Watchet Marina

Offering great access to the South West and Welsh coastlines, this month we pay a visit to Watchet Marina.

Watchet Marina is located within Watchet Harbour, which has a centuries old tradition as a safe sanctuary in the Bristol Channel. The marina sits within the inner dock where a minimum water level is retained by a rising gate.

A warm welcome always awaits you in Watchet town which has a vibrant community atmosphere. It boasts charming houses, shops and pubs on the waterfront and into the town. Near the marina is East Quay, which houses eateries, art galleries and shops created by social enterprise The Onion Collective.

There is never a dull moment in Watchet with a wide range of events held throughout the year, from the Watchet Summertime Festival to the weekly street fair held throughout the summer months and also the annual 1940s weekend held in September.


Yachts up to around 45ft are welcomed at Watchet, depending on weight. There are 170 berths in total, but there are no lifting facilities at present. Note, they do not accommodate liveaboards.
A chandlery is adjacent to the marina with a basic range of supplies, while the marina itself offers:

  • Car parking for berth holders
  • Toilets and showers
  • Laundry facilities
  • Rubbish disposal and recycling facilities
  • Electricity to berths
  • Secured access to pontoons and facilities

By land: Accessed off the A39 which runs along the north coast of Somerset off the M5 by Bridgewater.
By rail: Watchet Marina Office is located by Watchet town’s train station, so visiting by rail provides easy access to the marina.
By sea: Watchet Marina is located within the Bristol Channel and can be accessed up to 2.5 hours either side of high tide. When approaching the marina use VHF channel 80 or contact the marina office on 01984 322 230.

Watchet is fronted by a rocky foreshore which dries out for half a mile. The harbour is tidal and the outer harbour dries completely. During the marina access period the flow across the harbour entrance is predominantly westbound and attention must be given to this flow when approaching the harbour entrance. The entrance to the harbour lies between two breakwaters and is 28m wide. The breakwaters are marked with a lighthouse and beacon.

Vessel movements through the marina lock gate are controlled by automatic traffic light signals. For more information go to

Pleasure steamers can be accommodated on the West Pier and other small pleasure vessels are allocated designated areas.

Admiralty chart no: 1165
Harbour entrance: 51o11’.00 N. 03o19.64 W

Lundy Island is a lovely cruising location from Watchet Marina. The island is a bird watcher’s paradise with its own character and sheltered bay in which to moor. A weekend’s sail to Ilfracombe natural harbour, located at the southern entrance of the Bristol Channel, is another pleasant cruising destination. Other possible locations across the Bristol Channel include Bristol, Cardiff and Portishead.

Watchet town has a wide range of good pubs, restaurants and cafes, all within walking distance of the marina.
Here are just a few, which are worth a visit:
Pubs: Esplanade Club, The Star, The Bell, Pebbles.
Cafes: Sam’s Deli, Corner Café, Marina Café, Watchet Fish and Chips.
There is also a Co-op supermarket 100m from the marina.

The harbour has been of enormous importance to Watchet town since the earliest times, from its formation as a natural harbour after the last ice age up to the present day as a man-made harbour supporting a modern marina.

Watchet really came to prominence in the Saxon period and was important enough to have its own mint. Coins minted in Watchet have been found in Scandinavia, suggesting that they were used to buy off Viking raiders.

Watchet harbour was the inspiration for the poem The Ancient Marina by the romantic poet Samuel Coleridge. In 1797 he walked over the Quantock Hills from his home in Nether Stowey, with his friends William and Dorothy Wordsworth, and came upon Watchet. It has been said that looking down at the town from St Decuman’s Church gave him the inspiration for his poem. A statue was commissioned to commemorate this important link.

Dunster Castle and Watermill, run by the National Trust, is close to Watchet and boasts dramatic views and subtropical gardens. Located dramatically on a wooded hill, a castle has existed here since at least Norman times. It has an impressive medieval gatehouse and ruined tower giving a reminder of its turbulent history.

In addition to Dunster Castle, the steam train is a regular sight right by Watchet Marina, the coastal path offers wonderful views and Fossil Beach, Helwell Bay, is a great place to find fossils and see the story of Watchet’s geology.

Marina Manager – Matt Driscoll
T: 01984 322 230
Sat Nav details – Watchet Marina, 10 The Esplanade, Watchet TA23 0AJ

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