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Littlehampton Harbour

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Courtesy Flag

Flag, Red Ensign


Approach, on the 0m depth contour 50:47'.597N 000:32'.318W


Admiralty 1991, SC5605

Rules & Regulations

6.5 Knts Speed Limit, Minimal Wash


Approach Dries, Hazardous in Onshore Gales, Strong Tidal Streams in Entrance

Tidal Data Times & Range

HW +0015 Dover, MHWS 5.9m, MHWN 4.5m, MLWN 1.8m, MLWS 0.4m. Tide-tables:   (links)

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General Description

2021.  Plans for this summer are based on the information available in early March. It is hoped that the Town Quay visitors pontoon will be opened on 12 April 2021. Toilets will not be open until 17th May and the showers will remain closed until 21st June. For further details either phone the harbour or see their website (URL below)

Littlehampton could make a useful stopping place if bound up or down the channel.

The approaches dry out at low water and tides run hard... in strong onshore weather it is probably wise to bypass the place unless you are familiar with it. In S or SE gales Littlehampton should not even be considered.

It is not overrun with visiting yachts, and the Town Quay berths adjacent to the harbour office are very central for all the town facilities. Shelter inside is good other than in strong onshore conditions. Provisioning should be no problem here with the town right on the doorstep so to speak. If planning to visit Chichester or Langstone next, it would be worth doing a large and comprehensive stock up while the going is good (Supplies are thin on the ground around these two harbours).

There is still some commercial activity, and shipping needs to be given precedence within the narrow harbour but the Harbour Authorities are welcoming towards visiting yachts and motorboats. The emphasis of the harbour is turning more towards leisure users as commercial use dwindles.

If planning a longer stay it is possible to move up the River Arun, but masted vessels will need the footbridge raised. Here Littlehampton Marina could offer a safe place to leave the boat unattended, while the station is nearby with good onwards connections for crew changes etc.

If without a boat Littlehampton is base to several fully licensed angling and diving boats, check the directory.

For details of the new Rampion windfarm in the approaches to Littlehampton click on this link Windfarm Alerts


If approaching from the West you will either be passing through the Looe Channel, or outside the Owers altogether.

It is necessary to give the land a good offing from the West to avoid various rocky patches off Bognor Regis, so after clearing The Mixon it is best to continue eastwards for a couple of miles. After this a generally ENE heading (say 60°to 70°) can be followed until you can pick up the leading marks, or observe the West Pier Head bearing 350°.

From seawards Littlehampton entrance can be recognised by a twin turreted "Fairy Castle" in the funfair on the eastern side of the entrance. There is also a conspicuous building to the East of the entrance which is made of red brick with a white tower with tiled roof...

Pilotage directions:

The waypoint given 50°47'.579 N  000°32'.318 W is directly on the leading transit, at the point where the charted depths drop to zero. If you approach this waypoint with it bearing 346°T from a distance of about half a mile away you should be able to pick up the transit marks.

The transit marks are both on the short eastern pier, the rear one consisting of a squat white lighthouse (Oc.W.7.5s.9m.10M) and the forward one a black steel column (F.G.6m.7M).

From the East it is simply a matter of giving the land a good offing and picking up the leading marks, or getting the West Pier Head bearing about 350°.

The West Pier is made of wooden piling, the pier head also being a timber piled structure. Running parallel to this pier is a training wall that covers at half tide. This wall is marked by black-and-white perches.

In the approach there is a West going set to the tide which starts one half hours before local high water, and finishes four hours after local high water. An East going set kicks in at one and a half hours before local low water, and continues until two hours before local high water. There can be a strong counter eddy inside the training wall.

A tide gauge on the pier head can be consulted from sea with the aid of binoculars, but remember there is 1 m less because of the drying height of the approach. Caution using this gauge should be exercised, especially on the ebb.

Once you are abeam the end of the West Pier, keep to the starboard side at a safe distance off the training wall. This may well be underwater, but it is adequately marked by perches with radar reflectors.

At night after passing the Eastern Pier Head there is a green light on the Fisherman's Quay (Q.G.4m.5M) and a Q.R opposite that on the West Pier that can help guide you up the harbour.

The speed limit in the harbour is 6.5 kn, and you need to keep out of the way of all commercial traffic. Vessels proceeding against the tidal stream (thus having more manoeuvrability) are to keep clear of those with the tide underneath them.

Tides can run up to 6 knts in the entrance.

Stop Press. There is a wreck about quarter of a mile WSW of the breakwater end, marked by buoys. For details see the harbour website below.

The Harbour Authority works on VHF channel 71, or telephone 01903 721215/mobile 07775 743078. A link to their website is provided below:


Berthing, Mooring & Anchoring

It is not allowed to anchor anywhere within the harbour...

...and regardless of where you are going in the harbour you will need to report to the Harbour Authorities. Contact details have already been given or you can simply tie-up to the clearly marked visitors Town Quay pontoon which is on your starboard side, just past the conspicuous harbour office. Further details and visitors prices:

If they don't come to you, report to the office to pay your harbour dues. You have to pay harbour dues here as well as mooring fees but to tie up at the Visitors pontoon they lump them together and that's £30.82 for a 10m boat. The electricity is done on £2.00 prepaid cards.

It is normal for boats to raft outwards from the pontoon but this is at the discretion of the Harboutmaster.

Facilities on these pontoons include water and power can be arranged. Decent toilets and showers at the harbour office.

Arun Yacht Club have a small drying marina opposite the Town Quay, and it may be possible to negotiate a berth with them if you have a bilge keeled boat. They operate on VHF channel 37, or telephone 01903 716016. A link to their website is provided below:


If you have a motorboat it may be possible to pass under the opening footbridge which has a minimum of 3.6 m overhead clearance (depending on the tide). This will give you access to the full service Littlehampton Marina a little further upstream on the port hand side.

The costs here work out at £2.80 per metre per night, with extra £3.00 charge for use of electricity if required. (Not including harbour dues). The Marina has depths of up to 2.5 m, and can handle boats up to 18 m long. They can be contacted on 01903 713553, or on VHF channel 37 and 80. A link to their website is provided below:


Littlehampton Marina facilities include fuel, travel lift, chandlery, laundry facilities, toilets and showers. Water and electricity are available on the pontoons. The charge here is £2.90 per metre per night but on top of that you have to pay your £10 a day harbour dues to the harbour office yourself (and you can't get away with that because it's them that operate the footbridge!!)

If you have a sailing vessel and wish to use this Marina, you will have to make arrangements to have the footbridge raised. This requires 24 hours notice to the harbour authorities.


A note has already been made of what is available at the Town Quay and the Marina.

More general facilities in the area include chandlers, sails and rigging, engineering and various other facilities for the boat... check the directory.

As already mentioned the Town Quay is very close to the centre of town where all the High Street shops, outlets and banks (with cashpoints) will be found. Furthermore supermarkets are not in short supply either with Sainsbury's, Sommerfield's and Tesco's all represented amongst others.

Trailer Sailer's will find a public slipway next door to the lifeboat station. It has access at three quarters of the tidal range, and it is necessary to pay your harbour dues before you launch. It is likely to be very busy during the Littlehampton Regatta in early August.


 Verbal or written reports delivered in plain English at the level you require, in a pragmatic way. We work with private owners, yacht brokers, charter companies, insurance companies, finance companies, and also coding organisations.
 We specialise in surveying FRP and steel vessels, charter yachts and all small marine craft. With 25 years in the marine industry, www.marinesurveysuk.com are members of BMSE and YDSA Call Matt on   07798 554535   or email [email protected]


Littlehampton is on the A259, though it bypasses most of the town. Littlehampton is connected to the A27 south coast trunk road by the A284, which also provides the main north-south route out of the town and links to the A29.

Stagecoach operate the '700 Coastliner' service in the town, providing four services an hour to Brighton, two services an hour to Arundel and two services an hour to Portsmouth. Stagecoach also serve the town with the number 9 service, running hourly from Littlehampton to the Holmbush Centre via Angmering, Worthing and Shoreham-by-Sea. More recently, Compass Travel have introduced the 'Littlehampton Town Bus'. Officially known as the number 12 service, it provides travel between Littlehampton, Rustington and Wick, replacing the former Stagecoach 702 service that was axed, much to the disapproval of local residents.

Trains services from Littlehampton railway station are provided by Southern, with direct services to London Victoria, Gatwick Airport, East Croydon, Bognor Regis, Chichester and Portsmouth.

Gatwick Airport is an hour away to the north, with the port of Dover and the Channel Tunnel about three hours to the east. Portsmouth Harbour is one hour away to the west.

The text on this TRANSPORT page is covered by the following licence


More Info

Tidal Streams- The streams are strong between the piers, where the ingoing (flood) stream continues till about +0100 Dover.  Both the flood and ebb streams are usually strong in the river, but after heavy rain the rate of the ebb stream is increased, and that of the flood stream correspondingly reduced.  After a long period of very heavy rain the ebb stream may run continuously, very strongly during the normal ebb period, and much less strongly during the normal flood period


Littlehampton is a seaside resort town and civil parish in the Arun District of West Sussex, England. The parish covers an area of 11.35 km2 (4 sq mi) and has a population of 25,593 persons (2001 census). It is located on the east bank at the mouth of the River Arun. The conurbation includes other settlements: Wick in the north west; Lyminster to the north; East Preston, Rustington and Angmering to the east. Wick and Toddington became part of the town in 1901.

Littlehampton lies within the constituency of Bognor Regis and Littlehampton, the Member of Parliament for which is Conservative Nick Gibb.

The local town newspaper is the Littlehampton Gazette.


The headquarters of The Body Shop is located in Littlehampton. Local company, Dando Drilling International Ltd has been exporting drilling rigs from Littlehampton since 1867. Van Heyningen Brothers (VHB) salad growers were a major employer in the town from 1964–2003. Much of the local economy comprises smaller companies with fewer than ten employees, however Sainsbury's are in the town centre and the local authority is actively seeking to promote and expand business opportunities.

Local issues

Littlehampton has received a great deal of publicity as the home of the East Beach Cafe, a building on the seafront designed by Heatherwick Studio.

The building is a fully welded monocoque structure. The building reflects its exposed location with a rough, weathered appearance which Heatherwick describes as being like a piece of weathered flotsam swept up onto the beach. It was built in Littlehampton, with steelwork by Littlehampton Welding Ltd and site work by Langridge Developments, another local firm. The construction of the cafe caused a stir in Littlehampton; some see it as an eyesore and others welcome it as a world class piece of architecture and a symbol of regeneration.


The newest attraction prior to the East Beach Cafe was the Look and Sea centre which includes the Harbour Lights cafe and an observation tower. As well as this Harbour Park is located at the entrance of the River Arun and is the 18th most popular theme park in the UK. Further along the promenade is Norfolk Gardens a multi-purpose outdoor site owned by Inspire Leisure. The site includes a 9-hole pitch and putt course, 9-hole adventure golf course, tennis and bowls. The site also includes (March-September everyday as well as winter hours) the putting green cafe.

The text on this HISTORY page is covered by the following licence

Eating, Drinking & Entertainment

All the usual town facilities will be found in Littlehampton. This applies equally to pubs and restaurants of which there is choice aplenty. Sometimes if you have spent a lot of time in tranquil isolated creeks and anchorages it is good to get into town, back to real life. The central location of the Town Quay allows you to do just that without having to stagger too far back to the boat.

As usual we do not offer too many suggestions about this but provides some links below for the passing mariner to check out:



Eating Out.

THE 10 BEST Restaurants & Places to Eat in Littlehampton 2021 - Tripadvisor

Things to do.


Do you run a pub, restaurant, supermarket, deli, taxi service, etc around this harbour ?  Why not put yourself in our directory so visitors will find you ?  The link below provides full info....It's FREE and you can do it yourself NOW.


Your Ratings & Comments

Museum closed
Written by Llew | 14th Sep 2021
Despite being advertised around the town the heritage museum has been shut for a few years!

Friendly harbour staff and the visitors pontoon was very quiet.

Enjoyable first visit and would return.
1 of 1 people found this helpful
Friendly club; expensive harbour dues
Written by Tyro Sailor | 25th Jul 2021
Visited here 19th June ' 21 on the way back from Eastbourne.

Harbour entrance long, narrow, shallow and tide-ridden but easily negotiated with care. I berthed at Arun YC on the W bank where the natives and bar prices were friendly and they gave us an electronic card to get us into the clubhouse at any time. The reasonable charge there was rather spoilt when the harbourmaster turned up in the morning asking for harbour dues as well. Over at the office I was so appalled at the cost that I can't remember how much it was; it turned out that we'd been overcharged, but not by enough to make it cheap.

Longish walk up to the bridge and back to the town centre which features a Lidl, a funfair (with ice cream of course) a long beach, the harbour office and the Dinky Doo Diner whose breakfast must be sampled.
1 of 1 people found this helpful
Written by Don Thomson 3 | 12th Mar 2021
These notes were reviewed in March 2021. Their tentative plans for the release from Lockdown have been published and new prices have been added.
Written by Don Thomson | 27th Mar 2018
We have put up a new harbour chart. Note the changes to the lighting; the back lead-in light is no longer a sector light and has changed its signature; the front lead-in light is now a "Fixed" green. There are also two lights near those in the "Narrows" a QG and a QR. Prices have changed.
2 of 2 people found this helpful
Update Spring 2016
Written by dononshytalk | 21st Mar 2016
These notes were reviewed by Don in March 2016. There are few changes and the sea defence work is now complete
Update November 2015
Written by dononshytalk | 10th Nov 2015
1. The Flood defence work was finished back in June 2015 and Town Quay is back in business.
2. There is a wrecked sailing yacht 0.25 miles WSW of the breakwater head marked by buoys
Give it a miss till the flood work is done
Written by visa-gb | 18th May 2014
Friendly people at the Harbour office, however whilst flood defense work is going on there is currently no shore power or water available on the visitors pontoon, nor have morring costs been adjusted to allow for this. A very noisy overnight stay with construction work commencing at 07:00 and continuing till 18:00
1 of 1 people found this helpful
Update 2014
Written by dononshytalk | 8th Apr 2014
These notes were updated April 2014. The charges have been adjusted to take account of the increases for 2014. Please note that the prices for Littlehampton Marina carry the warning that they do not include harbour dues - and they carried that warning last year when kirbrutt visited there last year!! (See below)
Written by kirbyrutt | 20th Sep 2013
Be Aware although LittleHamepton Marina state their charges they fail to mention the harbour fees are not included, this I found when I docked there for a week. I also paid for 7 nights and they agreed to reimburse the difference to my account but also failed to do that as well.

This yard is also the only one with fuel unless you are going to walk to Tesco's a long mile down the road.
Cheaper to moor at the Harbour visitors berths where the fees are included
Update 2013
Written by dononshytalk | 14th Mar 2013
These notes were updated by Don T on the 14th March 2013. Little change and the prices have been adjusted for the 2013 season
0 of 1 people found this helpful

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