Dunbar Harbour is situated N56° 00′, W02° 51’W on the S. E. coast of Scotland.

Charts: Admiralty 5615_10 / Imray C24 & C27 / OS 67

Essential safety viewing: Dunbar Harbour Briefing Dunbar and its close-in approaches.

Firstly, it would be unwise to attempt to make the harbour in strong onshore winds which cause breaking seas across the entrance. Choose good weather. The harbour is tidal, giving only about 3 hours either side of HW.

a) from the NW it can be difficult to distinguish the harbour and your eye will be drawn to the big, glassy swimming-pool building, just south of the harbour entrance. Pass between the perches on two rocks either side of the channel (quite wide at that point) and aim for the red leading light on the far end of the South wall. That light is not at all obvious in daytime but it suffices to keep the harbour entrance open to get in.

b) from the N, follow the green leading lights. They take you between 2 prominent rocks (Scart and Castlefoot). Depth there is 4m.

Be alert for the (almost-hidden) entry and boat traffic leaving the harbour. Try to follow a fishing boat.

The visitors’ berth is on the starboard side as you enter the harbour marked with a blue sign saying “Visitors Berth”. 

It’s basically a ninety-degree turn to starboard and then stop;  so you will need fenders rigged to starboard before you begin your approach to the harbour.  If you have arrived at HW you will have a bit more time (and room) to enter, have a look and then make a more sedate approach.

There are other options but be aware that locals moor fin-keeled yachts out in the harbour and accept that they will ground.