Cowes Week Sailing Regatta Travel Guide

Cowes Week
Photo by Christian Beasley via flickr

Sophie Campbell, The Daily Telegraph, June 05, 2015

A guide to the 2015 Cowes Week sailing regatta off the Isle of Wight, including information on dates, tickets, prices, dress code, and hotels. 


Aug 8-15 (01983 295744; )


Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week is the season’s most laid-back event, with sails billowing gloriously on the Solent. This sailing regatta takes place over a week in the demanding five-mile-wide channel between the Isle of Wight and the south coast of England. The partying happens afloat and on shore.


Cowes has really got its act together ashore, including huge screens live-streaming the racing action and loads of music, bars and activities for all ages.

Don’t miss

The fireworks are a must-see: they take place at 9.30pm on the harbour on the last Friday, after an RAF Typhoon fly-past. Red Funnel ( ) offer Fireworks Cruises from Southampton and East Cowes. Pre-booked tickets from £26.50.

New for 2015

Northwood House (01983 293642; ) a fine Georgian house set in huge grounds and one of four key venues for Regatta Week, has doubled the size of its marquee and is laying on tree climbing for children in some of its venerable oaks. Free entry.

How and how much?

The crucial thing is to buy your ferry ticket and accommodation, if you need it, as early as possible: see Visit Isle of Wight ( ) for information on hotels and ferry companies. Like Northwood House, Cowes Yacht Haven, Cowes Parade and Shepards Wharf Marina are free to enter. You don’t need a ticket unless you want to go to one of the smart yacht club balls, in which case you’ll probably need to know a member, or crew parties and gigs on the waterfront, which usually cost under a tenner. To watch everything for free, take a picnic to The Green in West Cowes, a public space, and watch the boats race past the sea wall with spinnakers ballooning.

Getting there

Best bet is the Red Funnel’s Hi-Speed Jet (25 minutes, foot passengers only) from Southampton to West Cowes, or the car/passenger ferry from Southampton to East Cowes (60 minutes; ). WightLink ( ) runs ferries from Portsmouth to Ryde (passengers only), and to Fishbourne (cars) and from Lymington to Yarmouth (car/passenger). A Southsea-Ryde hovercraft link (passengers only, 10 minutes) is run by

Best day to go

Friday for the brilliant fireworks on the water in Cowes Harbour after the day’s racing is over.

What to wear

Shorts, deck shoes, fleece, tan – unless you’re off to a yacht club soirée.

Telegraph tip

Fingers on buzzers to book popular hour-long jaunts on the spectator boat from The Parade. Booking opens in June (see event website).

This article was written by Sophie Campbell from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.