Stopping Places: Duncansby Hd to the Solent

From Duncansby Head to the Solent anchorages may be in short supply if there are onshore winds as there has been for most of my two circumnavigations. Also many marinas and harbours are only accessible a few hours either side of HW that slows passage making.

To see my recent visits to each anchorage check out the "Labels" towards the bottom of the right hand panel or follow the individual links.

Updated Jan 23 to include Harbours and Marinas also info on fuel & gas availability.

Further updated during a boring winter 2023/4 to include some information on access to and from marinas. See my page Marina notes (opens in a new window) for some general tips and the context (handling of my boat) in which I comment.

Anchorages = redMarinas = Blue

Sinclair's Bay (Noss Head)

A rather exposed anchorage but OK as a passage anchorage with an offshore wind provided there is not a "left over" sea coming from the north through east.

Noss Head from the anchorage.
Visited 2020.


A good marina with fuel available by porterage or from a berth. Entrance and berthing can be a little tricky in a strong NNE wind that will be blowing you in. There are rocks that uncover inshore of the narrow channel to get in, see picture two below. The designated visitors berths are just inside of the entrance.

As with many ports on the east coast the port is busy supporting fishing,  the offshore wind, oil and gas industries, you are required to call port control before entering or leaving.

 Entrance and berthing can be little tricky in a strong NNE like this
with the wind blowing you in. The channel is quite narrow outside
the marina so care is required, especially leaving.

Full facilities but all were closed due to lock down when I was there in 2020 and 2021. Aldi (?) almost a miles walk around the harbour but its worth an extra half mile or more to get to a good Morrison's.

Peterhead marina. Aldi is left of the large building on the
extreme right of the photo in line with the tallest mast.
Note the rocks on the shore side of the channel in.

Ethie Haven (Montrose)

At the south end of Lunan bay sheltered from the north west through south.

Visited 2020.


A very attractive anchorage, not to be missed, but take care approaching especially from the north where you are likely to encounter lots of pot buoys.

But I have twice ended up with a foul anchor so use a trip line and in any fresh wind try and avoid the line between the slack water close in and the stronger tide a bit further out which can spin you back and forth. 

Check out the Pilot and / or Reeds, my posts here give an overview, arriving from the north and arriving from the south both with lots of pictures.

Visited 2020 and 2021.


I was weather bound there for 12 days in 2020 when most places were locked down, including the friendly yacht club Royal Northumberland Yacht Club – The official website of Royal Northumberland Yacht Club ( which only partially opened the day before I left. 

The visitors berths are on a long pontoon at right angles to the approach and present no special problems to get on but are a little exposed in some conditions, but you may be offered a slot inside with reasonably wide avenues. 

Its a long walk into town (three years later it would be too far for my arthritis) with not much there when you get here, for major shopping it is a taxi ride. A very small convenience store is about half way but not of much use.

Its mandatory to call port control before entering or leaving,
there are some big ships manoeuvring in a confined area.

Visited 2020 and briefly in 2021.


A usefully passage anchorage with shelter from the S through W to N and some from the NE.

Filey Brig, protecting the anchorage from the north.
Visited 2020 and 2021.


The designated visitors berths are on a long pontoon immediately to the right of the entrance with room for a 3 point turn but I have also been sent to a tight-ish berth further in. The fuel berth could be a little awkward to get on to, I used porterage. 

A call to port control before entering or leaving is mandatory, its a very busy port supporting the wind farms.

There is a large down market supermarket and general store within walking distance, M&S only a few steps further. Excellent food in the club. 

The visitors berth in the marina. The fuel berth is at right angles
at the far end. Port and Bridge control just right of Progress's
spray hood, the bridge behind it.

Visited 2020 and 2021.


A good marina with good access although the showers etc. are rather utilitarian, plenty of places to eat.

The bouyed approach channel can get very rough wind against tide. Call port control before entering - see Reeds etc for procedures. The visitors berths are immediately on the left and are straightforward unless you try and get on the downwind side of a finger in a strong easterly, two fully crewed boats tried that when I was there and regretted it.

Visited in 2021

The Downs

An anchorage for commercial and warships for hundreds of years in the days of sail as ships waited for a favourable wind to get through the Dover straights and down channel and still occasionally used by ships today. I anchored in the "Small Downs" where the holding was a bit "iffy", by the sound of it thin sand or mud over rock but clearly the holding is normally better than that. 

Only usable in an offshore wind, it was very rough there when I went up the Gull Stream in 2021.

Visited in 2020


Another anchorage only tenable in suitable weather but a useful passage anchorage to wait for a fair tide around Dungeness. If the Lydd range is inactive, then encroaching into the practice area would be worth a look.

Visited in 2021


Only tenable with offshore winds or in very calm conditions but useful waiting for a fair tide around Beachy head.

Visited in 2021.

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