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.

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

Please note, as from 1 April 2014, 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.

36/17 Scouring Operations Cumberland Basin 2018

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

Date Starting

Tuesday 2 January 2018


Tuesday 16 January 2018


Wednesday 31 January 2018


Thursday 15 February 2018


Thursday 1 March 2018


Friday 16 March 2018


Thursday 29 March 2018


Friday 13 April 2018

12.00 noon

Friday 27 April 2018


Monday 14 May 2018


Tuesday 29 May 2018


Tuesday 26 June 2018


Wednesday 11 July 2018

12.00 noon

Friday 10 August 2018


Friday 24 August 2018


Friday 7 September 2018


Monday 24 September 2018


Monday 8 October 2018


Monday 22 October 2018

12.00 noon

Wednesday 7 November 2018


Friday 23 November 2018


Friday 7 December 2018


Friday 21 December 2018


During these operations note:

  1. 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.
  2. Strong currents will be experienced in narrow bridge ways and especially Prince Street Bridge, Totterdown Junction, in the Feeder Canal at Netham Lock.
  3. Vessels proceeding upstream against the current must give way to vessels coming downstream at all bridge ways, Totterdown Junction and at Netham Lock.
  4. 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.

17/18 Charity Dragon Boat Race: Baltic Wharf

Saturday 1 September 2018, 10am 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.

18/18 Bristol Half Marathon: Prince Street Bridge swing restriction

Sunday 23 September 2018, 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 0830 hrs and finish by 1400 hrs.

During this time Prince St. Bridge will not be swung for vessels. Mariners who may be disrupted by this restriction are advised to contact the Harbour Office to make alternative arrangements.

19/18 Bristol Rowing Club: Autumn Head of the Harbour Rowing Race Totterdown Basin to Baltic Wharf

Sunday 4 November 2018, 12noon to 4pm

This event will take place between Totterdown Basin and Baltic Wharf, with disabled races between Prince St. Bridge and Baltic Wharf and consists of a number of sculls and rowing eights in succession.  

Craft should proceed with caution and keep a good lookout for those participating in the race. Marshals will be stationed at all bridges to warn of oncoming participants.  

Craft wishing to proceed upstream of Prince St Bridge or from Totterdown Basin downstream will be stopped to allow the race to take place safely.

Each race will last approximately 20 minutes.

20/18 Baltic Wharf Sailing Club: Classic and Vintage Dinghy Racing, Head of the Harbour Baltic Wharf to Prince Street Bridge

Saturday 10 November 2018, 10.30am to 4.30pm

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

21/18 Minor Events in Floating Harbour 2018

Monday 1 January Baltic Wharf Sailing Club New Year’s Day Race
Saturday 31 March Easter Egg Race - BWSC
Sunday 8 April OMRA Model Boat Event
Thursday 23 June Summer Solstice Race – BWSC – Baltic Wharf (7pm)
Sunday 8 July Mass Participation (Sky Ride)
Sunday 2 September OMRA Model Boat Event
Friday 14 to Sunday 16 September Cabot Cruising Club – Rally – Bathurst Basin
Saturday 24 November Beaujolais Race – BWSC – Baltic Wharf (1.45pm)
Saturday 15 December Mince Pie Race – BWSC – Baltic Wharf (1.45pm)


Times are between 1000 and 1800 hrs approximately.
Vessels are requested to proceed with caution in the vicinity of these events.

22/18 Water sport activity sessions

  • Baltic Wharf Sailing Club: racing on Saturdays, 1pm to 4pm. March to December. 
  • 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 : Wednesdays, 5.30pm − 7.30pm . May to September. Baltic Wharf.
  • All Aboard Youth Sailing: weekdays and evenings April to October. Baltic Wharf.
  • All Aboard: sailing/powerboat tuition throughout the year. Baltic Wharf.
  • Bristol Canoe Club: Tuesday/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.

23/18 Quayside Events 2018

Throughout the year numerous quayside events take place. These may cause some restrictions to visitor’s moorings. 

Visitors are requested to contact the Harbour Office for more details and directions on entering the harbour.

24/18  Temporary Harbour Exclusion Zone

Adjacent to former Sorting Office, Cattle Market Road, Temple Meads

Location: west side of the river starting at Temple Meads Arches and stretching south for a distance of 100m.

Start time: 4 February 2018 for 19 weeks.

Warning buoys will be placed along the length of the development site 6m from the quay wall and will be illuminated at night.

Mariners are requested to keep a sharp look out when navigating in this area and proceed at a slow speed.

25/18 Prince Street Bridge - summer operating times 2018

Commencing Monday 26 March 2018 to Sunday 28 October 2018

Mariners wishing to pass east or westbound through Prince Street Bridge with a vessel that exceeds the clearance height may arrange to have the Prince Street Bridge swung at the following times (All times BST).  

Monday to Friday:
9:30am, 10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, 3:30pm, 4:30pm, 6:30pm, 7:30pm, 8:30pm, 9:30pm

Weekends/Bank Holidays only: two extra swings listed below:

8:30am, 5:30pm

Mariners are advised that priority swings will be given three and half hours prior to high water to one 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 and can be made to either the Harbour Office Tel No: 0117 9031484, VHF Radio Channel 73 call sign “Bristol Floating Harbour” or vessels entering from seaward may also make arrangements with the Marine Services Supervisor at Cumberland Basin Tel: 0117 9273633 or VHF Radio Channel 14 call sign “City Docks Radio”.  

26/18 Netham Lock: Summer operating times 2018

Monday 26 March 2018 to Sunday 30 September 2018

Hours of Operation - Summer: 6:50am to  10:10pm (BST)

Vessels are advised to arrive at the lock at least one hour before it closes to ensure passage through the lock.

27/18 Harbour Office: Summer opening 2018

From Monday March 26 2018 to Sunday 28 October 2018 the Harbour Office will be open for general enquiries, licencing and the purchasing of commodities between 8:30am and 4:30pm seven days a week.  

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. 

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

Reminder for all potential users of the slipway:  In order for a short-term navigation licence to be granted to use a powerboat or sports boat in Bristol City Docks, photographic proof of identity must be produced.  

Failure to produce this will result in a licence being denied.

28/18 Bristol Rowing Club: Corportate rowing regatta

9am to 2pm, Sunday 9 September 2018

This will involve a number of rowing craft taking part in races from Bristol Marina to SS Great Britain and down to the Cottage Inn.  

You should proceed at a slow speed and navigate with caution in this area.

30/18 Bathymetric survey in Temple Back

There will be a bathymetric survey on Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7 June 2018 in Temple Back for two days.

The area of the survey will be between Temple Way Bridge and Totterdown Lock, mostly on the starboard side of the harbour.

The survey vessel has restricted maneuvering so mariners are need to  proceed with caution.

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 08.00 to 16.30.

Emergency Service: Duty Officers are on call between 07.30 and 22.30

Winter (GMT)

Harbour Office: Monday to Sunday 10.00 to 15.00

Emergency Service: Duty Officers are on call between 09.00 and 17.00

VHF Radio

Channel 73, call sign BRISTOL FLOATING HARBOUR.


Tel: 0117 903 1484

Fax: 0117 903 1487