BNWC header graphic
simple site search...
go to less simple search
Back to S Bristol Channel

Minehead

Back to location finder

General details:

Minehead is a Bristol Channel sailing location offering a great variety of conditions depending on the wind direction and state of the tide. Ideally it should be sailed with wind against tide unless you are very well powered up and comfortably able to sail both upwind and uptide with no danger of equipment failure. Best sailed 2 hours either side of low tide.

The sailing area is the whole of the Bristol Channel, which has the advantage of providing the feeling of a large amount of space, the disadvantage is that there are very few easy access points to get yourself to if things go badly wrong (although you may be grateful that you launched adjacent to the life boat launching station.)

The launching spot itself has a small grassy rigging area (which doubles a doggie toilet, so check first) and a shelving shingle/rock bank which flattens out to sand at low tide. Avoid sailing around spring low tides as there are a large number of fin hungry rocks liberally scattered around the sea bed.

If fact, there seems to be a reef about 250m out from the bottom of the boulder bank: I've never actually seen it exposed but was rather surprised to discover it when I fell in - rather painfully! It turned out I was in about 60cm of water.

There is another reef, a lot further off shore which throws up some good waves - very popular with the locals. But remember, this is Bristol Channel. You need to be very sure of your abilities before venturing out there, & never do it alone.

Basil D says:

Some of the best sea breezes in the country, typically 15-25 knots on an average summer's day.

update details

back to top

Directions to the right place:

Drive into Minehead heading for the sea front. When at the sea front, drive West heading towards the life boat station. Park and launch from the car park just beyond the life boat station. It's about as far as you can go by road, staying close to the sea front.

Click here for a location map

update details

back to top

How the winds work:

NW clockwise through to E should all work here although it is a while since I have checked. Directly West of the launching spot is a large headland while hides most Westerly and South Westerly winds so don't try launching in these conditions.

update details

back to top

Tidal conditions:

HW springs occur around 07:00 - 08:00. HW neaps around 13:30 - 15:30. Tidal range is huge - can be over 12m - hence the currents.

All states of the tide are sailable, although I would recommend against sailing around low spring tides due to the abundance of rocks. That said, launching/recovery when the sea's on the boulder bank can be difficult, and can be avoided by sailing at low tide.

The essential factor to consider is the direction of the tidal flow relative to the wind - when the tide is in full flow it doesn't hang around and you will very quickly find yourself drifting alarmingly fast.

update details

back to top

Hazards:

Tidal currents

Rocks at low tide

The large concrete & metal structure immediately opposite the launching site - the base of old pier demolished WWII. This can become exposed on low tides.

Avoid rough water breaking around Warren Point (Butlins) - East side of Bay.

update details

back to top

Facilities:

Grassy rigging area

Toilet block

Centre of Minehead a short walk away.

update details

back to top

B&B's / campsites

I have never looked for campsites or B & Bs around here, however given that Minehead is a coastal holiday village I am sure there is an abundance of both, try contacting the local tourist information office.

update details

back to top

Pubs and eateries

There is a pub called The Old Ship Aground, about two minutes walk from the sailing location - I have never been in it so can't offer any recommendations. [I HAVE been in it. It was just about ok - nothing to shout about - MF]

The fish and chip shop you first come to on the right hand side as you walk towards Minehead itself is well worth a visit.

update details

back to top

Content supplied by & . Anon update, Nov 2005, Huw Thomas, Jan '06. Many thanks.

Note: All comments and opinions mentioned in this section of the site are the personal opinions of the various contributors. Inevitably, one person's favourite may be another person's least favourite.

The information provided here is provided in good faith. We can take no responsibility for the consequences of any inaccuracies. Should you find any inaccuracies, then please take the trouble to tell us, using any of the update links.

back to top

Valid XHTML 1.0!