Contacts: For both Greencastle and Moville contact the HM (Frank McDermott) 00353 (0)868166151.
Greencastle lies just inside the entrance to Lough Foyle and is a convenient stop-over for boats cruising the North coast of Ireland but do not want to go all the way up the Lough to Londonderry. It is well sheltered in all weathers but the entrance will be awkward in strong winds from the WSW through South to ENE.
Although there was activity here to support the original “Green castle” built in Norman times the first pier was not constructed until the early 19thC. This has been expanded over the years and today it contains the terminal for the Magilligan Ferry and also services the Port of Londonderry Pilots.
Moville is 2nm further SW along the coast from Greencastle and, of the two, probably has more in the way of amenities in the town though the shelter is not so good. It consists of a single pier on which most of the inside berths are taken by local fishing boats and the outside berths exposed to the tides and any weather from over the Lough.
Yachtsmen should take note that although there is an anchorage between here and Carrickarory Pier it is in the tideway which can make rowing ashore or back a protracted affair if your dinghy is not equipped with an outboard motor.
Mobile Phone and Internet users take note: This is in the Republic of Ireland; you may be able to access your UK provider’s UK network over the Lough but you will be making an International call and need to make arrangements for advantageous call rates.
If you find our free coverage of Greencastle & Moville useful, why not consider joining up ? Membership costs £25 for life, and you can download all our harbour coverage and official "Big Ship" sailing directions in PDF form to keep offline. Members also have access to 1667 charts and UK tidal flow atlases in full screen zoomable format, plus iPad format charts, and the ability to lay these charts over Google Earth satellite imagery with variable transparency. Membership is a great tool for those who move around at sea. Find out more, CLICK HERE
iPad compatible charts are available on this site. Find out more, CLICK HERE
The approaches to Lough Foyle are dealt with in our article Lough Foyle, Londonderry Marina & Approaches
Until recently the entrance to Greencastle was delineated by a sector light on the NW harbour entrance but this has now been removed during the building of a new outer harbour.
Unfortunately that improvement has been put on indefinite hold so that, at present, all that has been done is an incomplete breakwater to the SW of the harbour stretching about 150m out from the shore and has an ECM (VQ(3) 5s) at its outer end. The sector light has been replaced with a red lead in mark on the inner wall of the harbour with 2 Flashing Green vertical lights which may or may not be working.
Update 2015. Money is now trickling in in dribs and drabs. By the start of the 2015 season they expect to have some form of pontoon alongside the incomplete breakwater. There will be no services yet and they don't know what they will be charging (though the HM thought it might be "about 5 Euros per night) Navigation lights will be put on the end of the pontoon but it is unclear what form these will take. It would be a bit iffy wandering around in the dark unless you have managed to find out what the lighting is!
The entrance to the harbour is marked with flashing red and green lights as standard. For a night approach come in using the green light on the entrance wall as a front mark and the two flashing greens as a back mark and when comfortably clear of the flashing light on the ECM ease over to put the two vertical lights on the back mark in the middle of the harbour entrance lights. If coming in from the Magilligan narrows don’t cut the corner round the outside harbour wall as it shallows a bit there but on the whole there is plenty of water in the entrance.
Be very aware of the Lough Foyle Ferry. During the summer it operates continuously in daylight hours so it’s like Irish rain, if you can’t see it you will shortly! A link to Ferry Times can be found HERE
To anchor off Moville just come in from the Moville channel mark and pick your spot!
There is further detailed coverage here:
The main attraction of this part of the world is that, in the main, life is taken at a gentler pace than the big city. Do not expect the rapid, slick service in the restaurants and shops; be prepared to “sit a while” and enjoy the peace.
Ashore in Greencastle there are three restaurants and a few pubs and shops. A not-to-be-missed attraction is the Inishowen Maritime Museum and Planetarium which occupies the old Coastguard Station on Greencastle harbour. Information about that and a history of Greencastle’s development can be found at
Of the two towns Moville is slightly larger and boasts more shops and pubs. Much of what is available can be found at
There is a bus service running between Greencastle and Moville and on to Londonderry which runs about four times a day but for an evening out in Moville from Greencastle one will have to use the local taxi.
Londonderry (Derry) is about 20 miles from here, and from there, there is access to road and rail links to the main Irish Cities. Londonderry Airport is close to the city and has regular Ryanair flights to the main airports in the UK.