The harbour has been of enormous importance to Watchet from pre-history through to its current usage primarily as a modern marina.
Did you know?
- Under Alfred the Great (AD 871 – 901) Watchet became an important Saxon port and a site of a Royal Mint, coins from which have been found as far as Copenhagen and Stockholm. This also provides evidence of the repeated Viking raids that took place during the period AD 918 – 997.
- Have you ever heard of a ship at sea being captured by troops on horseback? One of Watchet’s most famous stories took place in 1643 during the Civil War. A Royalist ship had been sent to Watchet harbour to support the King’s cause, with the tide low the Parliamentarian troops galloped into the sea on horseback and attacked the men on board forcing the ship to surrender.
- Around 1860 sailing ships were mainly replaced by steamships. Pleasure boats continue to this day with occasional summer cruises on the Balmoral or Waverley. It is believed that the Waverley is the oldest seagoing paddle steamer in the world.
- In 2001 a new commercial marina was built, dividing the harbour into outer and inner areas. The marina has a capacity for 250 yachts and adds to Watchet’s unique charm. If you are interested in bringing your boat here go to www.watchetmarina.com
Things to do:
- Take a day’s fishing trip with one of the charter fishing companies.
Scooby Doo Too www.scoobydootoo.co.uk or
- Visit the Chandlery where you can buy all things nautical, and is also very good for gifts and excellent ice creams in the café.