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Channel Coasts & Islands – Offshore & Coastal Adventure

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Embark Disembark Vessel DurationVoyage No
Sun 10-09-2023, 12:00Brixham, UK Sun 17-09-2023, 12:00Brixham, UK Pilgrim 7 NightsPM100923

Brixham is a good starting place for a cross Channel adventure if the weather is right. A westerly or SW wind gives fast sailing to the Channel Isles or Granite Rose Coast of Brittany. Explore Sark, Alderney or perhaps the French Isle de Brehat, or a Channel Port anywhere from Penzance to St Malo. This cruise will be tailored to suit guest preferences wherever possible, but wherever Pilgrim goes you can be assured of stunning scenery and wonderful wildlife.

  • Voyage
  • Vessel


  • Much more than a short break
  • Get into the lifestyle of traditional sailing
  • Offshore passages on a tough wooden ship with wide decks
  • Show off Britain’s maritime heritage in France
  • Mystery Tour – Brixham ideal starting point
  • Sail where the wind blows
  • Seas warm enough to swim off the boat and beaches
  • Get away from the summer crowds


Vessel type / Rig Gaff Ketch
Guest Berths 10
Beam 17.5ft
Draft 10.5ft
Deck Length 74ft
Overall Length 94ft
Tonnage 90 tons
Year Built 1895
More about the Vessel

Voyage Description


Intermediate sailors or adventurous beginners wanting a mix of longer passages and coastal hops. Brixham Sailing Trawler Pilgrim is keeping her itinerary pretty loose for this week long adventure, but if the winds look good for France or the Channel Isles then that is her primary aim. If the weather looks a bit too brisk and more enjoyable sailing can be had by sailing west to Cornwall or East to Dorset then she still has some great anchorages and ports as a back up instead of a cross channel journey. If you do set sail for France then experience the magic of night-time sailing and proper watch keeping. The rewards are many: – idyllic anchorages, plentiful seafood and fresh produce in pretty French ports beckon all along the Brittany coastline. 


  • Much more than a short break
  • Get into the lifestyle of traditional sailing
  • Offshore passages on a tough wooden ship with wide decks 
  • Show off Britain’s maritime heritage in France
  • Mystery Tour – Brixham ideal starting point
  • Sail where the wind blows
  • Seas warm enough to swim off the boat and beaches
  • Get away from the summer crowds
It is not always this calm in Brittany
It is not always this calm in Brittany


After an early season of short breaks, Pilgrim and crew will be itching to go further afield in this 7 day voyage. Brixham offers good sailing angles for France or the Channel Isles and it is not as wide as crossing from Cornwall. Your first port of call might be Guernsey or Isle de Brehat. If you are waiting for a better wind later in the week, or avoiding a summer gale, you might explore closer to home in Devon or Cornwall. When your base is a wooden sailing ship from 1895 every port visit feels exciting and unique, whether it is in the UK or abroad.

On a sailing voyage we never use the word itinerary, as skippers will always be aiming for the best sailing and shore landings for the forecast and most idyllic or sheltered anchors and ports. They are as keen as you to include some of the highlights described below, but you have to go with Mother Nature, not fight her. The description below is based on what we think might be possible, based on past trips, or experience, but nothing is guaranteed on a sailing voyage.

Picnic in a french port - baguettes and tempting cheeses are easy
With baguettes and tempting cheeses its easy to arrange an impromptu picnic

Cross Channel to Brittany or Channel Isles

If the weather co operates this will be a deep water voyage with the magic of night-time sailing far from land. Sailing over the Channel to France where we will arrive at a small French harbour to taste the joys of a glass of wine in a café and sample delicious French cheese and baguettes. After exploring the Brittany coastline and absorbing the local atmosphere we will begin to make our way back again, into the open seas, through the night beyond the horizon, returning back to Brixham. A great trip to build miles and gain offshore sailing experience. Guests will help in the duties of the ship, taking turns at the helm, and navigating through the night.

The North Brittany coast and seas around the Channel Isles have strong tides and interesting pilotage. This is a sailing expedition in the sense that there will be some long days sailing and possibly night sailing, so that when we reach a lovely destination we can stay a while and enjoy the land too.

Sark is an island without cars where the locals learn not to get too close to the vertical cliffs all the way around the island. If you anchor here be prepared for a stiff hike up the coastal paths to the top plateau.

Guernsey has golden beaches, pine trees and castles, and now you are within a hop of the French coast.

Places like Isle de Brehat – the Breton equivalent of the Scillies, has low slung cottages and bars and cafes in sheltered spots. The Sept Isles has a giant gannet colony and more conventional destinations up winding French rivers like Tregiuer or Lezardrieux always beckon. 

The French coast is pretty rugged so if the winds make a cross channel voyage untenable then the skipper has plenty of choice for some longer sailing romps along the coast. 

Offshore sailing on Pilgrim - she's a big seaworthy girl
Offshore sailing on Pilgrim – she’s a big seaworthy girl

West to Cornwall

If a Channel Crossing looks too bumpy to be fun, or bang into the wind, then much more enjoyable sailing can be had along the South Coast. It is hard to bypass local Devon favourite’s like Dartmouth or Salcombe but a longer passage heading for Cornwall opens up a different sailing ground for Pilgrim, and you cal always pop into Dartmouth for a pint on the way home at the end of the week. Cawsand just across the border is on the lovely Rame Peninsula. Lantic Bay could easily be mistaken for Sark with high cliffs, kestrels soaring and clear turquoise waters for a swim. Fowey and Polruan welcome deep draft sailing ships with summer harbour lights, cafes, colourful dinghy racing and seafood cafes. It is easy to imagine yourself in France here.  Within Falmouth Harbour are countless anchorages and small villages, and the herring fishing villages of Coverack or Cadgewith make uncrowded anchorages even in peak summer.

East to the Jurassic Coast

Devon and Dorset have a remarkable range of geology which reveals itself in spectacular cliffs. Torbay has pink limestone that delights sea cliff climbers , Teignmouth has red sandstone. Lyme Regis has white chalk, fossils and crumbling cliffs. All provide a great habitat for flowers and birds and the best way for a human to experience the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site is by boat. Why bounce around in a day tripper boat when you can sail it on a big stable Brixham Trawler.

Basically you have both sides of the middle of the English Channel to explore – depending on the wind.  Your efforts with blocks and tackles are rewarded with a fine spread of red canvas. Pilgrim’s ships cook offers hearty meals cooked for a relatively small guest crew. At this time of year there should be plenty of chances to eat al fresco lunches in the sunshine, enjoy a BBQ ashore or wait for a dinner extravaganza below decks whilst you sip a drink watching the sunset.

watching the sunset at sea or at anchor
watching the sunset at sea or at anchor


Peak summer so temperatures should be good. As always if the wind blows off the shore the seas are flatter. There are stronger tides on the French side of the channel which makes day hops faster but also potentially rougher if wind is against tide. Mid channel in a prolonged West or South Westerly can produce long swell from the Atlantic , but this is less common in summer and can be fun.


Whether you are an experienced sailor or a complete beginner, the professional crew will train you to be guest crew from the moment you arrive, with the intention that everybody works together to sail the ship. The common thread to all Classic Sailing holidays is ‘Hands on’ participation on ships that use ropes, blocks and tackles and ‘people power’ to set sail.


We cater for a wide range of ages and physical abilities and how much you are expected to do varies a bit between vessels. See the vessel tab above which explains all about the ‘sailing style’ and what to expect in terms of hands on participation. There is a lot of information about day to day life, the ships facilities and accommodation on the vessel pages.


Every customer sailing with us will need to fill in basic medical questions on their booking application. If you are not sure if your current level of fitness and agility are up to a voyage, then please ring the Classic Sailing Office on 01872 58 00 22 and we can chat through your concerns and possibly find options that might suit you better.


  • Skipper & professional crew
  • Personal Safety Equipment
  • Sailing Instruction
  • All meals, snacks and refreshments
  • Port and landing fees
  • Linen and duvets
  • Third Party liability insurance


  • Travel to Joining Port
  • Travel from end port
  • Alcoholic Drinks
  • Towels
  • Waterproofs



Start & End Port

Brixham, UK

Joining or leaving point.

Assemble towards the end of the Events Pontoon Red Point above. Zoom in to your ship!

For Pilgrim, your boat will be berthed on Brixham Town Pontoon, on the east side of Brixham Harbour, opposite The Prince William Pub. Your joining times can be found on your confirmation email.

The boats can be recognised as follows:

PILGRIM Black hull and bulwarks with yellow stripe

Brixham transport and parking details

Kit List

What to pack for a sailing holiday on Pilgrim


  • Sailing Instruction
  • Safety Equipment (Life jackets and harnesses)
  • All meals to include refreshments throughout the day
  • Bed linen, duvet, pillows

What is not included

  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Towels

What to Bring

Please limit yourself to one soft bag or rucksack as there is limited storage space on board. No suitcases please! Pilgrim does not provide waterproofs. So you need to bring waterproof jacket and trousers These don't have to be sailing waterproofs. Any good outdoor waterproofs should keep you warm and dry. If you are sailing on a longer voyage or in early spring or autumn you will find the sailing or mountaineering salopette type waterproof trousers will keep you warmer than walking trousers with waist. If you need any advice please ring us on 01872 580022
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Hats for sun and cold weather.
  • At least two sets of warm clothes - layers e.g. tracksuit bottoms, shirts, fleece jacket, wool jumpers, thick socks, and neck scarf. It can get cold at sea even in mid summer.
  • Swim suit, towel, and suntan lotion.
  • Flat shoes with a good grip e.g. trainers or sailing deck shoes.
  • Sailing boots or wellies as the sea can come over deck if rough*.
  • (An alternative to boots in summer is to bring another pair of flat shoes with a good grip in case the first pair get wet).
  • All terrain type sandals are great for dinghy trips ashore – but you do need shoes which protect your toes for sailing.
  • Scillies trips – Walking boots are useful and can be these can be worn on Pilgrims deck too
  • A small rucksack is useful for going ashore – especially on sailing and walking and Scillies voyages.
  • Camera, binoculars, sketchbook, a relaxing read.
  • Passport for French Voyages, Reciprocal Free Health Care card in Europe.
  • Please bring a passport on French trips or any 6 day voyage like Scillies where France could be an alternative venue.
  • Any medication, spare spectacles. Seasick tablets - check with your Doctor, which brand if you suffer asthma or are on medication.
  • RYA Cruising Logbook or similar if you want to log your sailing experience e.g. sea miles, night hours
  • Musical instruments are always welcome.
Pilgrim does not always have wine bottles for sale on board so you are welcome to bring modest quantities of alcohol e.g. to drink with evening meals, but drinking whilst sailing is not allowed.


A fabulous first experience on a beautiful old ship. Skipper and crew were amazing. As was the food! Great Boat, Great Team, Great company. I would love to make a return trip and would highly recommend Pilgrim to anyone out there who is thinking about it. Sign up now! But leave a space for me please 🙂


Had an awesome time. Crew was superb and professional. Pilgrim is in fabulous shape.


Lovely boat and great crew. No question was too daft. A highly enjoyable education.


This was my first voyage on a tall ship and I had no previous experience of sailing. The crew were wonderful – friendly, calm and patiently explained and gave me confidence to help with sailing the boat. They also helped to build a warm, friendly and fun atmosphere among all of us onboard. I cannot wait until I have the opportunity to sail on Pilgrim again.


Sailing on Pilgrim was amazing. I loved every moment, she is totally beautiful. Swimming ashore and snorkelling. Building a fire on the beach. I love the freedom and peace being on the water, it's so natural and relaxing. I had such a great time with a great bunch of people.


I can't wait for the next time- sailing on Pilgrim isn't just a holiday, it's an adventure full of new experiences, friendship, laughter and fun.


A super day assisted by lovely sun and cloud, sheer joy at being on the water.


Fantastic few days sailing on Pilgrim, the experience was well past my expectations and this was the result of the crew who all worked very hard in making this an unforgettable experience.

Eddie P - Pilgrim Guest Feedback Photo
Eddie P - Pilgrim Guest Feedback Photo

Wow, what can I say about my first trip on the beautiful Pilgrim with Classic Sailing? It was amazing! I am still smiling about the utterly brilliant weekend. I booked this trip as a bit of an escape from the day to day normal life on the land and it was well worth it. I returned home more relaxed, a little sunburnt, but wanting to just jump straight back on board! I t was great fun being allowed to be involved in raising the sails and learning a bit of history about the vessel. If you hare thinking about booking a voyage, be it a day trip, weekend or longer... do it! I could not recommend it more highly and as a single traveller I also felt at ease and safe while on the whole voyage.


Brilliant, fantastic, I could not have wished for better. The crew couldn't do enough for us and made the day even more special. If you want to do something a bit different for a big birthday and something that your guests will talk about for a long time then I would highly recommend Pilgrim.


Pilgrim is a fantastic heritage project that deserves everyones support. I have sailed on her twice now and on both occasions the party has had a most wonderful sailing experience. Get out there and appreciate her!


The trip was one of the best experiences of my life and something I will never forget. Food was wonderful... beds were comfy... crew were faultless and very knowledgeable about the boat and its history. You can tell they have a true passion for their jobs. I would certainly return again and will be recommending to all I know!


Vessel Gallery

Restored Brixham Sailing Trawler Pilgrim in action and images. Photos from Classic Sailing customers, ships crew and professional photographers. We hope it gives a flavour of her sailing, life on board, the people that come, her beautiful sailing grounds and what it is like to live below decks.

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