Mooring and berthing in the harbour

Mooring and berthing in Bristol Harbour

How to apply for short and long term berths in Bristol Harbour.

Bristol Harbour offers short term and long term berths for all types of vessels.

The waiting list has been closed because of the infrequent movement of boats in the Harbour.

See our Bristol Harbour map for berth locations.

The original boat safety certificate must accompany the application for a navigation and berthing licence.  This does not apply to canoes, dinghies or other manually propelled craft.

Leisure berths

Short term visitor berths

There are 50 visitors’ berths in the harbour and they’re supplied with water and electricity.

The Arnolfini pontoons have secure coded access.

For berthing costs see our navigation and berthing charges.

Only craft of up to 15m in length and with a draft of 1.5m or less can moor in the Harbour Inlet.

This inlet is the area opposite the SS Great Britain (pdf, 58KB) (opens new window)

Size of craft and berthing

Large craft are berthed alongside the quay walls either singly or double-banked.

Smaller craft are berthed alongside pontoons and finger pontoons.

For operational reasons we may need to move craft to another mooring at any time.

Berth areas

For licencing reasons vessels are categorised according to their main use, for example, leisure, residential, commercial, and into berthing areas, depending on the location.

Berthing area: Class A
Description: West of Bristol Bridge

Berthing area: Class B     
Description: East of Bristol Bridge

Berthing area: Hanover Quay     
Description: Hanover Quay (map ref.18)

Berthing area: St Augustine’s Reach (West side)
Description: Bordeaux Quay to City Centre (map ref.21)

Berthing area: The Grove
Description: East of Prince Street Bridge (map ref.25)

Berthing area: Temple Back
Description: West of Temple Way Bridge (map ref.33)

Berthing area: Temple Quay
Description: East of Temple Way Bridge (map ref.34)

Some moorings may have to be vacated three or four times a year for major events such as regattas, festivals or visiting ships. Class ‘B’ areas aren’t as likely to be affected by this.

Disabled access

There are four disabled access landing stages: Baltic Wharf, Castle Park, St Augustine’s Reach and Temple Quay.

Under 16's

An adult must accompany anyone under 16 when on board vessels and pontoons.

Securing your vessel

Vessels moored alongside quay walls must be secured to bollards or mooring rings and put out fenders to the craft moored inside. The two craft should be secured together with diagonal springs to prevent the damaging each other.

Applying for a renewal of annual leisure berth licence

Annual licensing starts on 1 May each year.  These are leisure berths only and not for residential use.

Conditions of a renewal of licence application

To renew an annual leisure berth licence you must:

  • provide evidence that your vessel meets the Boat Safety Scheme standards.
  • provide copies of 2 recent utility bills
  • supply a recent photograph of your vessel (taken within one month)
  • insure your craft against third party risks and passenger liability to a minimum of £3,000,000 for any one claim

Licences for part of a year and refunds

Annual licences expire on 30 April, so the fee payable is reduced in stages during the course of the year.

If a licence is given up, a refund may be claimed up to a maximum of three-quarters of the annual amount payable, depending on the time left to run.

To apply for a refund fill in and return the application for a refund form (pdf, 12KB) (opens new window) .

Change of ownership

Licences cannot be transferred without our consent. If you want to transfer a licence then contact the Harbour Master.  Each transfer request will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

Annual Leisure Moorings

At present the waiting list for new berthing applications is closed. This is because of the infrequent movements of boats within the Harbour.

Residential moorings

There are just two locations in the harbour available for residential moorings: 

  • Welsh Back 
  • Wapping Wharf 

For location information see the harbour map above and our Information for Boaters Booklet

Apply for a residential mooring

To apply for a residential mooring complete and return our residential mooring application form (pdf, 20KB) (opens new window) .

You’ll need to include with your application:

  • an original insurance certificate, detailing third party liability to a minimum sum of £3,000,000
  • a recent photograph of your vessel taken within the last calendar month

A full survey of your vessel will be required once an offer of a residential mooring is made.