The area described on this page is covered by the following Admiralty charts:

1826 Irish Sea Eastern Part 1:200,000
1346 Solway Firth And Approaches 1:100,000

The area described on this page is covered by the following Imray Charts:

C62 Irish Sea (covers the entire costs described in the Cruising Notes) Chart C62: Irish Sea (Imray Charts: Home...


This port takes large ships which are berthed in a wet dock. Yachts are not encouraged.

Allonby Bay

The bay is reported to be a good anchorage in depths of 4.6m to 5.5m, with a foreshore which dries 3.5 cables off. Anchor in southern portion of the bay. Popular with windsurfers. Cafe in village.


Provides a marina. Also drying and wet docks for fishing and commercial vessels. Fair sized town.


Abundance of wind turbines to the north side of the harbour entrance. There is a tidal dock in which local boats dry out on (or rather in) thin mud.

There is a wet dock for commercial shipping. Approach to dock shown in some pilot books as suitable for anchoring in by fin keel boats - reported as being dredged to 1.8m.


Small drying harbour used by leisure craft. One visitors berth in NE corner of dock. Bottom may slope steeply in this berth. Visited in a 26ft bilge keel yacht - didn't appear sufficient room for visiting for craft any larger.


When approaching the port call 'Sea Lock' on VHF Channel 12 for instructions regarding the lock operations. Access up to HW+/-4, both lock gates maybe open allowing straight through passage around HW.

There is a pontoon against on both sides on which to tie up. Visitors use the pontoon on the north side (i.e. to port as you approach) just below the control tower (see photo) and you will be handed information for access into and out of the marina, and detail of the berth allocated.

Anchorage possible W of the harbour in 10m - but use anchor light if doing so during hours of darkness.

Charges for visitors as at 09/03:

Weekly 72 per week
Daily 12 per night
Short Stay 6 (max 5 hours)
Daily (Quayside) 6 per night


Showers, toilets and laundry facilities in building at marina access point. Chandlers (short walk), boatyard & travel hoist. Fuel available from marina fuel berth between 09:00 and 17:00 hrs.


Originally constructed for the purpose of transporting coal from the nearby collieries, and in more recent times for the shipment of phosphate, the port of Whitehaven now serves the fishing and leisure industries. The history of Whitehaven at the Beacon on south side of harbour. Some cannons on display on south side of harbour just beyond The Beacon depicting the spiking of the local canon by John Paul Johns, a former Whitehaven apprentice who later joined the American Navy. Haig mining museum 700 yards from Coastguard building and 'Candlestick'.

Good sized town, with all types of shops, wide range of places to eat, pubs, etc. Supermarket to north of harbour.

More information available at

Saltom Bay

Anchorage in offshore winds in about 7m. Oyster beds fringe the bay.

Interest: mine workings and associated derelict building.


Drying harbour. Channel not marked so exercise care when entering. The details below are provided by way of indication and you should make you own mind up concerning the most suitable approach.

In July 1994, I entered Ravenglass in a bilge keel yacht drawing 1m. Approach made by positioning on latitude 5420.40'N, then heading due east until blockhouse seen - which was approached on 080T until within 2.5 cables of the shore (when a slip lay close to starboard), being in the channel then altered course to run parallel to the shore into the harbour. Dried out within the harbour having used a lead line to ensure bottom perfectly level immediately around the boat. Firm sand made it easy to walk ashore once the tide had gone out.

Interest:  Interesting small village dating from the medieval period. Buildings arranged in two lines with common area between and two narrow entrances which could be closed off to conation livestock on market days. Dropping off point for runners participating in The 3 Peaks Race. Sellafield and it's visitor's centre lie to the north of the harbour.

No shops for provisions to be found. The "main" original street full of cottages (assorted small terraced houses built i9n the 18/19th centuries) on the sites of an earlier medieval street tapering in at either end to make it easier to retain the livestock on market days. An arts and crafts place, a small gift shop, small hotel with a tea room/cafe annexe, and a chip shop round the back.

The main tourist attraction the narrow gage railway. Built originally to transport minerals from nearby mines - it now takes tourists on a seven mile run. The associated museum is situated next to the branch line serving the village. On display railway carriages from a standard gage railway Pullman type coaches) and a film slide show about the narrow gage railway (free), gift shop, and tea room.