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Rye Harbour (River Rother)

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Courtesy Flag

Flag, Red Ensign


Safe Water Mark 50:54' N 000:48' E


Admiralty 1991, SC5605

Rules & Regulations

6 Knts Speed Limit, No Anchoring Inside, Traffic Signals Must Be Obeyed


Occasional Ships, Rough possibly dangerous entrance in Strong Onshore Winds.

Tidal Data Times & Range

HW +0002 Dover, MHWS 7.7m, MHWN 6.0m No Low Water Data Available

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General Description

The ancient town of Rye nestles inland on a hill, lying at least a couple of miles away from the sea. It wasn't always like this, at one time the Romans used it for exporting iron and the town was built again after 1377 when it was destroyed by the French. The town has the status of a Cinque Port, and looking at it now it's hard to believe that sizeable ships once berthed here. The map displayed in our "Navigation" Gallery shows what it used to be like when it was a thriving port. It's amazing to realise that the headland of Dungeness was once an island.

The relentless drift of shingle along the coast has moved it's entrance many times, and everything has become silted up. Even now though with the drying bar, and depths within the River at less than half a metre at LWS, commercial traffic still visits.

Apart from the occasional ship visit (approximately 50 year ) the harbour is a base for a busy fishing fleet. Visiting yachts and small craft must be prepared to take the ground, and if they are under 15 m long they can berth deep within the town itself, a long way from the sea and with perfect shelter. ... read more


In settled offshore conditions the yachtsman or motorboater should have no problem finding and negotiating the well marked entrance to Rye Harbour. Any kind of onshore winds will make things lumpy, and strangers are best advised to stay away with onshore winds of more than F4 or in darkness. If the wind has any north in it the bay and entrance will be well shelterted.

For boats of 1.5m draft an approach should not be made till about 2 hours before HW and entry to harbour ideally made 1 1/2 hours before HW.  This will give you time to sort the paperwork with the Harbour Office, and proceed to the Town Berths a couple of miles further in.(In a leisurely manner on a rising tide).

Pilotage Detalis... ... read more

Berthing, Mooring & Anchoring

After paying harbour dues and getting some inside information from the harbour master most boats make for Strand Quay deep within the town. These berths lie about a mile a half away from the harbour office. Boats over 15 m cannot access the town quay, and have to remain at the Admiralty Jetty. Large boats should arrange ahead with the authorities before entry. Charges (2016) are a combination of mooring fee, harbour dues and VAT and have been simplified in comparison to previous years; it will now cost £20 for boats up to 10m but that includes access to the showers and toilets on Strand Quay and shore power 

River Rother and Town Quay Details... ... read more

Your Ratings & Comments

Update Spring 2016
Written by dononshytalk | 21st Mar 2016
These notes were reviewed by Don in March 2016. I've made a few changes; pontoons are not yet installed at Strand Quay; prices have been simplified and I've learnt that they do not encourage the use of fender boards at Strand Quay because they tend to get all tangled up with mooring ropes.
Update April 2014
Written by dononshytalk | 10th Apr 2014
These notes were reviewed in April 2014. The prices have not changed for 2014. We have corrected our previous statement that electricity was not available, it is, at both the Admiralty Jetty and Strand Quay. They had intended putting in pontoons at Strand Quay for this year but apologise to those of you who knew of this; they have had to spend much of the early part of this year repairing storm damage and will have to delay this improvement until next year. In the meantime the toilets have been given a lick of paint!!
Update 2013
Written by dononshytalk | 15th Mar 2013
The Rye Harbour notes were updated by Don T on the 15th of march 2013. Prices will be going up in March 2013 and we have shown the new prices.
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