The Best British Schools for Sailing

By School House

7 years ago

The best coastal schools and landlubbers where sailing is key

Sea views from your bedroom are just dreams for most of us but your child can wake up to fresh sea air, the sound of gulls and still get a first-class education with sailing on the curriculum.

Gordonstoun School Saling


Schools on the coast

Bede’s Prep School

Bede’s Prep, sitting proudly in an Area of Extraordinary Natural Beauty above Beachy Head, enjoys unparalleled views of the English Channel, so it’s no surprise that sailing is a popular hobby with pupils, who train first on a lake before heading out to sea. The co-ed boarding and day prep school doesn’t miss a beat on the academic front with pupils regularly going on to top schools as well as Bede’s Senior.

Beeston Hall

Barely five minutes away from the North Norfolk coastline, in an idyllic and remote location, Beeston Hall is a co-ed boarding and day prep school with a passion for the sea. Weekend trips to the beach, sailing the school’s fleet of toppers on the Wroxham Broads, competing locally and also in the National IAPS Sailing Regatta at Weymouth, are only a few of the tools used by this inspiring school to turn out bright, confident and go-getting pupils who secure scholarships at Harrow, Rugby and Oundle.


Between the sandy beaches of the Moray coast and the hills of the Cairngorms lies Gordonstoun, a senior boarding co-ed school that defines its ethos by the Round Square schools’ four pillars of education: internationalism, challenge, responsibility and service, including mountain rescue, fire-fighting, life-saving and sea rescue. Each pupil trains and sails around the west coast of Scotland on the Ocean Spirit of Moray, the school’s 80-foot sail training cutter.

Lancing College

Standing tall on the Sussex coast, Lancing College is best recognised for its gothic revivalist chapel but views from the Reeve Art School building’s huge floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the sea, cannot be ignored. Many pupils at the co-ed senior boarding and day school, which offers A-levels in classic civilisation and Latin, as well as a Pre-U in photography and a BTEC in sport, are keen sailors and compete in inter-school team racing.

The Royal Hospital School

The Royal Hospital School Sailing

The Royal Hospital School

Three hundred years of maritime history have shaped the Royal Hospital School, most notably, the naval uniforms worn by pupils for the school’s ceremonies. Overlooking the River Stour in 200 acres of Suffolk countryside, the co-ed boarding and day senior school is a centre of excellence for sailing with an academy on the neighbouring Alton Water reservoir. In the summer months, pupils cruise the coast using the school’s fleet of keel boats.


This co-ed boarding and day prep school lies on the edge of the New Forest overlooking the Solent with three lakes within its 98-acre grounds. One of them is solely dedicated to sailing, watersports and fishing, and young sailors benefit from Walhampton School’s close ties with the nearby Royal Lymington Yacht Club. Small classes and focused teaching help prepare pupils for entrance exams and scholarships to schools including Winchester College and Bryanston.

Wellesley House School

Wellesley House School is in the seaside resort of Broadstairs, notable for rifle shooting, fencing, carpentry and golf. Trips are planned to long sandy beaches and Wednesdays can be spent sailing along the North Kent coast. The co-ed boarding and day prep school recently introduced scuba diving to its extensive list of after-school clubs, although this takes place in a pool rather than at sea. Wellesley House maintains traditional links with single-sex senior schools but sends pupils out to top schools across the country.

Sailing schools inland

Jolie Brise Sailing

The Jolie Brise


Pupils from Charterhouse, an academic senior boys school, which takes girls in the sixth form, can sail as part of their sports curriculum. The school competes regularly on the water, racing nationally and at school level. Squad training is held on a Saturday by invitation.


Watch the video to find out more about Dauntsey’s

Dauntsey’s is the only UK school with its own historic tall ship. Jolie Brise. Arguably one of the most famous tall ships in the world, it has been sailed and maintained by Dauntsey’s pupils for 35 years. The sailing club is open to all pupils from Year 10 and is run by the school’s full-time sailing master.

Radley College

Radley College uses Farmoor reservoir for regular sail training, as well as the Solent and the Thames for occasional outings. Pupils train with the professional sailing club three times a week throughout all three terms – dingy sailing in the summer term and keelboat sailing in the lent term.


Sevenoaks Sailing

Sailing at Sevenoaks

Despite living away from the coast, the Sevenoaks sailing team have won national championships for 16 of the past 19 years. For 11 years they have been the international schools’ champion and were the first team to be chosen to represent GBR at the Team Racing World Championships.

READ MORE: Dauntsey’s Tall Ship Goes Transatlantic/ The Best British Schools for Sport