With uninterrupted views across Poole Harbour towards Brownsea Island, Arne and the rolling Purbeck hills beyond, Lake Yard Marina in Hamworthy is not only charmingly friendly but also ideally situated in one of the south’s busiest nautical playgrounds.
Located on the north western edge of Poole Harbour, Lake Yard is a compact marina dock owned by the Culpan family since 1938. It originally built Ministry of Defence boats and bespoke gentleman’s motor cruisers.
In 1996, the Culpan brothers, Russell and Robin (both well-known powerboat racers in their day) developed the site to incorporate a unique 44-berth marina.
Lake Yard has a secluded location in an area of outstanding beauty, overlooking the harbour’s beautiful islands and the stunning Arne peninsular.
As well as the marina and moorings, Lake Yard is a fully equipped working boat yard and it offers a wide range of services including pressure washing, antifouling and polishing. The yard boys pride themselves on being professional, helpful and always willing to go the extra mile.
Being one of the world’s largest natural harbours and busy with both pleasure and commercial craft, Poole Harbour has, unsurprisingly, a large number of marinas, boatyards, anchorages and overnight stops:
Marinas / Boatyards
- Lake Yard
- Rockley Boat Park
- Ridge Wharf
- Poole Yacht Club
- Port of Poole
- Dolphin Haven
- Cobbs Quay
- Davis Boatyard
- Parkstone Yacht Club
- Mitchells Boat Haven
- Salterns Marina
- Sandbanks Yacht Co
- North Haven Yacht Club
- Royal Motor Yacht Club
- Shell Bay Marine
Anchorages & Overnight stops
- Pottery Pier – Brownsea Island
- Long Island
- South Deep
- Blood Alley
- Goathorn Point
- Redhorn Lake
- Wareham Quay
BERTHING & STORAGE
The marina itself benefits from deep water access at all tidal states and is best suited to motorboats up to a maximum LOA of 15 metres. The 44 pontoon finger berths are rented on an annual basis, but there is a large visitor berth (perfect for popping in and mooring up to visit the club) and occasional short term pontoon berths are also available.
Just outside the entrance to the marina are 100 swinging moorings suitable for sailing boats of varying LOA and draft; they are suitable for any visiting yachtsmen.
The moorings are laid in trots, using heavy ground chain and high quality riser chain, and each is inspected and serviced every year to ensure they are in top condition.
They run a water taxi service out to the moorings and have a dedicated weekend bosun during the summer sailing season.
Access is easy by both sea and land. Approaching by sea, craft will need to pick up the Wareham Channel just past the Poole Ferry Terminal and Lake Yard is located just by WH3 and WH4 Channel Marks, between the distinguishable white buildings of Moriconium Quay and the Marines facility.
All visitors are required to call ahead. From Monday to Friday call the Boat Yard Reception on 01202 674531 and at the weekend (summer season) call the Bosun on 07791 836524 / VHF Channel 37.
By land, follow signs to Hamworthy on the west side of Poole town centre, over the lifting bridges on the A350. East Dorset is easily accessed by the A5 to the west and the A338, which is the main spur road out to the M27 and M3. Poole has a main railway station with regular trains to Southampton, Winchester and London Waterloo.
Poole Harbour offers exquisite, sheltered cruising for both yachts and motorboats. Its deep water channel is clearly marked and continually dredged by the Harbour Authority.
Follow the trail of the pleasure boats to Sandbanks and Brownsea Island or, for quieter but no less scenic cruising, take a tour of the islands or venture up the Frome to Wareham.
Beyond the harbour but within easy distance, you can take in the varied Dorset coastline from Studland and Swanage round to Lulworth Cove and Kimmeridge. Eastwards you can head beyond Bournemouth and Hengistbury to Christchurch Harbour and Mudeford.
Poole Harbour is also perfectly located for short sails to the Solent, Weymouth, the West Country and France.
With its decked area facing the harbour, Lake Yard Club is the perfect place to sip a coffee, savour a beer or enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner. The restaurant has a welcoming bar area, where you can swap tales with fellow sea farers; there are several draught beers and cider on offer along with an eclectic array of wines and spirits.
Their food is all freshly prepared and cooked from scratch with service running from 10am every day to 9pm Monday to Saturday and 5pm on Sundays; unsurprisingly, whole fish and seafood is a speciality.
They have live music and themed dining events every month, and whether you are a member or a visitor you will always be welcome.
Lake Yard’s marina is in an area of outstanding natural beauty. Wild seals are a regular and, being situated directly opposite the RSPB reserve at Arne and with the anchorages of Brownsea Island and Round Island only minutes away, the bird life is prodigious. Avian visitors include common shelduck, pied avocet, spoonbill and sandwich tern and the once rare little egrets are now seen in increasing numbers.
For those that prefer more adrenalin-based activities, the harbour water-ski lanes and PWC area are very close by, and the calm waters are perfect for any form of paddling from kayaks to SUPs.
During WW2 the BOAC flying boats used this stretch of water for landing. In fact, the area is so rich in history starting from pre-Iron Age settlements on the shores, that you would need months to explore it properly.
A short walk of under 10 minutes provides the choice of two pubs and three cafés, with a 25 minute walk to the bustling port of Poole Quay. For general provisions, there is a corner shop less than a 10 minute walk away, with a larger Co-op slightly further and Poole town centre offering several large supermarkets and facilities. The nearest chandlery is a 15 minute walk at Cobbs Quay.
Some of the ‘must-do’ attractions if you are in the area for any length of time include a visit to Old Town Poole and its historic quay, or hiring bikes and taking a day out to the Isle of Purbeck and its many attractions including Corfe Castle, Swanage, Lulworth, Durdle Door and Tyneham.
Just a short sail away is Studland Bay with its stunning anchorages next to the iconic sea stacks of Old Harry Rocks and, of course, Brownsea Island, a National Trust reserve and home of Scouting and the famous red squirrels.
If you still have time, take the boat for a day in Swanage Bay, another beautiful anchorage with a lively seaside town, take the dinghy up to Wareham, a great market town with many hostelries, or get close to the famous ‘Millionaire’s Row’ of Sandbanks as you sail into the harbor.
Visit www.pooletourism.com for more information.
“As a family we have had boats in Lake Yard for over 20 years. As both owner of Round Island in Poole Harbour and as a family that just loves boating, we have kept a range of motorboats including Boston Whalers, Seawards, Cheetah Catamarans and, in our earlier years, Lochins. Currently at the marina I have a 25ft Seaward and the island’s caretakers, Steve and Caroline, use the marina as a base for their Cheetah Catamaran for the day-to-day running of the island and the transportation of our guests.
“The marina is excellently located within a quiet part of the harbour and provides very high quality, well-maintained berths and moorings with the added benefit of their lifting service which has hoisted all of our boats in and out over the years. The marina is a genuine community and there is always a smiling face to be seen from the staff. The hub of marina membership has got to be the Waterfront Club Bar and Restaurant which continually exceeds on variety and service!”
May Palmer BSc(Hons) MScPropInv
Owner, Round Island, Poole Harbour