Harbour Information (use the icons to find out more)

Sandwich (River Stour)

Your Comments: 12 Read or add your comments

Courtesy Flag

Flag, Red Ensign


None Given


Admiralty 1827, SC5605

Rules & Regulations

6 Knts Speed Limit


Drying Bar, Strong Flood Tide

Tidal Data Times & Range

HW at bar +0015 Dover, HW Sandwich Quay +0100 Dover, MHWS 3.3m, MHWN 2.6m, MLWN 0,3m, MLWS 0.1m. Richborough tide tables:   (links)

This site is designed for slower, roaming broadband connections, like you would get at sea, so it needs JavaScript enabled to expand the text.

General Description

Sandwich is another Cinque Port town that has found itself silted up and nowadays lays some 4 1/2 miles from the sea. ... read more


The tidal flows in the River Stour are slightly unusual...... with the net result that strangers are advised to only tackle the passage to Sandwich on a rising tide. ... read more

Berthing, Mooring & Anchoring

There is not enough room for the yachtsman or motorboater to anchor anywhere within the River Stour. ... read more

Your Ratings & Comments

Update March 2023
Written by Don Thomson 3 | 30th Mar 2023
I reviewed these notes in March 2023. We have been in contact with Robert Holden for years and he has maintained the advisory chart of the entrance. He has now retired and the Harbour Authority is now responsible for the channel. The chart we reproduce in the Approach section of these notes is likely to be the last one and needs to be used with extreme caution. The chart on the Sandwich website is out of date by about four years.
Up the River Stour
Written by rupertemerson | 9th May 2022
At Richborough boatyard there are a couple of curious mooring buoys which can be ignored but further up before the Pfizer complex of buildings there is a small port hand can that must NOT be ignored as the harbour master (friendly and helpful) says there is a concrete structure to avoid.
Sandwich Marina is in new ownership though the previous owner, who owns the gunboat at The Strand in the town, is still about and helpful. Do not expect a marina as such, though the owners do their best to welcome you. It is a DIY boatyard with a slip way and a basic toilet as well as pontoons along the river but beware, they dry and when they do the pontoon sits on the top of the mud while your boat may slide down the side of the mud, pulling hard on your warps. A more settled business is Highway Marine in the town. Or there is The Strand where you can tie up.
In early May 2022 there was a great deal of debris including many branches to foul your shaft or prop all the way down the river.
It is a long way up the river to get to Sandwich, some is pretty but the industrial buildings are not. The town itself is full of history. Do not miss the Tudor court room at the Guildhall, free entry. The churches are remarkable.
The harbour master will advise about the state of the buoyage at the entrance. Look out for seals just inside.
1 of 1 people found this helpful
Update May 2022
Written by Don Thomson 3 | 4th May 2022
I reviewed these notes in early May 2022. Note that the Sandwich safe water RW mark was moved in 2019. Its position on the UKHO1827 chart is incorrect. On Navionics the buoy is correct but it is placed on the old local information from 2020 so doesn't show the new channel. The Sandwich harbour website still shows the old estuary channel but the new Safe water mark. I'm moving our copy of the 2021 chart in our nav gallery to the approach section where it will be clearer and have asked Sandwich to update their info on their own website. Can't do anything about Big bruvvers.
1 of 1 people found this helpful
Written by Don Thomson 3 | 15th Mar 2021
These notes were reviewed in March 2021. They've produced a new chartlet of the River Stour which I've uploaded and there is a link in the Approach section. New overnight price .
Update Autumn 2019
Written by Don Thomson 3 | 7th Oct 2019
We've uploaded a new chartlet for the entrance to the River Stour. Things are changing so much there at the moment that they've stopped numbering the buoys. Proceed with caution and it's inadvisable to attempt the approach without some form of depth measuring equipment.
Written by Don Thomson | 27th Apr 2018
Once again we are indebted to Robert Holden for the most recent chart of the River Stour entry. Those of you who are familiar will see the change from last year. For those not familiar rest assured it is easier than it was a few years ago - one of the big meanders has been pushed through and the course in is much straighter.
1 of 1 people found this helpful
Update Spring 2016
Written by dononshytalk | 8th Apr 2016
We have provided a link to the 2016 Robert Holden chart of the Stour Estuary. Many thanks Robert.
Update Jan 2016
Written by Bryant | 12th Jan 2016
I am the cartographer / compiler of the River Stour entry chartlet to Sandwich. Reading comments people acknowledge that it is a difficult entry but I regularly take our 30ft gaffer drawing 5 ft in and out on spring and neap tides.

As it says on the tin... READ the instructions and entry will be OK, even with a 6 month out of date chart. I entered just a week ago from Ramsgate - 4th Jan 2015 when the chart is now 9 months out of date, since when the heavy rains have caused the EA to open the sluices at Stonar Cut.. Bends can now be expected to be anything up to 80 ft from the charted position. Especially the bend at the isolated danger mark - which is no longer a danger since, during the summer, it has begun to be swallowed by an encroaching inner bend mud bank.

Back to reading the instructions. Besides use of the Mark I eyeball the other instrument of paramount use is an echo sounder.. Establish the midriver depth going sharply from side to side. Then go to the inside of each bend and follow a contour of say half a meter shallower than the depest water. Then when round that bend and in the straight before the next cross over, noting the deepest depth again, and begin to follow a shallower contour around the next bend. Do not go anywhere near the Isolated Danger Mark pole. The outside of the bends are VERY steep to.

Then it is a sharpish turn around Pepperness buoy, a long curve to Shellness buoy then follow the middle, inward, once clear of Shellness and Throat buoys - beyond which are the seals. Over 80 a few days ago.

For the website for the Port and Haven, which I maintain and have posted the 2015 chart, go to www.sandwichphc.uk - and for our gaffers website go to www.yacht-emanuel.co.uk Please feel free to download the chart. Initial looksee survey for 2016 takes place in abouy 4 weeks. I hope it is not snowing since I will be in Emanuel's 9ft inflatable for the shallow draft needed at low water across Pegwell Bay.

Enjoy the river. At present a lovely shade of fields mud brown.

Robert Holden
1 of 1 people found this helpful
Update November 2015
Written by dononshytalk | 10th Nov 2015
By Don T. I have located the Robert Holden chartlet for the Estuary which is based on a survey done in the Spring of 2015. It is supplied since the previous chartlet; it must still be viewed as the "best possible" but not relied on entirely for navigation.

The experience of our member below shows how difficult it is to keep up to date with the changes to this channel.
entering with no local knoledge other than this site
Written by n07900 | 8th Jun 2014
Ive just been into the stour in my flat bottomed jung rig yacht, draght 0.6M following the pdf got me nearly grounded, pdf is out of date as per the warnings, quite a few of the bouys can be seen washed up on the shore As I was anchored on the mud I watched the harbour master putting the fairway bouy out and other marks, so hopefully the route out will be easier on my boats bottom

View all 12 feedback items

© visitMyHarbour.com | website design created by Black Culm Ltd