Charter in Newtown Creek
Newtown Creek is one of the most wonderful places on earth. In our opinion, it ranks up there with Phang Nga bay in Thailand or the deserted Australian coastline. If you didn’t know Newtown Creek was there you would cruise straight past it because, from the Solent, its entrance is invisible.
Owned by the National Trust you approach through a narrow entrance and the Creek opens up to your left and your right. To port is Clamerkin Lake, to starboard is the Newtown River which leads up to Shalfleet lake and the small village of Shalfleet. A thin strip of land separates Newtown Creek from the Solent. At high tide the land is almost covered over, as the tide falls it becomes more visible and Newtown Creek’s magic is revealed.
You need to time your approach to the Creek with care due to limited depths. At high water the navigable area looks huge, at low water you suddenly realise just how limited your navigation options are. Fear not, your skipper will be very familiar with the area, we go there whenever we can.
Visiting today Newtown Creek is a bit of a mystery at first. There seem to be remains of lots of ancient sea defenses and workings but you can’t understand why. You have to realise that at one point Newtown, now a small hamlet was a major port on the Island. In fact it was once the Island’s capital when named Fracheville. There were extensive salt workings and a thriving oyster and fishing industry. Oyster beds remain, the rest has long since passed away but low tide reveals an archeologists dream. Like many places on the Island, it has been invaded and destroyed more than once over the years.
These days, the whole area is a nature reserve with an abundance of bird life as well as some larger visitors including seals. As the sun sets in the evening or rises in the morning, it is accompanied by a chorus of birdsong. There are facilities for bird watching near Newtown but relaxing aboard your luxury charter boat you are in a privileged position in the heart of the action with a ringside seat. Use the boat’s binoculars and take in nature’s beauty.
Very often any wind will die down in the evening and you wake up to glass like water. Using the dinghy to explore in the early morning or evening stillness is very relaxing.
Depending on the tide, it is possible to dinghy up to the ramshackled Shalfleet boatyard and from there walk the 10 minutes up to Shalfleet village and the New Inn, which ironically dates back to 1743, where else but in England would the new version hark back to the 18th century. Its flagstone floors, inglenook fireplaces and low ceilings instantly transport you back through time. You can even enjoy a selection of real ales many of which will have changed little over the years.
There is another longer walk which takes you through the woods to Ningwood and the Horse and Groom pub.
What about taking in a film once the sun has gone down? We can draw the curtains, break out the popcorn and you can choose from an extensive library of films. Alternatively we can run silent for the evening and you can simply relax with a good book or a glass of your favourite tipple.
Newtown Creek should definitely be on your list of places to visit during your charter with us.