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Warrenpoint and Newry Harbours

Your Comments: 6 Read or add your comments

Courtesy Flag

Flag, Red Ensign


54° 00.235N 006° 02.30W


AC 0044 Nose of Howth to Ballyquintin Point; AC 2800 ; SC5621.8; Imray C62 Irish Sea with insets for Carlingford Entrance and Carlingford Marina

Rules & Regulations

The dredged channel is a “narrow channel” within the meaning of the IRPCS rules and small vessels should not impede those restricted by draft. Additionally there is no overtaking/crossing of vessels between buoys 1 – 9, 11 – 21 and buoy 21 & Warrenpoint. This essentially means that, combining the two rules, a small yacht should leave the channel altogether if encountering a large vessel within it.....Vessels should also avoid anchoring or grounding in the areas on the chart designated as shellfish beds.


There are strong tidal streams both through the entrance and within the Lough. As would be expected strong Southerlies can set up quite a chop within the Lough but, in addition to this, North Westerlies can be funnelled down the Lough and produce worse sea states inside than outside. (Remember that you could be entering with the flood and against any NW wind; setting up a classic wind against tide situation). Anything above F5 on shore (E thro’ to SSW) makes the entrance difficult and on an ebb tide in these conditions the entrance becomes impassable in both directions...Closer to Warrenpoint there is the Gannaway Rock surmounted by a pole mark 3.5 cables SE of the breakwater and shallows close by the dredged channel for the last quarter of a mile into the dock area.

Tidal Data Times & Range

HW Warrenpoint is Dublin - 0015; MHWS 5.1m MHWN 4.1m MLWN 1.7m MLWS 0.7m; See "Approach" section

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


Warrenpoint Harbour Authority:VHF #12  tel  +44 (0)2841 773381 
Newry Tourist Information Centre  tel  +44
(0)330 137 4046

Warrenpoint is the commercial port for Newry and sits at the top of Carlingford Lough on the east bank of the Newry River; the west bank is in the Republic of Ireland for about a kilometre and a half above Warrenpoint. 

The docks deal with a variety of exports/imports and have a good turn over. In addition to the large commercial docks there is a small inlet known as the Town Dock in which there are pontoons for shell fishing boats; as shellfish are not harvested during the summer months these docks are available for visiting yachties. Information on these pontoons and the depths available can be obtained from the HM on #12. There was an additional pontoon just inside the first breakwater you pass coming in to the harbour area; this is administered by the Newry Tourist Information Centre and is only available with their permission.

If intending to pass up river to Newry via the Victoria lock and the canal you will need a bit of advanced planning. The  Canal is administered by the Newry Tourist Information Centre who require a written application 48hours in advance (so if you want to get in at the weekend you need to have completed application by Wednesday afternoon), along with the fees (£31.75 per boat per week or part week). Click here to download a copy of the form, fill it in and email it to them at the above address; they can take payment by card over the phone. (Remember that Newry is in the UK, if you are calling from the Republic it’s an international call.)  The PDF below  contains much useful information, directions, and a chartlet.

Newry Albert Basin Access Procedures 2021.pdf

There are no charts of the river above Warrenpoint but the river has been dredged and buoyed, and there is a diagram of the buoyage in the charts for this article and in the document downloaded above. The draft in the Albert basin is given as 3.3 meters but there is no information as to the depth of the channel in the river outside the canal. Access to the Victoria Lock is limited to HW ± 1hr in daylight hours.  If you miss the tide, tie up at the pontoon at Warrenpoint and give the Tourist Information Centre a ring.

At the Albert basin in Newry you will find access to a large shopping centre (just over the road), and all the amenities of a County Town

There is a dearth of visual information on the canal or the Albert basin in Newry but if you want a virtual look round click below.

Victoria Lock:

Albert Basin:


UPDATE 2021  There are plans to build a Southern Relief Road around Newry.  This would involve bridging the Ship Canal at a point SE of the Albert Basin.  There is quite a discussion going on as to what form this bridge would take and the eventual clearance from next to nothing to an opening bridge.  This obviously would influence the size/height of any boat approaching Newry via the Ship Canal so we will have to keep an eye on this.  It is a complicated process involving the governments in Dublin and Belfast so may take some time to come to fruition. In the meantime it's business as usual.




It is worth noting that tides at Cranfield Point are as Liverpool so ingoing....

..... stream starts at LW Liverpool and the outgoing stream at HW Liverpool.  Out at the Hellyhunter Buoy where your approach will start the tidal streams are coastal and the change to in/out streams occurs as one gets closer in. At their height the currents will slowly increase to 3½ kts in the approach, reaching 4½ kts abeam the Haulbowline Light and further increase to 5kts at Greenore Point.  They then reduce quite rapidly to about 2½ kts between the Watson Rocks and Stalka Rocks and then down to 1½ kts at the Marina. In the bight of the bay off Rostrevor there is very little tide whilst in amongst the shoals at Greencastle you can expect to be anchored in a tideway.

Passage to and through Carlingford Lough entrance is dealt with in our notes on Carlingford Lough, Harbours and Anchorages.

If you have come through the narrows at Cranfield Point you will already be listening on VHF #12 and aware of other commercial traffic in the dredged channel; if making for Warrenpoint from somewhere in the Lough you should call Warrenpoint on #12 and make them aware of your intentions.  It would be wise to ring ahead before departure and arrange a berth at Warrenpoint in advance; they are very helpful and any thing you can do to help them can only work in your favour! 


Although it looks fairly shallow up near Warrenpoint remember that, even at LW springs, there is at least 0.7m on top of the charted depths so there is ample water to stay just clear of the dredged channel all the way to just short Warrenpoint and no need to get in the way of commercial traffic. For timing purposes it’s just over 6nm from Greencastle Point and about 4nm from Carlingford Marina to Warrenpoint. Once past Warrenpoint the passage up to Victoria Lock, about 2nm, is well buoyed but there is no information on the rate of the streams; common sense would indicate that after a few days of heavy rain there could be quite a current so you should plan to be at the lock in the hour before HW rather than the hour after. 
Passage through the Newry Ship Canal from the Victoria Lock to the Albert Basin is fraught with red tape at the moment.  We are making enquiries to try and make some sense of what is happening but there have been lots of rumours about the availability of berths, location of paperwork etc. You need to have asked your great grandfather to have applied in advance to have any hope of making sense of it all.  Joking apart it may just be complicated by distance and time and we may have some more news later in the 2019 season

Berthing, Mooring & Anchoring

As has been said, from June to September there are pontoon berths in

...... the Town Dock at Warrenpoint which currently cost about £20 per night midweek and £25 per night at the weekend. The pontoon facing you with no fingers on it as you turn to starboard into the town dock is the one they use for visitors (see the diagram in our photogallery) and you may have to raft there.  There is a notice on the inside of the gate to the pontoons giving instructions for visitors but basically it shows you where they want you to moor and gives a telephone number to ring to get a gate pass (02841 773381). As you have to wait for someone to appear it might be an idea to ring them a few miles south before you arrive (if you are already talking to them on #12 that might not be necessary)

If waiting passage up to Newry then there is a pontoon against the SE breakwater for a temporary stop but be careful there as the dredged channel beside it is very narrow; go straight in and depart stern first or warp round before departure.  This pontoon was out of the water for repairs when our member below visted in September of last year; it's now back in the water

The area between the breakwaters, where you will see yachts moored, dries and is not really suitable for anchoring even if you can take the ground (it’s muddy and there are loads of old disused, unmarked moorings).

There were plans for a marina adjacent to the slips in this area but work has not started on that yet (2015) but it is believed that they have yet to obtain funding.

We have been given a really good report by a member who visited here last September(2021); He preferred the anchorage on the NE side of the Lough in Rostrevor Bay off "The Wood House" and describes the local village as "pretty and welcoming" 
The Carlingford Lough Yacht Club is ashore from this anchorage. It is mainly racing and instruction with a web site at 
www.clyc.info and a telephone number 028 4173 8604

The Albert Basin up at Newry has alongside berths and plenty of room to turn round in.  There is no significant range in water levels here so no need to allow scope for rise/fall.


At the Town Dock pontoons in Warrenpoint there is water but the shore power (electricity card) is outwith the normal length shore power cables and they have a security gate (for which you need a security pass before you exit). Showers are theoretically available in the Dock Office building close by. In the town can be found all you could need in the way of supplies.  The nearest fuel is on the road past the docks, about quarter of a mile. Basically it sounds as though a yachtie is considered  a hinderance rather than a welcome paying guest here.

However the Albert Basin at Newry is just across the road from a huge shopping centre and down the road from a Sport & Leisure Centre. You’ll find toilets in the shopping centre and showers in the sports centre. Electricity is available on the quay but that has to be booked when you book the canal.  Fuel is not too far away; you need to go to the South end of the Shopping centre, go though their car park, back along Drumblane road to the church and then out on the Dublin Road to the Glenview Service Station.

Eating, Drinking & Entertainment

Both Warrenpoint and Newry are well endowed with pubs and restaurants.  Warrenpoint has an outdoor swimming pool whilst Newry has its sports centre and a cinema in the Quay centre. For listings of pubs click on the links below; Newry has 70 (!!) pubs listed.



Your Ratings & Comments

Written by Don Thomson 3 | 30th Aug 2022
I reviewed these notes at the end of August 2022. Firstly many thanks to Camper below for his comprehensive notes below. The pontoon he advised as lifted is back in the water now. otherwise little has changed.
Update on Carlingford Lough generally Sept 2021
Written by campervan | 12th Sep 2021
I spent last weekend in and around the Lough. It’s worth a detour, very pretty, good facilities overall.
First, the less welcoming end of the spectrum, Warrenpoint harbour. A busy container port, with narrow shipping channel, which possibly explains the lack of effort, perhaps welcome, for visiting yachts. Don’t expect a visitors berth to me made available in the town dock, although there should be one there and there is usually space. It comes across as a poorly managed facility, perhaps an indication of their focus on the big ships. There is a visiting berth on the outer pontoon, which even if occupied should be ok for berthing alongside. See diagram I will upload.
Currently there are no other pontoons in Warrenpoint. The one on the breakwater has been lifted. The one on the entrance to the harbour is rickety and does not look safe. The Town docks charge £25 a night, for a berth and no other facilities- electric cables too far away and no toilets within reasonable distance. Which is why, on balance, I’d rather anchor at the Woodhouse.
The Woodhouse between Rostrevor and Killowen is a lovely anchorage, good shelter from east and north, ok from south. Good holding in mud. Currently there are two long term anchorage’s boats there, both occupied, the locals tell me for months. It’s a good site. There’s a swimming quay to land at, about 600m from the anchorage. The town is pretty and welcoming.
Carlingford marina is useful, as described elsewhere. Handy to town and to revictual. Carlingford is another pretty little town.
2 of 2 people found this helpful
Written by Don Thomson 3 | 27th Jul 2021
I reviewed these notes in July 2021. We've obtained copies of the 2021 documentation for the Ship Canal and updated the info on Warrenpoint Town Dock. Eventually there will be a new ring road around Newry involving bridging of the Canal; the form of this bridging is yet to be finalised and they haven't started building the road yet.
Written by Don Thomson | 26th Apr 2017
These notes were updated in April 2017. Warrenpoint is still not very interested in visiting yachts. I've changed the price for Newry and also uploaded new charts.
Update 2015
Written by dononshytalk | 21st Apr 2015
These notes were reviewed by Don in April 2015. I'm afraid that work on the much hoped for marina has not yet started so the Town Dock is still the only overnight berthing
Update December 2013
Written by dononshytalk | 12th Dec 2013
I reviewed these notes on 12 December 2013. The situation for visiting yachts has not changed and their marina is still on hold for better times. It is still possible to moor on the pontoons in the Town Dock where there are normally a couple of visitors berths
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