Yarmouth Harbour lies on the Isle of Wight’s northwest coast and acts as a gateway to West Wight’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Strategically located at the entrance to the western Solent and providing walk-ashore access to Yarmouth town, it is a destination that appeals to vessels based throughout the UK central south coast region and beyond.
The picturesque harbour is very popular with visiting seafarers yet still manages to remain somewhat a hidden gem of the Solent. Just a few steps from the pontoons are the town’s eclectic shops and galleries, a wide choice of excellent cafés, restaurants and pubs, the Grade 2 Listed Yarmouth Pier, a 16th century castle built by Henry VIII and the beautiful Western Yar Estuary.
A strategic port since medieval times, the modern Yarmouth Harbour was established by an Act of Parliament in 1931. Today, Yarmouth Harbour Commissioners work to maintain and enhance the not-for-profit harbour as a viable port, bringing trade and tourism to the Island whilst preserving the character and charm of the surroundings and ensuring the long-term future of the harbour and estuary.
FACILITIES & BERTHING
Yarmouth Harbour enjoys an extended season and visiting yachts, motorboats and RIBs are welcomed throughout the year.
More than 150 visitor berths are available daily, and these are allocated on arrival by the friendly Berthing Masters. A limited number of berths can also be booked in advance.
Visitor mooring options include finger berths, walk-ashore and non-walk ashore pontoons, as well as 35 mooring buoys located just outside the harbour. Yarmouth has 260 sought-after annual moorings, as well as long-term visitor moorings that offer a convenient pay-monthly berthing solution.
It is worth noting that Yarmouth can be extremely busy; overnight visiting vessels are advised to arrive early in the afternoon and do remember that many berths in the harbour involve rafting. Unique to Yarmouth is the on-water berthing assistance provided by the Berthing team to help take the stress out of mooring up.
Pre-booked visiting rallies enjoy berthing discounts plus exclusive facilities and services at nearby Yarmouth Sailing Club, which makes the harbour a popular rally destination.
By sea: Harbour entrance: 50° 42’.42N, 001° 30’.05W. Yarmouth Harbour is accessible at all states of tide with the approaches being maintained at a depth of 2.5m below chart datum and 2m below CD inside the harbour. Use VHF Ch68 Call Sign ‘Yarmouth Harbour’ when you are five minutes away from the harbour for instructions from the Berthing Masters. The harbour’s leading marks (187ºT) are white diamonds with a black horizontal stripe, which show bright green when lit. Remember to give way to the Wightlink vehicle ferry and keep well clear of Yarmouth Pier head to clear fishing lines. Also beware that the Yarmouth RNLI lifeboat can leave quickly at any time and without warning.
Berthing Masters patrol the harbour entrance and will direct vessels for overnight and short stay berths, fuel and loading/unloading. All vessels should be ready to moor both port and starboard side to. The speed limits are 4 knots in the Inner Harbour and 6 knots in the Outer Harbour. Further navigation information can be found on the Yarmouth Harbour website.
By land: From the East Cowes Red Funnel ferry terminal, take the second exit at the roundabout on to Well Road, then the A3021, A3054 to Newport and A3054 to Yarmouth. From the Wightlink Fishbourne ferry, take the B3339 (Fishbourne lane), A3054 to Newport, and again A3054 to Yarmouth.
Getting around: The FYTbus operates from the bus station outside the Harbour Office and is a friendly local bus service getting you to where you want to be in Freshwater, Yarmouth and Totland (fytbus.org.uk). For buses to other areas of the Island, visit the Southern Vectis website (islandbuses.info).
There is a taxi rank next to the Wightlink ferry terminal in Yarmouth or phone iCab on 07553 567 567. Bike hire is available through Wight Cycle Hire (wightcyclehire.co.uk) and car hire from Enterprise rent-a-car (enterprise.co.uk), both with collection and delivery from the Harbour Office.
Being the most westerly harbour on the Island, Yarmouth is a useful destination for seafarers coming from other locations around the Solent, South Coast and West Country, as well as from Ireland, the Channel Islands, France and beyond. The harbour makes a good jumping-off-point to Lymington, Poole or Beaulieu River, for example.
Yarmouth’s proximity to The Needles and the English Channel makes it a handy stop-off point when cruising the Western Solent, or indeed for starting a circumnavigation of the Isle of Wight.
The Needles NCI – National Coastwatch are based a few miles along the coast from Yarmouth, and mariners can call them (01983 754 231 or VHF Ch65) to ask about the prevailing weather conditions before heading to the west. At Yarmouth, the prevailing weather is west-southwesterly.
Yarmouth Harbour is a popular short stay or overnight stopover for day sailors in the Solent who come down to Yarmouth on the ebb tide, particularly if the tide is ebbing in the middle of the day or early evening. A ‘Creeks of the Solent’ cruise could also include Yarmouth, as well as Newtown Creek, the River Medina and Wootton Creek on the Isle of Wight.
Once moored up in Yarmouth, you do not even have to let your pride and joy out of sight if you choose to dine at The Terrace (theterraceiow.co.uk) overlooking the harbour; this excellent restaurant has just been added to the prestigious Michelin Guide and is a great place to experience Yarmouth’s famed sunsets with a drink in hand.
Also well known locally are On the Rocks (ontherocksyarmouth.com) in Bridge Road, and Off The Rails (offtherailsyarmouth.co.uk) – a five minute stroll from the harbour at Yarmouth’s former train station and overlooking the beauty of the Yarmouth Marshes and Mill Copse.
Recommended local pubs within walking distance of the harbour include The Bugle Coaching Inn (characterinns.co.uk) and the Wheatsheaf Inn (wheatsheafyarmouth.co.uk). For a quick sandwich, Grace’s Bakery in Quay Street or The Deli in The Square are much frequented.
Next to the harbour, the Royal Solent Yacht Club (royalsolent.org) and Yarmouth Sailing Club (yarmouthsailingclub.org.uk) both welcome and cater to visiting yachtsmen at their clubhouses that boast superb sea views.
The nearest chandler and supermarket are both in St James’ Square, just two minutes’ walk from the harbour and open seven days a week. Harwoods of Yarmouth is West Wight’s largest chandler and sells pretty much everything you need on and off the water. Harveys is a small convenience store but well stocked with a great range of products, many of which you would expect to see in a specialist shop or larger supermarket.
THINGS TO DO
The Isle of Wight has been known as a holiday destination since the Victorian era and the Island remains hugely popular today for having more attractions per square mile than anywhere else in the UK!
After discovering Yarmouth Castle, the Pier and the town’s quaint cobbled streets, we recommend a walk or cycle ride into the countryside. Flowing into Yarmouth Harbour is the Western Yar Estuary with its abundant wildlife and lovely riverside walks and cycle routes leading further into West Wight. The River Yar is also a wonderful place to explore by kayak or paddleboard.
A short distance from Yarmouth is Fort Victoria Country Park, a Victorian gun battery that houses several local attractions including the Island Planetarium and The Isle of Wight Reptilarium. Not to be missed in West Wight is the Tapnell Farm Park all-weather family attraction, the popular West Wight Alpacas And Lamas, the famous Needles Landmark Attraction, Tennyson’s Farringford House and Garden, Dimbola Museum and much more.
“Thank you for hosting the Royal Southern rally this weekend and a personal thank you from Purrfect Tale. It has a while since I visited Yarmouth partly because it is a very popular and busy destination. However, I was so impressed with the outstanding organisation and support provided that it will again be on my visit list. The practical help provided was without a doubt the best in the Solent and the wider South Coast. From meeting and greeting in the entrance, providing assistance in getting alongside when I needed someone to take lines, through to extending a helping hand with the harbour launch when departing, I could not have been better looked after. Whilst it is busy, it is clear the extremely experienced staff know how to put people at ease, take the stress out of arriving and departing and nothing is too much trouble for them – cheerful, professional, friendly and responsive. It was a great stay – thank you to you and the team.”
Michael Lithgow CBE, 63. Hanse 348, Royal Southern Yacht Club, permanent berth at Mercury Marina, Hamble. Sails with Gillian.
CEO and Harbour Master – Tim Adams
Yarmouth Harbour Commissioners
The Quay, Yarmouth
Isle of Wight PO41 0NT
Port control: VHF Ch68
Harbour taxi: VHF Ch15
01983 760 321