The home of yachting

Our Cowes waterfront location

UKSA’s location along the Cowes waterfront, with beautiful views over the River Medina, means you’re never far away from the action.

Cowes Isle of Wight Cowes Week Racing Canons

Cowes – the home of International Yacht Racing

Cowes has been the home of international yacht racing since the founding of the Royal Yacht Squadron in 1815. The town gives its name to the world’s oldest regular regatta, Cowes Week, which takes place every August.

Over 8,500 competitors and 100,000 spectators descend on Cowes each year for the races, making it the largest event of its kind in the world. A variety of additional yachting and watersports events are based in Cowes throughout the year, making it an exciting place to visit.


The sailing season commences on the Isle of Wight around May, with the arrival of the Old Gaffers Festival in Yarmouth. From there different events take place throughout the summer, from the famous Round the Island race and the Little Britain Challenge Cup to Cowes Dinghy Week and the Classic Powerboat Race.

UKSA yacht in the Cowes harbour

With all this going on, Cowes is an ideal base for learning to sail. You’ll benefit from world-class conditions, challenging tides and great facilities. Being located in Cowes, near the mouth of the River Medina, UKSA provides easy access to the Solent and, further afield, the South Coast, the Channel Islands, Ireland and Western Europe.


Less well known is that the Isle of Wight is home to some of the most exhilarating watersports around. With fantastic beaches providing the perfect starting platform for windsurfing and kitesurfing and 360º accessibility, the island is a great place to train in watersports.

Watersports activities available at UKSA in Cowes

With over 60 miles of picturesque coastline, the island also offers a great location for activities such as kayaking and power boating. With hidden coves and caves, creeks full of wildlife and challenging tides there is something for everyone. The island is also one of the South’s best-kept surfing secrets with great waves to be found on its uncrowded beaches.

Things to see and do

In addition, there’s plenty to see and do during your stay. We’ve got great beaches, cosy pubs, interesting art galleries and historical attractions like Queen Victoria’s former home Osborne House, and Carisbrooke Castle, where King Charles I was imprisoned.

Osborne House Isle of Wight

The island plays host to two popular music events every year, the Isle of Wight Festival in June, drawing huge crowds from across the world. A variety of smaller music festivals provide a welcoming and relaxing atmosphere, from folk and jazz to didgeridoos.

Isle of Wight Festival

If you like walking or cycling, the island holds major events throughout the year. With over 500 miles of footpaths and 60 miles of cycle network, there’s something for all abilities.

Make UKSA your base while you explore the Isle of Wight

Make full use of our facilities while you explore everything the beautiful Isle of Wight has to offer. Whether you’re visiting with your group or here on an educational visit, we have everything to keep you accommodated throughout your stay.

We offer:

  • Hostel style accommodation
  • Full board with three meals a day, including a packed lunch for when you’re on the move
  • Canteen & bar
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout
  • Laundry service available

To find out more about our facilities and what’s to offer, check out our basecamp page.