Glasson Dock tel 01524 751304 VHF #69
Glasson Marina tel 01524 751491 VHF #80
Glasson Dock is a small commercial dock situated in the drying River Lune, which is accessible FOR ONLY 45 MINUTES before local high water. Passing through this commercial dock is necessary to lock into Glasson Dock Marina. The BWB Marina is the seaward terminal of the Lancaster Canal. You'll float in freshwater within this Marina...
In contrast to the commercial dock, the adjacent marina enjoys a peaceful rural setting with attractive rates and plenty of facilities for the small craft sailor. It's popular with people engaged in long term refits. Due to the tight restrictions connected with tides and entry, perhaps not so popular with those who regularly want to go sailing.
Passage up the River Lune is not totally straight forward.
The local village of Glasson, clustered around the commercial dock can supply most day-to-day needs for provisioning as well as a pubs/pub grub.
Initial approach is made from the Lune Deep, which itself is accessed in the approach to Morecambe Bay.
Timing is everything where Glasson Dock is concerned, it being extremely important not to arrive late, nor too early. Any passage up the Lune Deep starts with locating and identifying the Lune Deep southerly Cardinal buoy (Q(6)+LFl.15s). It shouldn't be too hard to locate lying 3 miles to the south-east of the conspicuous Barrow Wind Farm with its 30 gigantic turbines.
The Lune Deep is well marked by substantial lit buoyage, trending in a generally north easterly direction. Small craft need to keep within this channel and not stray because it is very steep sided, rising from depths of over 40 m to less than 1m in short order. Various charted drying dangers extend close along the Lune Deep's southern edges. Pilotage details:
Tides can run at over 3.5 Kn, and strong onshore winds meeting an ebbing tide can create steep and unpleasant seas in the deep.
Once within the Lune Deep it's necessary pass the entrance to the River Wyre, carry on and locate the westerly Cardinal buoy River Lune (Q(9)15s). At this point, and with a suitable rise of tide, swing eastwards and follow the buoyed channel inwards. Do not be surprised if the buoyed channel differs from that on the latest Admiralty Chart as this channel is constantly changing.
You can find the latest list of buoy positions here:-
Do not make your approach into the River Lune from this buoy until 1 1/2 hours before high water at Springs, or 1 1/4 hours before high water at neaps.
The Port and Pilot Boat work on VHF Channel 69. Port staff are normally on standby from 1.1/2 hours before the first daylight High Water. For Glasson Dock telephone 01524 751304.
As you cross the sands following the buoyage towards Plover Scar, just offshore from the ruins of Cockersands Abbey, be aware that the flooding tide will be setting you strongly SE towards Plover Scar. Take care of your track. Once in Sunderland Hole the flooding tide will be setting you in an easterly direction.
The buoyed channel from Plover Scar to Glasson Dock is constantly changing and extreme caution will be necessary when pushing up River.
The training wall is well submerged, and at one time it was imperative to leave it on your port side in the approach. In fact it was marked by red perches and red beacons. Now according to the latest information we have it is safe to cross it, and in fact the chart shows red can port hand buoys well away from this wall. We intend to confirm this information thoroughly... until then extreme caution will be necessary. See the MORE INFO section..
In the final approaches to Glasson Dock, the flooding tide will be sweeping you eastwards, but watch out for a West going eddy in the close approach to the dock gates. The flood tides can reach 5 kn at times.
Traffic signals are shown from Glasson Dockhead west side as follows.
Fixed Red Light No Entry
Fixed Green Light Entrance Clear
Flashing Orange Light Dock Gate Opening or Closing
Entry to the commercial dock is normally only available for 45 minutes before local high water which is based on HW Liverpool Gladstone Dock + 3mins as published by Lavers (This differs from the local tide time given by Easytide or calculations made using the differences quoted in the Reeds Almanac) All comings and goings have to be accomplished in this time window. We would advise that you contact the dock to confirm high water time they are using on the day you intend arriving.
Entry to Glasson Dock has been further restricted to one tide per day, and that is the tide which is closest to midday local time. We are informed that this only applies to planned openings. IN EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES If you are planning to call at Glasson you need to look at the tides 48 hours in advance and, if you need to utilise an evening tide, ring them and book it. Basically they had two people sitting around doing nothing (and being paid for it) on a summer's evening when there was very little traffic.
If you miss entry to the dock, there is really no where to wait in the River, as it virtually all dries, furthermore it is dangerous to exit the River any more than one hour after high water. Timing and depths become more critical around neaps.
Once within the commercial docks, you will see the entrance to the Marina Lock, virtually straight ahead. This is operated by British Waterways and opens for traffic only at around high water in daylight hours.
It used to be that if you missed the lock-in at the Marina you could lie in the commercial dock unitl the next lock in. That may be ok for very short periods but is no longer allowed for leisure boats to tie up in the Commercial Dock.
You can contact Glasson Dock Marina on VHF channel 80 or telephone 01524 751491.
Once through the lock there is a very surprising change of scene from industrial to rural within the space of a few yards. More information and visitors prices:
A link to the Marina's website is provided below:
The water within the Marina is perfectly still and calm, undisturbed by anything as uncouth as saltwater or the sea. A large expanse of freshwater greets you as you emerge from the lock, with the berthing pontoons more or less straight ahead. These pontoons are fixed, as is the level of water impounded within the Marina. My first visit to this Marina was delivering a boat in mid-January.... I woke the following day to find all the boats iced in... the whole place was a sheet of ice...
There is always plenty of room for visitors, and larger craft can lie against the walls to port as you enter if too heavy for the pontoons. Visitors rates (2021) are very reasonable at £17.00 per night irrespective of length (shore power extra by card)
The lock is definitely big enough for boats of up to 20 m, but not a lot more.
The commercial dock no longer happy for you to lie alongside in that dock as they are now too busy to deal with leisure craft.
Glasson Marina is not short of facilities. It can handle 220 boats on the Jetty moorings, and these are all fully serviced with water and electricity. Alongside the wall maybe not.
Toilets,showers and laundry are available ashore with swipe card access.
For the boat, the yard can lift up to 35 tonnes, with plenty of storage ashore plus undercover storage. Engine servicing and all kinds of yacht repairs can be tackled including osmosis treatment, rigging and resprays.
Camping gas and Calor gas are available, while the chandlery is open seven days a week. Diesel fuel is available.
Trailer boats can launch into the locked Marina with a £15 charge.
Village facilities, clustered around the commercial dock, can offer provisioning and local produce can be found in the village’s famous, award winning, Smokehouse and the Conder Green Farm shop.
Transport for crew changes is not straightforward. The nearest large town, Lancaster, is on the West Coast Main line with frequent intercity services from London and Glasgow. Trans-Pennine Express directly serves Manchester airport and Edinburgh. Regular buses link Glasson with Lancaster.
Glasson Sailing Club is based here, and their website has further info on the Lune Channel and some photos too:
As promised we have dug up quite a lot more information concerning the training wall and its implications for a trip to Glasson Dock.
"Prior to training wall construction, the main low water channel within the middle estuary was able to meander naturally; however, since their construction, channel movement has been constrained. Continued infilling of the estuary has however resulted in some sections of the training wall now being buried under intertidal sediments while in other areas the channel has moved outside of the walls and has eroded marsh edges. However, the main low water channel alignment has remained. Cyclical changes in the position of the channel at Glasson have been observed in the past where the channel
moved laterally by approximately 400m within a 2 to 3 year period (Halcrow, 2004)."
That is from a lengthy report concerning flooding possibilities.
Therefore it would appear that the channel is shifting somewhat at high water, although at low water it is more constrained by the training wall. Furthermore the training wall appears to be completely buried in some places, whilst in others it is still protrudes and would form a formidable obstacle should you hit it with your keel (or worse still propellers).
It would also appear that there are places where the wall protrudes well above the low water line, and the dinghy needed to be carried over it. Finally it is also clear that at high tide the deepest water channel crosses and re-crosses the training wall.
We hope this clears up a bit of confusion, the channel is very well buoyed and providing you do not make your entry to early you should clear all the nastiness.... all the same extreme caution is warranted.
Glasson Dock, also known as Glasson, is a village in England, south of Lancaster, at the mouth of the River Lune.
Due to the difficulty of navigation up the Lune to the docks in Lancaster, it was decided in 1779 by Lancaster port commission to build a dock at Glasson. The port commission purchased land in 1780, and completed the dock in 1787 under the supervision of Thomas Morris. As the ships using the dock did not require significant amounts of local labour, the settlement around the dock did not grow significantly. The docks were connected by a branch to the Lancaster Canal in 1826, after which some expansion did occur. Many of the buildings in the village were built in the 19th century, including the church (Christ Church), which was built in 1840, although expanded in 1931-2. A shipyard and Customs House were built in 1834, a Watch House in 1836, and a Dry Dock in 1841. The shipyards were largely concerned with ship repair rather than shipbuilding, eventually closing in 1968, with the dry dock filled in a year later.
The quay was connected to the railway network in 1883, operating until the closure of passenger services on 5 July 1930. Goods traffic continued until 7 September 1964. The trackbed of the disused branchline is now a linear park and cycleway.
Prior to becoming a dock, Glasson was the site of small farming and fishing community, known as Old Glasson and Brows-saltcote. Directly across the river from Glasson lies the village of Overton.
A limited amount of commercial traffic still uses the dock, with outbound shipments including coal for the Isle of Man and the Western Islands of Scotland, and incoming cargoes including animal foodstuffs and fertilizer, which are stored in the sheds located on the dock side.
The text on this HISTORY page is covered by the following licence
Assuming you won't be wanting to wander farther than the local village, which is about a 10 minute walk from the Marina, there are a few choices. Here they are:
Tel: +44 (0)1524 751213
Tel: +44 (0)1524 751423
Tel: +44 (0)1524 751234
A popular cafe with a reputation for first-class service and good breakfasts is the Lantern O'Er Lune. This is very popular with ramblers, and would probably go down equally well with a ravenous crew.
The Dalton Arms mentioned above has been tested by this reviewer to his complete satisfaction.... it's also the closest to the Marina.
For some more information about this little village, it's shops and facilities try the link below: