Southwold is a small harbour with a tricky entrance and some yachting facilities, lying between the River Ore to the South and Lowestoft to the North.
The actual town of Southwold is about a mile north of the harbour and any provisioning will involve a bit of a hike. The harbour itself lies in the River Blyth and entrance involves negotiating a sandbar and coping with strong tidal streams. Immediately past the harbour moorings the way is blocked by a fixed bridge. ... read more
Although perhaps not as daunting as the entrance to the River Ore, the entrance to Southwold needs to be treated with the utmost respect by Mariners. The lifeboat station sited in the entrance is not there for no reason at all.
There is an entry plan downloadable from the Waveney Website at
There is no date on this plan so instructions to contact the HM before approach should be followed.
Before attempting entry contact the HM on VHF Channel 12. This is mandatory
Sandbanks in and around the entrance are liable to sudden changes after easterly gales, and during strong winds having any East in them entry shouldn't be attempted. The sea can break heavily on the shallows in the approaches with onshore winds. To complicate matters more, the tide can flow out of the entrance at up to 6 kn adding to the turbulence. ... read more
Once into the River Blyth you will be moving between timber staging moorings on either side, with the bulk of them to starboard.
This river is not that wide and, once in, you'll be travelling up quite quickly on the tide; if you have plenty of crew to rig for harbour that's not a problem but if short handed it would be an idea to rig for harbour before shaping a course for the entrance. You'll be coming alongside port side to so plenty of fenders for that side but don't forget to keep some for the other side as you are likely to be rafted on. ... read more
These notes were reviewed and updated by Don in March 2015. There have been major changes in all the sections since 2013 . There is an increase in visitor moorings, depths in the entrance have changed for the better, prices have increased and there are new toilets & showers. We hope to supply photographs of the new facilities in due course.
Written by dononshytalk | 5th Apr 2013
Southwold notes were updated by Don T on the 5th April 2013. Little has changed, if anything they may have slightly more water in the entrance than they quoted for 2011. I've included the prices for 2013 and updated some website URLs