Comprehensive Sailing Directions for UK Harbours with free Nautical Charts

Awarded a Gold Site Maritime Web AwardThis site is an online pilotage guide, here to provide timely and detailed information about the various ports and harbours, estuaries, rivers and inlets around the coasts of the UK and Ireland. For those arriving by boat.

"research and plan here ...then navigate using one of our electronic chart packages"

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Impartial and original information...  free to use

300 Harbours: Each harbour (NOT JUST marinas) has full sailing directions, free charts, and photo galleries. All mooring options are covered, including: prices, local facilities, provisioning, launching places, pubs and dining. Plus 7 day weather and 2017 tide tables.   Interactivity   Logged in visitors can leave comments and information.

Access via the Regions menu on the left,

Or  Click here to browse through all harbours

Or: Access them via  Google Earth if you have it installed.   Harbours will appear as clickable markers



             Other free services for you to try right now:

Proper monthly tide tables, not just the next few days..Got a marine shoukd be in's free. 4000 businesses listed by category area and harbourBoating related articles and videos
Proper Tide Tables                                      Marine business directory                                      Articles & Videos


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Android Charts: Android tablets with the right app make a great stand alone "for nav"  chart plotting system..  self contained with GPS, quick starting, full navigation facilities.  We've worked with Ronald Koenig, the developer of the cracking "Marine Navigator" Android app.  App costs £6.42 from Play Store. VMH raster chartsets
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This system will turn your PC into a powerful GPS / AIS compatible chartplotter
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A raster chart system that will work with Windows programs: SeaClear (free), OpenCPN (free), Polar Navy and Expedition .  By automated download... up and running in an hour.   Also available on secure USB with floating license. 

Ideal for the new breed of Windows 10 touchscreen tablets, as well as larger machines.

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Marine Navigator                                              SeaClear              OpenCPN               Polar View           Expedition   


UK and other European chart coverage

Download prices from £22/£32 (members/non-members) for 800+ UK/Ireland charts, other areas available, inc. France, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal... see coverage maps and prices HERE





Best selling legacy Windows products still available:

Chart-plotting software and charts for Windows and Android, use on multiple machines/devices"Charts for SeaClear UK/IRL" at £29.50 is without a doubt the cheapest way for you to get 800+charts plus tried and tested chart plotter software (AIS and GPS compatible) ...all in one easy to use package that will turn multiple PCs/ laptops (and also Android tablets) into a real time chartplotters.  Years tide tables built in. This is IDEAL for those new to electronic navigation, who want a simple to install and use starter system.


2017 editions now available
The VisitMyHarbour "ChartStick"  a portable, easy to use way of providing "For Navigation" Raster charts, that are compatible with some fantastic free (or very cheap) navigation programs. OpenCPN and Polar View

All charts used online and in products are derived from Official British or SHOM raster charts and licensed by the UKHO/SHOM. We recommend always using Admiralty paper charts in conjunction with any electronic navigation systems.

Featured Harbour show all

Strangford Lough Anchorages

West Scotland and North of Ireland

Contacts: Strangford HM at Ferry Terminal VHF #12 #14 tel 028 448 1637.

Strangford Lough is a huge expanse of enclosed water which is a beautiful cruising ground in its own right; you could very easily make this your “holiday destination” from England.  There are piles of yacht clubs (big and small), loads of places where you can anchor and take your ease and it’s only four or so miles from one side to the other. It’s rather like the Scillies in that you can have lunch in one place, have a snooze and then potter somewhere else for the evening; the main difference is the backdrop and it’s much less exposed than the Scillies. The other thing is that once you have braved the narrows inbound it would be a shame to turn round and go straight back out without stopping to sit down and enjoy yourself without any harbour dues !

On top of that, although it looks a difficult place to navigate around, the art of “transits” will serve you well draw transit lines on your chart which will keep you clear of charted dangers ie “when I can see the edge of that island round the edge of that one I’ll be clear of that hidden rock”; it works a treat both in the Scillies and here!  Our chartlet of Part of Strangford Lough includes the listed transits shown on the chart with their circled letter designation but you will soon work out more of your own as you potter around.

We have shown the more well known anchorages below along with the navigation and facilities where known; if you know of others please contact us with the details.


The whole lough is a feature produced by a retreating glacier at the end of the last ice age. The melting ice has left deposits in its wake producing an extremely undulating sub surface profile which can be seen at the surface as a multitude of islands and rocks (some just below the surface).  The AC 2156 chart is a very good representation of this but, if using a GPS remember the WGS84 offset.  The rocks and islands (called “pladdies”) are often marked by poles or perches (our chart has emphasised the known ones) but these merely indicate the presence of an hazard, not it’s extent;  as these poles are not officially maintained they should not be used as navigation marks or channel indicators but only as “ ‘ere be dragons” warnings.

We would strongly suggest that if you are intending to visit the Lough on your travels it would be a good idea to produce some laminated blow ups from the "members only" zoomifiable charts on our web site; beats a soggy chart and a magnifying glass any day. ... read more


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