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Southwold Harbour

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Courtesy Flag

Flag, Red Ensign


SE of Entrance 52:18'.5 N 001:41'.0 E


Admiralty, 2695

Rules & Regulations

Speed Limit 4 MPH ? No wash. Essential to contact HM before entry on Ch.12


Entrance Dangerous in Onshore Winds, Very Strong Tidal Flows.

Tidal Data Times & Range

Dover -0105 MHWS 2.4m, MHWN 2.1m, MLWN 1.0m, MLWS 0.5m   (links)

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General Description

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.

Pilotage Details..

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. ... read more

Berthing, Mooring & Anchoring

Once into the River Blyth you will be moving between timber staging moorings on either side, with the bulk of them to starboard.

Visitors moorings are past the easily recognisable boatyard on your starboard side, past the harbour master's hut, and more or less opposite The Harbour Inn. They consist of timber stagings, and you'll have to turn your vessel into the tide once you identify them. In 2013 it will cost £18.00 per night for a 20ft to 30ft or £22 a night for 30ft to 40ft boat with an additional charge of £4.00 per day for shore power

Be wary if you are being swept up the river by a strong side... the fixed footbridge will be looming and you do not want to be ignominiously pinned against it. Right opposite the visitors moorings is a patch of riverbank devoid of stagings. The creative skipper could push the nose of his vessel into the mud on his port side, and let the rapidly flooding tide swing the stern of the boat around. Now facing into the tide and under perfect control the boat could be allowed to move backwards, using forward nudges to maintain steerage.....hmm sounds good on paper. Tried it once elsewhere out of necessity and it worked for me...

Once the boat is safely tied up drag the skipper over to The Harbour Inn, and let him down a pint of Adnams to soothe his frayed nerves.... ... read more

Your Ratings & Comments

1 comment
Update 2013
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
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