Conwy Marina tel 01492 593000 VHF#80
Deganwy Marina tel 01492 576888 VHF#80
Conwy is a magnificently preserved walled and fortified town of quaint narrow streets. Amongst other attractions the town boasts Britain's smallest house, a Victorian fisherman's cottage. Measuring 6' in width and standing 10' high; its two rooms are linked by a vertical staircase. The whole scene is dominated by the magnificent castle.
The towns of Conwy and Deganwy are host and home to large fleets of small craft, either moored in the River or at one of the two marinas. Conwy Marina is the longer established and at one time was accessible at all states of the tide. Problems developed with siltation and now the Marina now has a flap gate that limits access to 3.5 hours either side of HW.
Conwy Marina is operated by Boatfolk, The Deganwy Marina has changed and a company called Lakeland Leisure has taken over the lease from the Crown Estates. This marina also has flap gates, and is formed out of the old dock. This dock at Deganwy was used to export slate, then by BR to hold rolling stock. Although used to moor boats of various types until the 70/80's, it had been allowed to run into disrepair, just waiting to be developed. Fancy housing has been built around both marinas, and with one company having a local monopoly there is not much to choose between them.
If considering visiting bear in mind strong tidal streams in the channel, make it impractical for most boats to attempt entry more than a couple of hours after high water.
All boat facilities will be found in the area, although provisioning may involve a mile trip to the town centre.
Entrance to Conwy can be made in most conditions,....
..... but with strong onshore winds and an ebbing tide it is advisable to give it a miss for the first time visitor. Conwy Bay lies between Puffin Island and Great Orme Head, both of which are easily recognisable. For a downloadable pdf of the buoyage click on the URL below which opens in a new tab
The first stage involves finding and identifying the red-and-white fairway buoy, (LFl.10s), 53°18’ N 003°55.6’W
A easterly course from here with a touch of south will bring you towards the buoyed channel. The first buoy encountered is the red can C2 (Fl(2)R.10s), which should be left to port, the second being the green conical C1 (Fl.G.10s), which is left to starboard. All the buoyage in the channel is moved around to suit the best water.
The bar is shown drying at CD, but even at MLWS it will have about half a metre, and obviously more at MLWN. Another drying patch at CD is The Scabs, which is adjacent to the red can buoy C6. In practice this makes the channel usable for most boats about four hours either side of high water.
For entry purposes however bear in mind that at half ebb during springs the tidal outflows in the narrow parts of the channel can reach 7 kn. For a first-time visitor the ideal time to enter would be a couple of hours before high water, and never to leave it later than HW. Bear in mind entry to the Marinas is only possible a maximum of three hours either side of high water.
The buoyage is now all lit so a night entry is not impossible.
It is a fairly simple matter to follow the buoyage, and when in the region of the Conwy Beacon (LFl.G.15s) a sharp turn needs to be made to the south-east. This turning point is also well marked by the green conical C11 (QG), and the red can C14 (LFl.R.15s).
At this stage is the small craft moorings will be seen ahead, the deepwater lying fairly centrally. Pushing further in, Beacons Jetty will be seen and is left off on your starboard side. At this point the tidal streams can be fierce.
You are now in the region of the marinas, with Conwy Marina to starboard, and a little bit further in Deganwy Marina to port.
There is a speed limit within the estuary of 10 knots between the Perch Light and Cymryd Point. A Dead Slow speed limit with no excessive wash is in operation within the confines of the marinas.
There is really no room to anchor in the River, all available space
........ is filled up with moorings many of which dry.
Access to either Conwy Marina is three and a half hours either side of high water, and visiting yachtsmen or motorboaters will need to call them up on VHF channel 80, either "Conwy Quays Marina", or "Deganwy Marina" to get berthing instructions and directions for crossing the sill. Further details and prices:
The flap sills are best seen in the photo gallery, being only about 25 m wide. They are controlled by lights, a red light meaning do not proceed, a green light meaning safe to proceed. Don't approach the flap gate without a green light.
Because of the narrowness of the sill it's essential to drive on the right, and keep to a slow speed. It also makes sense not to try and enter at the same time as another vessel leaving.
If you miss the tidal access window to either of the marinas, there was a holding pontoon outside of Conwy Marina gate but that may no longer have sufficient water at Low Tide ......call them on channel 80.
Link for Conwy Marina:
Link for Deganwy Marina
Conwy Marina is large at over 500 pontoon berths... water and electricity are available on all the pontoons, toilets and showers and laundry ashore. WiFi is available.
Both diesel and petrol are available at the fuel berth as are holding tank pumpout facilities.
The Marina is staffed 24 hours a day.
For the boat there is a 30 tonne travel lift, plus full boatyard facilities with adequate hardstanding. Engine repairs, rigging and chandlery are available on site.
Deganwy Marina boasts similar facilities (including fuel) but with only 165 berths. Next to this Marina is the (exclusive) Quay Hotel with spa facilities, good restaurant and bar, amongst other things.
Yacht clubs in the area include the Conwy Yacht Club at Deganwy and the North Wales Cruising Club. Both clubs have bars and showers.
The two marinas are not in competition and we are told that of the two, Conwy has the more room and more "life" but if you prefer a quieter location the better choice would be Deganwy.
The town centre at Conwy is a good mile away from the Marina, walkable but probably better off in a cab... some provisioning can be accomplished here, with a good selection of shops (inc a Spar), banks, cashpoints etc. Nearest big supermarkets are a couple of miles away. This has changed in that there is now a provisioning shop located at the marina.
Deganwy is adjacent to Llandudno where there is a large Tescos about half a mile from the marina. That may be further (1.5 miles) as the route crosses a dual carriageway and the mainline railway!
Conwy is well connected transport wise. The local station connects with the mainline service at Llandudno Junction. From here InterCity services connect with London, Birmingham and Manchester.
The nearest airport is at Liverpool.
Trailer Sailers are well served with a ramp adjacent to Conwy Marina that can be used at half the tidal range. It is under the control of the local council, insurance will be required before launching. Tidal flows past the slip at spring tides will mean care will be required. Telephone the harbour master for details on 01492 596253, there are charges.
Conwy (formerly Conway in English) is a town in Conwy county borough on the north coast of Wales, which faces Deganwy across the River Conwy. The town formerly lay in Gwynedd and prior to that in Caernarfonshire. It is a market town and one of the most popular tourist destinations on the north Wales coast.
Conwy Castle and the town walls were built on the instructions of Edward I between 1283 and 1289, as part of his conquest of the principality of Wales. Conwy was the original site of Aberconwy Abbey, founded by Llywelyn the Great. Edward and his troops took over the abbey site and moved the monks down the Conwy valley to a new site at Maenan. The parish church still retains some parts of the original abbey church in the east and west walls. English settlers were given incentives to move to the walled garrison town, which for decades the Welsh were forbidden from entering.
Plas Mawr is a historic house which has been extensively refurbished to its original 16th century appearance and is now in the care of Cadw.
Across the estuary is Bodysgallen Hall, which incorporates a medieval watchtower that was later used as a signal place for Conwy Castle.
Conwy has other tourist attractions that help draw visitors to the town. Thomas Telford built the Conwy Suspension Bridge, which spans the River Conwy next to the castle. It was completed in 1826 and replaced the ferry at the same point. Telford matched the bridge's supporting towers with the castle's turrets. The bridge, which is now open to pedestrians only, together with the toll-keeper's house, is in the care of the National Trust.
Robert Stephenson built the Conwy Railway Bridge, a tubular bridge for the Chester and Holyhead Railway in 1849. This is still in main-line use with a station on the North Wales Coast Line within the town walls. The crossing of the River Conwy has always been a problem and today, in addition to a modern bridge serving the town, the A55 road goes under the river by tunnel, built between 1986 and 1991. The old mountain road to Penmaenmawr runs through the Sychnant Pass, at the foot of Conwy Mountain.
The National Trust owns Aberconwy House, which is Conwy's only surviving 14th century merchant's house. Another fine house open to the public is Plas Mawr (great mansion) built in 1576 by the Wynn family and now in the care of Cadw. The Smallest House in Great Britain can be found on the quay. It is in the Guinness Book of Records with dimensions of 3.05 metres x 1.8 metres. It was lived in since the 1500s (it was even inhabited by a family at one point) and lived in until 1900 when the owner a (6ft fisherman – Robert Jones) was forced to move out on the grounds of hygiene. The rooms were too small for him to stand up in fully. The house is still owned by his descendants today.
Conwy Morfa, a marshy spit of land on the west side of the estuary, and was probably the location where golf was first played on Welsh soil. It was also where Hugh Iorys Hughes developed and later built the famous floating Mulberry Harbour, used in the invasion of Europe in World War II.
The text on this HISTORY page is covered by the following licence
History buffs will find plenty to keep them occupied around Conwy, as apart from the castle there are a couple of ancient houses to explore. Best place to start would be Conwy Visitor's Centre in Rosehill St. Here you can see a short film which traces the 800 year history of the town.
For fans of the 60s TV program "The Prisoner" a trip to the tiny village of Portmerion situated on the Llyn Peninsula will be a must. This is where No.6 was imprisoned, and fans of the program will know what to expect. 18th century style cottages, Italianate buildings, the central piazza. The village was the brainchild of the architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, and is open all year round for visitors.
For Mariners more concerned with the rumblings in their stomach Conwy Marina has The Mulberry Public House serving food and drinks on site, while Deganwy has its luxury, exclusive Quay Hotel with bar, restaurant, and spa.
Otherwise it's a hike to the town, and the links below will give you some idea of what to expect when you get there.