Our 1680 miles of beautiful coast and lakes pooled in gorgeous hills are both good reasons to learn the ropes in Wales. Here are some wonderful places to start your sailing adventures - bring your own dinghy if you have enough experience or check out absolute beginners lessons with qualified instructors. 

Olympic Gold medal winner Hannah Mills shares her thoughts on sailing in Cardiff Bay, the events that take place and the reasons she comes back to Wales to enjoy sailing.

Cardiff Sailing Centre

Cardiff Sailing Centre in Cardiff Bay caters for beginners, those with experience and everyone in between! If you’re new to sailing, you can get started with a two day Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Keelboat course, or try the RYA Dinghy level 1 course. For younger visitors, there’s also a three day youth dinghy sailing course – ideal for children aged 8 to 16.

Plas Menai, Caernarfon, North Wales

Plas Menai, the National Watersports Centre, is based on the Menai Strait overlooking beautiful Anglesey. They offer Royal Yachting Association accredited beginners courses for dinghies, catamarans and keel boats, aimed at getting you out on the water and having fun. You can also improve your sailing skills with advanced courses or take a week long course if you're feeling super keen. It's an amazing place to get out onto the water - you've got wide stretches of water and fascinating coastlines to explore.

A person on a small sailing boat.

Sailing lessons on the Menai Strait with Plas Menai, North Wales

Calm waters

Reservoirs such as Llandegfedd near Newport offer calm safe conditions for learners. The Watersports Centre at Llandegfedd Lake offers sailing experiences for adults, children and organised groups. Activities including dinghy sailing, with equipment hire available from March through to October.

boats and jetty, with visitor centre in background.

Llandegfedd Lake, Torfaen, South Wales

Llyn Tegid, Bala, Eryri (Snowdonia)

At a mile wide, Llyn Tegid in Bala is the largest natural lake in Wales and broad enough to pick up speed in prevailing south west winds. Four miles downwind is a lovely drift to enjoy the scenery of Eryri (Snowdonia) National Park. You can take part in a number of activities, including sailing at Gwersyll yr Urdd Glan-Llyn.

Llyn Tegid at sunset, Bala, North Wales.

Llyn Tegid, Eryri (Snowdonia)

Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire, West Wales

Lord Nelson called it 'the finest port in Christendom'. We say the Milford Haven waterway and the Daugleddau Estuary is three sailing venues in one. Within, it provides sheltered water and 200 miles of coastline scalloped into bays and wooded creeks. At its mouth are complex wind and tidal conditions to tease experienced sailors. And in calm conditions a short sail around the corner reveals the spectacular cliffs of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. Nearby Dale is great for beginners - it's a mile wide sheltered bay with flat waters to stretch your sea legs.

Several sailing boats in a bay.

Sailing at Dale, Pembrokeshire, West Wales

New Quay, Ceredigion, Mid Wales

No wonder New Quay has hosted the Cardigan Bay Regatta since 1870. Its headland hooks into Cardigan Bay, providing shelter from prevailing south west winds yet open sea within a mile – ideal conditions for beginners in simple dinghies on flat water as much as experienced sailors to hoist a spinnaker and blast over waves. Either might be joined by one of the only resident bottlenose dolphin pods in Britain. Cardigan Bay Watersports offer a range of activities, including sailing. There are sessions for beginners or more experienced sailors.

sailing boat on water, with coastal town in background.
three sailing boats.

New Quay, Ceredigion, West Wales

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