Dunbar Harbour

Dunbar Sailing Club Dunbar Harbour

Dunbar Harbour, based 30 miles to the east of Edinburgh on the South East Coast provides berthing for fishing, leisure and small commercial crafts and is home to the Dunbar Inshore Lifeboat.  The Harbour is at the heart of Dunbar with a range of services and supplies within easy walking distance.  Dunbar is just off the A1 with excellent links to Edinburgh (30 mins) and Newcastle to the South (2 hours).

The East Coast mainline station provides additional links to the major railways stations in both Scotland and England. The bustling harbour has a history dating back to the 14th century with the ruins of Dunbar Castle still guarding the entrance.


The narrow entrance to the Victoria Harbour can be tricky and is not advised in strong winds from the north to the east. Entry is only possible around 2.5 hours before or after high water for deeper draught vessels. The entrance dries at LW Springs as some unwary yachtsmen have found to their cost over the years! It is important that strangers consult an almanac before approaching, making sure that there is sufficient water for a safe entry.

There are a number of rocks off the entrance and approaching from the south east it is wise to keep at least half a mile off until the two leading marks – orange triangles on posts on a grassy slope are in transit bearing 198 degrees.  At night they show green lights Oc G 6 s 15m 3 m on the lower and Oc G 6s 22m 3 M on the upper mark which is at street level. The line runs between the Scart and Castlefoot rocks after which a good lookout should be kept to port for the red harbour leading light Q R 6 m 3 M bearing 132 degrees. It is best to keep close to the north wall at the entrance, making a starboard turn immediately inside the harbour where visitors’ berths are located.

Alternatively an approach can be made from the north west between the rocks Wallace’s Head and Half Ebb Rock both of which are marked by iron beacons, unlit and not easy to spot in darkness, when use of the leading lights is recommended Larger vessels may find it prudent to either radio Harbour Master Gary Lawson on Channel 12 or phone him on 07958754858.
Nav lights

In extreme conditions the Victoria Harbour is liable to surge but calm mooring can usually be obtained in the Cromwell or inner harbour by arrangement with the Harbour Master who will have to raise the bridge which separates the two harbours.


Showers are available in the Dunbar Sailing Club on the harbour front for which visitors keys can be obtained from either the Harbour Master or the bar of the Volunteer Arms Pub near-by. These should be posted through the club letterbox after use.

Water and diesel can also be had at the South Pier by arrangement with the Harbour Master.

As a holiday town there are many facilities in Dunbar including a swimming pool and leisure centre near the harbour and many excellent hotels, pubs and restaurants.
There are also good bus and train links to Edinburgh and the South.