Harbour Information

You are viewing the expanded version of this Harbour, for faster browsing
use the regular version here

Cushendun Harbour, Cushendall and Red Bay

Your Comments: 5 Read or add your comments

Courtesy Flag

Flag, Red Ensign




AC 2199 North Channel South Part, SC5612 – 14, Larne Lough to Cushendun Bay, Imray C64 Belfast Lough to Lough Foyle and Crinan

Rules & Regulations

None Known


Strong Tides

Tidal Data Times & Range

High Water is Dover + 0015 MHWS 1.6 MHWN 1.5 MLWN 0.3 MLWS 0.2 See Approach and Entry section.   (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. Click here to show the fast loading version

General Description

Contacts :   Belfast Coastguard Channel 16
These two anchorages are extremely useful if one is caught out.....

.... on the wrong side of the tides sweeping in and out of the Irish Sea through the North Channel. Passage making around this corner of Northern Ireland can be complicated depending on weather, boat speed, use of engine (or not), availability of watch-keeping crew so it can be useful planning option to have up one’s sleeve.

It’s a spot well sheltered from strong South to NW winds, the holding is good and one does not have to anchor miles from the shore, in fact one can even go alongside at Red Bay pier for a while though the wall structure is such that it would be wise to deploy your fender boards or an outside breast rope on a kedge.

The village of Cushendun is very small; there’s not much more than a small shop or pub serving a very small population.  Cushendall is much larger and has a Lifeboat Station, Slip and a very active Sailing Club which has its own Face Book page

On the whole this length of the coast is fairly sparsely populated; it’s a popular area to “get away to” as the main coast road dives inland at Cushendall and the villages north of there are linked by B roads.  The main attraction is its remoteness, pace of life and its dramatic coastal scenery.


There are no problems approaching this coast, just work the tides and......

..... stay clear of the headlands at the peaks of tidal flows.  There is a fish farm off the cliffs on the south side of Red Bay but it is an obvious structure which is hard to miss.

Notes about the tides:

Tidal streams are the main consideration to any navigation along this coast.  When the ebb is running it reaches up to 5kts at springs around Garron Point flowing directly towards the headland just to the north of Cushendun. A back eddy sets up anti clockwise from Cushendun to Garron Point and is well established by half ebb.  Cushendun itself is affected by these streams but, in the corner of the bay off Cushendall there is very little flow. The eastwards counter current along the south shore of the bay continues into the flood tide giving an eastwards flow which lasts for nine hours.
The tides to the north of Cushendun are considerable, reaching speeds of 5kts quite close to the shore and have been seen running at up to 9kts around Torr Head. It should be noted that the flow from Torr Head close inshore runs North for virtually the whole tide cycle with a short slack around LW Dover.

Berthing, Mooring & Anchoring

The only place to tie up inside is at Red Bay Pier and that is a fairly rough construction with large piers.

The best place to anchor is just off Red Bay Pier in 4m of water and a springs range of about 1.5 m.  After that, off the Cushendall Lifeboat Slip is a good spot as it is handy for the shops and the Sailing Club House.

Cushendun Bay is acceptable as an anchorage but will be affected by the tides and is pretty short of amenities; mind you, it is a pretty little spot.


Cushendall is the main town along this part of the coast if you need to stock up on anything, but remember you will have to row ashore, eggs could be a problem!

There is a petrol station so diesel and petrol can be obtained in cans and of course if you need water you’ll need containers for that.  There is a public toilet in the car park.

The Sailing Club is next to the Lifeboat slip and they have showers which they are happy for visitors to use. Not far from the slip is a boatyard which can assist in minor repairs. 

If you anchor off the wee pier in Red Bay you can find a couple of pubs, a fish and chip shop and a small convenience store in the village of Glenariff.

There is an infrequent coastal bus service to Larne covering Cushendun and Cushendall

Eating, Drinking & Entertainment

There is a good selection of pubs, restaurants and takeaways in Cushendall so you won’t have to break out the pemmican if you anchor here. As in many Irish pubs, several of the pubs have a music night and there is a wealth of traditional Irish talent in the area.

The Sailing club also has a bar and is open in the summer evenings.


Your Ratings & Comments

Written by Don Thomson 3 | 29th Jul 2022
No changes
Update Early Summer 2021
Written by Don Thomson 3 | 24th Jun 2021
No changes
Update Spring 2019
Written by Don Thomson 3 | 7th May 2019
These notes were reviewed in May 2019. A new chart has been uploaded
Written by Don Thomson | 6th Apr 2017
No changes
Update 2015
Written by dononshytalk | 20th Mar 2015
These notes were reviewed by Don in March 2015. No changes
© visitMyHarbour.com | website design created by Black Culm Ltd