Newtown Creek, Isle of Wight, England
This river estuary offers European charm and comfort.
For all those sailors on the other side of the Atlantic, Northern Europe offers a fantastic cruising ground with many sheltered anchorages. When Colin, my husband, and I were heading home from a fall cruise through Brittany, in northern France, we decided to call in to one of our favorites, just a few miles from our home port of Portsmouth, England.
Newtown Creek is a shallow river estuary that nestles into the north shore of the Isle of Wight. Leave all the bustle of Newtown’s famous neighbor, Cowes, behind you and enjoy the tranquility of this nature reserve owned by the National Trust. The only facility is a rough wall to tie your dinghy to before walking beside the river to the welcoming New Inn at Shalfleet. There, a glass of crisp French wine and one of the inn’s special local crab salads will revive you. Remember to check the tide or you’ll return to find your dinghy high aground and your only option to retrace your steps back to the pub. These shallow waters, which support a diverse selection of birdlife, were once home to a thriving Roman port; in places, the remnants of the walls can be seen at low water. It was wonderfully quiet in October. Canada geese fed in the shallows, and the eerie calls of oystercatchers echoed round the anchorage.
Sandi Shiret is from West Sussex, England.