22 Sep 2022 ID: 413262
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Breathtaking SEA-NERY: The UK's top 10 stunning locations to visit by boat

Breathtaking SEA-NERY: The UK's top 10 stunning locations to visit by boat


  • Boating adventures spanning the length of Great Britain revealed by Honda, from Scotland to South Devon
  • Destinations with stunning scenery, wildlife sightings and unique landscapes make the top 10 list
  • Sea-faring adventurer and mum of two Heather Kemp reveals her top tips for boat trip success after almost a decade on the water

A sea-faring mum and adventurer who has spent the last five years exploring Britain’s coasts in her free time has revealed the top 10 UK landscapes – best viewed by boat.  

Heather Kemp, who documents her adventures on Instagram at @kemp.life, in partnership with Honda, has compiled a list of top boating adventures spanning the length and breadth of Great Britain, from Scotland to South Devon. 


Heather’s list, created in partnership with Honda Power Equipment, is topped by The Needles in the Isle of Wight, Salcombe in South Devon and Anglesey’s Menai Straight.  

The Needles’ distinctive chalk stacks, rising 30m out of the sea on the Western extremity of the Isle of Wight, take first place due to their grandeur and spectacular cliffside scenery.  

Mallaig in Scotland is named as a must-visit location, known for its stunning sunsets and wildlife including dolphins, whales and sea eagles. Carrick Roads in Cornwall offers numerous rivers, creeks and beaches to explore, making it a worthy addition.  

The list includes Skomer and Skokholm Islands, off Pembrokeshire in Wales, which between them house the largest puffin colony in southern Britain – with numbers reaching almost 50,000.  

Wales’ Cardigan Bay is also recommended, due to having the largest population of dolphins in the UK, best spotted in summer immediately after high tide.  

The Isle of Mull in Scotland, where basking sharks and sea eagles can be spotted, and Poole in Dorset, which is Europe’s largest natural harbour, complete the top 10.  

Heather said: “Owning a boat has transformed our adventures and being on the open water, just us and the incredible natural world around us, is where we feel most at home.   

“We have seen natural beauty that we never knew existed and experienced some of the best days of our lives as a family from the most unique position – out on the water.  

“We rarely go back to the same place, always looking to experience somewhere new. We have a list of places we want to visit and we decide where to go based on the forecast at the time - always heading for the sunshine!” 

 An appetite for travel  

Heather and husband Sam both grew up in Birmingham and developed an appetite for travel in the UK and abroad at a young age.  

Now based in North Worcestershire, the couple embarked on their first adventures by camper van following the birth of their two children, now aged eight and five, and hired a boat wherever they visited.  

Seeing places in a different light from a new angle prompted Heather and husband Sam to invest in a boat, as travel opportunities emerged as the Covid lockdown eased in early 2021.  

Heather now estimates the family, joined by their working cocker spaniel, spends at least six weeks of the year out on the open road and the water, seeking new places of natural beauty and quiet retreat.  

Selecting the right engine for your boat 

Heather, who uses a Honda BF100 outboard engine with a six-metre rib boat said: "Getting out on the water offers a feeling of adventure like no other.  

"The key to a successful boat day is preparation. Being prepared for any eventuality and having the knowledge of what to do in an emergency means you can relax and get the most out of the experience.   

 “We also firmly believe in doing your research and buying and maintaining quality products that you can trust. Our requirements when it came to an engine were reliability, efficiency and power.   

“Having your engine serviced annually, changing the water separator filter, maintaining the quality of the fuel in the tank, monitoring the 12V battery health and checking the electrical system regularly are all essential steps to ensure your boating trips run smoothly. 

“Finally, after a trip, always wash your boat down and flush your engine out with fresh water.” 
Getting the preparation right for the perfect day on the water 
As well as engine maintenance, Heather has also provided practical tips for planning a day out on the boat, with preparation being key. 
A well-stocked boat should include life jackets, man overboard equipment, spare fuses, fire extinguishing equipment, flares and spare fuel among all other essential items as recommended by the manufacturer. 
It is also recommended to carry certificates of boat ownership and insurance as well as a mayday guide for emergencies. 
Steve Morris, Head of Power Equipment for Honda UK, added: “We’re coming to the end of the summer season, but there is still plenty of fun to be had on the water.

“Even if you’re not really experienced, starting off with small trips around the coast can be incredibly rewarding. We have a wide range of powerful and reliable marine products, enabling people with different needs and budgets to have boating adventures – from portable and lightweight inflatable boats, right up to powerful V6 engines that can be used with sportsboats.

 “And as Heather rightly says, the better prepared you are, the more you’ll enjoy the scenery around you, and the safer you will be.”

Honda Power Equipment produces a range of reliable boat engines with power outputs between 2.3 and 250 HP, for powering all boating adventures. Suitable for mounting on the back of a rib or a smaller yacht, Honda’s marine products have superior reliability and are designed to be dependable, dynamic and distinctive. 

Honda will be exhibiting a range of its Marine products at Southampton International Boat Show at Mayflower Park, Southampton until 25 September 2022.For more information, visit https://www.honda.co.uk/engineroom/power/honda-sibs-round-up-2022/

For more information about Honda’s range of mid to high HP engines and marine equipment, visit https://www.honda.co.uk/marine.html 

Heather’s top 10 boating destinations in the UK

  1. The Needles, Isle of Wight
  2. Salcombe, South Devon
  3. Menai Straight, Anglesey 
  4. Mallaig, Scotland
  5. Carrick Roads, Cornwall 
  6. Skomer Island and Skokholm Island, Pembrokeshire
  7. River Dart, South Devon
  8. Cardigan Bay, Wales
  9. Isle of Mull, Scotland
  10. Poole, Dorset


Heather’s top tips for planning a boat day


  1. Boat preparation and maintenance 

Have your engine serviced annually, change the water separator filter, maintain the quality of the fuel in the tank, monitor the 12V battery health and check the electrical system regularly. After a trip, always wash your boat down and flush your engine out with fresh water. 


  1. What to store onboard

Life jackets, man overboard equipment, spare fuses, fire extinguishing equipment, flares, spare fuel, compass, safety knife, spare kill cord, battery pack for charging phones, mooring lines and towing ropes, fenders, anchor, oars, puncture repair kit, suitable maintenance tools, marine first aid kit, spare drain plug and a fixed or handheld VHF radio.  


  1. Travelling

Plan your journey route and times and be mindful of trailer towing laws. Think about trailer storage and security, conduct light tests on the trailer board, make sure the boat and trailer are correctly balanced for towing, don’t carry excess fuel as it will impact MPG and always double check the boat and belongings are secured before travelling. 


  1. Slipways & Mooring

Plan ahead! Call the local marinas and boat yards in the area for tips and advice. A quieter slipway that isn’t on a busy road is always our preference if possible. Finding a slipway with trailer storage is a bonus too. Depending on the type of trip, you may want to moor your boat overnight in a local marina. Remember when mooring a boat, it is important to know your knots! 


  1. Documents

It is prudent to carry a copy of your certificate of boat ownership and insurance as well as a mayday guide for emergencies. Some harbours will charge harbours dues and ask you to display a sticker. Check online or in the Harbour Master’s office upon arrival. 


  1. Check the forecasts

It’s not just the weather you have to think about. Use apps to check the tide times, swell and wind conditions, all of which can have a huge impact on your trip. 


  1. Safety on board

Before departure do a visual inspection of the boat, check the drain plug is in, the propeller is secure, that you have enough fuel and everyone is wearing a life jacket. Make a note of the marina’s VHF channel and when at sea, tune into distress channel 16 using your handheld or fixed VHF radio. Tell someone where you are going (the RYA SafeTrx app is great) and always wear your kill cord! Once in motion, ensure the engine water cooler jet is visible to prevent the engine from overheating. Remember the captain is responsible for everyone’s safety, those on the boat and others around you. 


  1. What to wear

Layers! Even on the warmest summers day the temperature at sea is cooler, especially when you are in motion. Depending on the time of the year, you’ll need everything from waterproofs and woolly hats to swimwear for taking a dip. Don’t forget towels, spare dry clothes and sunscreen! 


  1. Food & Drink

You can’t beat a picnic on the water, so we often pack the cool bag with food supplies and find a sheltered spot with a view to die for! We also love to explore small harbour towns where we can moor up and go for a wander at mealtimes. And it goes without saying - take plenty of water! 


  1. Boating with kids

Taking little ones on boat adventures is so much fun, but bear in mind that they won’t want to sit still on the boat all day. Break up the day with some time playing on beaches or having some fun with games, towables and jumping in, ensuring children are fully supervised and provided with the correct safety equipment at all times.

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Joanne Beattie
Joanne Beattie
PR & Events Manager - Power Products