yacht.