Dunbar Harbour

The narrow entrance to the Victoria Harbour can be tricky and is not advised in strong winds from the north to the east. Entry is only possible around 2.5 hours before or after high water for deeper draught vessels. The entrance dries at HW Springs as some unwary yachtsmen have found to their cost over the years! It is important that strangers consult an almanac before approaching, making sure that there is sufficient water for a safe entry.

There are a number of rocks off the entrance and approaching from the south east it is wise to keep at least half a mile off until the two leading marks – orange triangles on posts on a grassy slope are in transit bearing 198 degrees. At night they show green lights Oc G 6 s 15m 3 m on the lower and Oc G 6s 22m 3 M on the upper mark which is at street level. The line runs between the Scart and Castlefoot rocks after which a good lookout should be kept to port for the red harbour leading light Q R 6 m 3 M bearing 132 degrees. It is best to keep close to the north wall at the entrance, making a starboard turn immediately inside the harbour where visitors’ berths are located.


Alternatively an approach can be made from the north west between the rocks Wallace’s Head and Half Ebb Rock both of which are marked by iron beacons, unlit and not easy to spot in darkness, when use of the leading lights is recommended Larger vessels may find it prudent to either radio Harbour Master Bob Clunas on Channel 12 or phone him on 07958754858.

In extreme conditions the Victoria Harbour is liable to surge but calm mooring can usually be obtained in the Cromwell or inner harbour by arrangement with the Harbour Master who will have to raise the bridge which separates the two harbours..

Showers are available at the sailing clubhouse on the harbour front for which visitors keys can be obtained from either the Harbour Master or the bar of the Volunteer Arms Pub near-by. These should be posted through the club letterbox after use.
Water and diesel can also be had at the South Pier by arrangement with the Harbour Master.

As a holiday town there are many facilities in Dunbar including a swimming pool and leisure centre near the harbour plus many excellent hotels, pubs and restaurants.

There are also good bus and train links to Edinburgh and the South.