Join Snark Sailing Holidays on its brand-new adventure around the British Coast

Imagine surging through the waves on a sailing barge and watching a pod of dolphins leap out the water, tucking into a delicious dinner on deck under a blanket of stars, and learning how to navigate and operate an 84-foot vessel around the beautiful British coastline.

Join Snark Sailing Holidays on its brand-new Round Britain Jubilee Voyage this summer, for a once-in-a-lifetime experience to celebrate all that’s great about the British coast.

Beginning and ending in Plymouth, and visiting all four nations, the unique sailing retreat has been divided into different legs of various lengths (between 5-12 days) depending on where and when guests want to start and finish their travels.

The overall trip takes place from 1 June to 13 September 2022 with just six places available on each of its 10 sections. Choose a wilderness cruise and explore remote beaches, picturesque ports, and secretive wildlife; or pick a cultural cruise and visit a museum, join in with a whisky tasting, and delve into local markets. Diverse stop off points include the Historic Dockyards in Chatham, Lindisfarne in Northumbria, Loch Ness in Scotland, Pwllgwaelod bay in Wales, and sailing the Avon gorge to Bristol.

Founders, Paul Jenkins and Qiao Feng, created Snark Sailing Holidays to give people the opportunity to escape from their everyday lives and immerse themselves in a different world.

Guests can look forward to beach barbeques at sunset, cliff-top walks with spectacular views, swimming in the refreshing sea, museum and gallery visits, joining in with local gigs and festivals, and depending on the date – celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. They can get involved in the sailing of Snark as much as they would like, or chill with a book on deck, sketch or photograph the stunning scenery, or keep an eye out for wildlife and landmarks.

Snark is a newly constructed, steel-hulled, spritsail sailing barge, more commonly referred to as a Thames Barge. The construction of Snark began in 1997 by previous owners, before Paul and Qiao bought her in 2015. Over the next few years, they used their architect knowledge to finish building Snark, their home – building everything themselves from the plumbing and joinery to the carpentry and rigging – before deciding to share their journey with others.

Snark was completed in 2018 to the standards needed for commercial use in and around the British and European coasts. She is licenced to carry 12 passengers and three crew, but Paul and Qiao generally only take eight guests overnight, and just six on longer trips. Due to their clever modifications, Snark is the only Thames Barge licensed to sail around the British Coast.

More recently, Paul and Qiao have been upgrading Snark ready for her new adventure. They are creating three new cabins within the main hold, plus a deluxe ‘Owners’ cabin for guests wanting to travel in style. All those on Snark can expect underfloor heating, a fully equipped modern kitchen, plenty of windows, clever storage options, a large bathroom with a hot shower, a comfy lounge area, and a well-stocked library. All meals are provided, but guests can also try shucking fresh oysters in Whitstable, dining at award-winning establishments, and popping into a café when anchored at a port.

Responsibility and sustainability as a small business is also very important to Paul and Qiao. They support local initiatives, growers, and fisher people and source direct when possible. Snark gives guests a chance to explore the natural world with the minimum intervention, disruption, and pollution. Paul and Qiao re-use water and collect rainwater for use in the toilets, they recycle whenever they can and avoid single-use plastics, and although Snark has auxiliary engines, they are used as little as possible in favour of wind. More recently, Snark has joined Business Declares, a diverse group of companies committed to acknowledge and broadcast the Climate and Ecological Emergency. Joining this new UN inspired enterprise takes Snark one step further, with a promise to reach a zero-carbon goal by 2030.

The name, Snark, comes from the mythical beast in Lewis Carroll’s 1876 poem, ‘The Hunting of the Snark’. The poem follows the search for the elusive Snark by a disparate group of men (and a beaver) each burdened with his own struggles. Although often described as nonsense, it’s not, and towards the end of his life, Carroll finally conceded the poem was an allegory for the pursuit of happiness. Not euphoric happiness, but happiness in its simplest form, freedom from want and pain.

This sentiment rang true with Paul and Qiao, and they are keen to share this pursuit with people on Snark. For what use is happiness without companionship? Therefore, while on board, guests are encouraged to take a digital detox, to focus on the present, share time and conversation with a new group of people, and discover a little about themselves on route.

Previous sailing practise is not necessary as guests can learn all the skills needed along the way. Paul is a qualified skipper with more than 35 years’ experience. He is also the chief mechanic, boatbuilder, emergency rigger, creative cook, and a brilliant storyteller. Qiao is the first mate, and as well as her sailing credentials is a certified yoga and meditation teacher.

As the sun sets on each exhilarating day, crack open a well-deserved beer or glass of fizz and eat tasty home-cooked food, before cosying up in a cabin and reflecting on the wonders enjoyed.

For more information and to book, please visit or call 01962841411