Local notices to mariners

Local notices to mariners

See our local notices to mariners to find out about how events in the harbour may affect you.

Local notices to mariners contain important information on:

  • temporary navigational directions and/or restrictions
  • notification of water events in the harbour

The notices have two digits each for the number of the notice and the year it was issued, for example Notice No 41/10 means notice 41 of the year 2010.

You should check these events as they're in force for the safety of all harbour users and will help you make the most of your visit to Bristol Harbour.

Events in Bristol Harbour

See the local notices to mariners below for events and changes in Bristol Harbour.

26/19 Cumberland Basin: new BST locking times

Cumberland Basin Locking procedures will be changing from 1 July 2019 until further notice. 

During British Summer Time, services will no longer be routinely provided between 10pm and 6am (unless during Spring Tides or other operations). This is so harbour staff can be more effectively deployed.

You must give a minimum of 48 hours notice if locking operations are needed between these hour, so we can ensure docking staff and bridge operators are available. 

Notice to Mariners 27/17 (Notice required for Plimsoll Bridge Swing) is unchanged: 48 hours’ notice is needed for vessels that need Plimsoll Bridge swings, day or night.

To arrange these services:

  • call the Docking Deputy Harbour Master: 0117 9273633
  • email:
  • call the Bristol Harbour office: 0117 9031484
  • Call emergency control: 0117 9222050

41/10 Building works at Finzels Reach

Building works at the old Courage Brewery site are continuing until further notice.

A tower crane will be working across the harbour during the building works but will be limited to carrying loads 10m from the quay wall at any time.

Steel pontoons are installed along the working area connected to the quay walls.

Yellow buoys will be installed to create an exclusion zone around the works and will be lit at night with yellow flashing lights.

Mariners must not navigate within the exclusion zone for any reason at any time and are requested to keep a good look out when passing these works at a slow speed.

31/11 Safety boat cover for water events

The Bristol Sailing School under licence from the Harbour Master’s Office will carry out safety boat cover for Water Events and Water Skiing Sessions held in Bristol Harbour.

During these events the Sailing School Staff will be acting under the same powers of Safety and Navigation Control as any of the Harbour Master’s Staff and as such all directions given should be abided by.

30/14 Short term licences: Netham Lock

The duty lock keeper at Netham will not be able to accept any cash payment for short term licences.

The only method of payments will be by debit cards, credit cards or cheques.

27/17 Plimsoll Bridge Swing

Date: Immediate effect from 31 March 2017

A 48 hours’ notice is required for a Plimsoll Bridge swing.  This will affect all vessels of a height above float level of 5.8m entering or leaving Bristol City Docks.  

The Deputy Harbour Master can be contacted on 0117 927 3633 and between tidal watches a message can be left on the answering machine.

This restriction will remain in force until further notice.

35/18 Scouring Operations Cumberland Basin 2019

Scouring operations in the Cumberland Basin will take place at the following times.

Date Starting

Monday 7 January 2019


Monday 21 January 2019


Monday 4 February 2019


Tuesday 19 February 2019

12.30 pm

Tuesday 5 March 2019


Wednesday 20 March 2019


Wednesday 3 April 2019


Wednesday 17 April 2019


Thursday 2 May 2019


Friday 17 May 2019


Monday 3 June 2019


Monday 17 June 2019


Monday 1 July 2019


Monday 15 July 2019


Wednesday 31 July 2019


Wednesday 14 August 2019


Thursday 29 August 2019


Thursday 12 September 2019


Friday 27 September 2019


Friday 11 October 2019


Monday 28 October 2019


Tuesday 12 November 2019


Wednesday 27 November 2019


Thursday 12 December 2019


Friday 27 December 2019


During these operations note:

  • Prior to the scour it may be necessary to increase the level of the harbour by +0.20 metres or +0.25 metres. 
  • The water level in the floating harbour, Feeder Canal and River Avon upstream of Netham Lock may be reduced by as much as 0.5 metres during the period of approximately 5 hours from commencement of each scour.
  • Strong currents will be experienced in narrow bridge ways and especially Prince Street Bridge, Totterdown Junction, in the Feeder Canal at Netham Lock.
  • Vessels proceeding upstream against the current must give way to vessels coming downstream at all bridge ways, Totterdown Junction and at Netham Lock.    
  • All vessels when approaching Prince Street Bridge, Redcliffe Bridge, Totterdown Junction or Netham Lock must sound one prolonged blast of their whistle from either direction.

Events in the city docks

9/19 Baltic Wharf Sailing Club Regatta: Baltic Wharf

Friday 21 June to Sunday 23 June 2019, 10.30am to 5pm

This event will involve a number of sailing craft taking part in races at Baltic Wharf. Mariners should proceed at a slow speed and navigate with caution in this area. The regatta will commence at 7pm on Friday 22 June.

10/19 Baltic Wharf Sailing Club: Bristol Comet Sailing Open Meeting

Baltic Wharf to Prince Street Bridge, Saturday 29 June 2019, 11am to 5pm

This event will involve a number of sailing craft taking part in races at Baltic Wharf. Mariners should proceed at a slow speed and navigate with caution in this area.

11/19 South West Sea Cadets Combined Regatta: Baltic Wharf

Saturday 6 July and Sunday 7 July 2019

This event is organised by the TS Adventure Sea Cadet Unit and will consist of a number of young people taking part in pulling boats, racing and carrying out m aneuvers in the Baltic Wharf/Cumberland Basin area. Mariners should give due consideration to participating craft.

12/19 All Aboard Sailability Access TT

Monday 15 July 2019, 9am to 5pm

This event will involve a number of sailing craft taking part in races at Baltic Wharf. Mariners should proceed at a slow speed and navigate with caution in this area.

13/19 Harbour Festival

Friday 19 July to Sunday 21 July 2019

Vessels entered for this event will be moored in the Floating Harbour on pontoons projecting from the quayside at Canons Marsh, St. Augustine’s Reach, Amphitheatre and Hanover Quay.

Installation of these pontoons will start four weeks before the event and be dismantled within four weeks after the event.

Vessels moored in these areas that are not entered for the event will be required to moor elsewhere as directed by the Harbour Master.

Aquatic events will take place in this area throughout the above period. Craft moored in this area should be prepared for some wash from these events and ensure their vessels are adequately fendered. Vessels passing through this area may be delayed for periods of up to 20 minutes while these events take place.

14/19 Junior 8 Hour Race Day

Saturday 17 August 2019, 8.30am to 6.30pm

The event will consist of multiple teams from the south west all competing in an eight-hour race. Teams will sail around a set course in the Harbour between Baltic Wharf and the SS Great Britain for the entirety of the event, with regular changes of team members throughout the day.

The race will consist of Hartley 12s and Toppers. Anyone under 18 is welcome to compete.

15/19 City Of Bristol Rowing Club: Corporate Regatta

Baltic Wharf to Bristol Marina, Sunday 1 September 2019, 10am to 2pm

Side by side sprint racing from Baltic Wharf to Bristol Marina. Eight of Bristol’s leading companies compete in eights against each other after learning to row in August. Each race will last around four minutes. Refreshments available. Take part in the ergo challenge and enter the club’s raffle to win prizes from local supporters.

16/19 Bristol Half Marathon: Prince Street Bridge Swing Restriction

Sunday 15 September 2019, 8.30am to 2pm

The route of the annual Bristol Half Marathon will encompass the Floating Harbour between Prince St. Bridge and Junction Lock Bridge. The race will commence at 8.30am and finish by 2pm. During this time Prince St. Bridge will not be swung for vessels.

If you might be disrupted by this restriction, you should contact the Harbour Office to make alternative arrangements.

17/19 See Change: Julian House Charity Dragon Boat Race

Saturday 28 September 2019, 10.30am to 5pm

This event will take place on the south side of the Harbour at Baltic Wharf between the Cottage Inn and the Bristol Marina. It will consist of groups of dragon boats racing in a 30 metre wide course marked by yellow buoys. Mariners are requested to proceed at a slow speed and navigate with caution when passing through the course.

18/19 Baltic Wharf Sailing Club: Classic and Vintage Dinghy Racing, Head of Harbour

Baltic Wharf to Prince Street Bridge, Saturday 2 November 2019, 1030am to 4:30pm  

This event involves vintage sailing dinghies racing between Baltic Wharf and Prince St. Bridge. Mariners should navigate with caution.

19/19 Minor events in Floating Harbour 2019

  • Tuesday 1 January: Baltic Wharf Sailing Club New Year’s Day Race
  • Sunday 7 April    : OMRA Model Boat Event
  • Saturday 20 April: Easter Egg Race - BWSC
  • Monday 22 April: All Aboard Watersports – Open Day
  • Monday 27 May: Push the Boat Out RYA Sailing Supported (10am to 4pm)
  • Thursday 6 June: RNLI SUP CUP, Charity Event (Baltic Wharf)
  • Sunday 16 June: Mass Participation - Sky Ride
  • Friday 5 July: Charity SUP Challenge (Baltic Wharf, 3pm to 8pm)
  • Sunday 25 August: All Aboard Watersports – Open Day
  • Sunday 8 September: OMRA Model Boat Event
  • Friday 13 to Sunday 15 September: Cabot Cruising Club – Rally – Bathurst Basin
  • Saturday 16 November: Beaujolais Race – BWSC – Baltic Wharf (1.45pm)
  • Saturday 14 December: Mince Pie Race – BWSC – Baltic Wharf (1.45pm)     

Times are between 10am and 6pm approximately.

Vessels should proceed with caution in the vicinity of these events.

20/19 Water sport activity sessions

  • Baltic Wharf Sailing Club racing on Saturdays: 11am to 1pm June to September and 1pm to 4pn February to December, Baltic Wharf
  • Baltic Wharf Sailing Club training session, first Saturday of each month, 11am to 1pm
  • Baltic Wharf Sailing Club sailing event, Wednesdays, 11am to 1pm
  • Baltic Wharf Cadet and Social Sailing, May to September, Wednesdays, 5.30pm to 7.30pm, Baltic Wharf
  • All Aboard Youth Sailing, April to October, weekdays and evenings, Baltic Wharf
  • All Aboard sailing and powerboat tuition throughout the year, Baltic Wharf
  • Bristol Canoe Club, Tuesday and Thursday evenings throughout the year, Baltic Wharf to Netham
  • Bristol Rowing Club, throughout the year, Albion Dock to Netham and River Avon
  • Ariel Rowing Club, throughout the year, Netham to Hanham
  • Guides Association, evenings and weekends, Redcliffe Wharf
  • Scouts Association, evenings and weekends, Baltic Wharf
  • TS Adventure Sea Cadets, evenings and weekends, Baltic Wharf to Narrow Quay
  • Young Bristol, water sports throughout the year, Pooles Wharf
  • Bristol Gig Club, gig rowing throughout the year, Bristol Marina to Netham

21/19 Quayside Events 2019

Throughout the year numerous quayside events take place. These may cause some restrictions to visitor’s moorings.  Visitors should contact the Harbour Office for more details and directions on entering the harbour.

23/19 Prince Street Bridge: Summer Operating Times 2019

Starting: Monday 1 April 2019 to Sunday 27 October 2019

If you want to pass east or westbound through Prince Street Bridge with a vessel that is higher than the clearance height, you  may have arrange to have Prince Street bridge swung at the following times:

Monday to Friday

  • 9.30am 
  • 10.30 am              
  • 11.30 am              
  • 12.30 pm              
  • 1.30 pm                
  • 2.30 pm
  • 3.30 pm
  • 4:30 pm
  • 6:30 pm
  • 7:30 pm
  • 8:30 pm
  • 9:30 pm   

Weekends and Bank Holidays

Two extra swings listed at:

  • 8.30 am
  • 5.30 pm

Priority swings

Priority swings will be given 3 and a half  hours before  high water to 1 and a half hours after high water.

Outside these tidal times, the above-published swings will be at the discretion of the Harbour Master.

Swing requests within the tidal period should be made at least one hour in advance.

These requests  can be made to the Harbour Office
Tel: 0117 903 1484
VHF Radio: Channel 73, call sign Bristol Floating Harbour.

Vessels entering from seaward can also contact the Marine Services Supervisor at Cumberland Basin:
Tel: 0117 927 3633
VHF Radio: Channel 14, call sign City Docks Radio.

24/19 Netham Lock: Summer Operating Times 2019

Starting: Monday 1 April 2019 to Sunday 30 September 2019

Hours of operation: 6:50am to 10:10pm

You should arrive at the lock at least one hour before it closes to ensure passage through the lock.

25/19 Harbour Office Summer Opening Times 2019

Starting: Monday April 1 2019 to Sunday 27 October 2019,

Opening hours

Monday to Sunday: 8:30am to 4:30pm  

The Harbour Office will be open for general enquiries, licencing and the purchasing of commodities during these times.

Duty Officers will remain on duty until 10pm, carrying out dock patrols and will be on call to respond to emergencies only.  

The Baltic Wharf slipway may be locked after 5pm if the Duty Officers are not in the vicinity. 

Emergency telephone service

An emergency telephone service, 0117 903 1484 option 2, will be available during operational hours.

Contact information

Harbour Office

Underfall Yard

Cumberland Road

Bristol, BS1 6XG

Opening Hours

Opening Hours

Open for general enquiries, licensing and the purchasing of commodities daily (except Christmas Day) as follows:

Summer (BST)

Harbour Office: Monday to Sunday 08.30am to 4.30pm

Emergency Service: Duty Officers are on call between 07.30am and 10.30pm

Winter (GMT)

Harbour Office: Monday to Sunday 10am to 3pm

Emergency Service: Duty Officers are on call between 9am and 5pm

VHF Radio

Channel 73, call sign BRISTOL FLOATING HARBOUR.


Tel: 0117 903 1484

Fax: 0117 903 1487