The Cinque Port and Haven of

A Trust Port  Managed  by the Sandwich Port and Haven Commissioners under  ancient Acts of Parliament


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to the website of the Sandwich Port and Haven.

The Sandwich Port and Haven is a Trust Port managed by the Sandwich Port and Haven Commissioners for the safe benefit of all Users / Stakeholders.  

Although the Port and Haven in its recognisable form has been around for over 200 years, the

activities of the Haven go back as far as Roman times.  

Sandwich - the entry port to the British Isles for 1000 years - and Roman Richborough 600 years before that.

- by raid and by trade!

More under the HISTORY tab.


Leisure boating guide



Byelaw 3 Refers



Byelaw 2 refers

Note that there are wide areas of shallow water in Pegwell Bay and in the entrance to the river.  Be careful to avoid grounding,  or hitting the river banks and  causing damage to the sensitive saltings and mudflats.  The Harbourmaster is available to assist with advice.  

Tel:      07463 721714


VHF      marine radio, Channel 08

Please also…

Do respect other water users – keep well clear of other craft.

Observe the Speed Limit of 8 Knots, less if necessary through moorings to avoid disturbance to moored craft.

Swimmers.  Swimming is not encouraged, especially around moored craft where the run of the tide makes swimming extremely dangerous.  If falling in near moored craft, strike out for the centre of the river and land where it is easy to climb out clear of moored craft.  Getting very muddy indeed is considered better than drowning.

Comply with the ‘rules of the road’ – consider taking an RYA approved course.  Sandwich Sailing and Motor Boat Club run courses. Tel: Paul Miller on 07595 839044.


The river and it’s margins are important wildlife habitats of international importance…

Be aware of wildlife and avoid sensitive areas

Do not disturb birds nesting in the salt marshes and scrub. Many species of birds are protected by law.  Also have regard for the seals and pass slowly at a sensible distance.

Watch your wash. Excessive wash causes riverbank erosion and is a nuisance to other boaters. Be aware that larger craft - not necessarily travelling very fast - can send a surge of the river some distance ahead of them, of which they will be completely unaware.  Such surges cause moored craft to snatch at their mooring warps and themselves to surge back and forward.

Check the weather and tides before going afloat

Wear a lifejacket, carry a marine VHF radio.

Personal Rubbish

Dispose of your rubbish safely and sensibly and not

by littering the Haven.  Leave nothing but your wake.

Effluent. Please do not discharge ‘black’ water (effluent) into the waters of The Haven - or higher up the river.

Useful contacts:

Kent Marine Police

Address: Tactical Operations, Coldharbour, Maidstone, Kent ME20 7SL

Telephone No: 01622 608056

Project KRAKEN

Project KRAKEN is a joint initiative aimed at encouraging the public to report suspicious or unusual activity around the coastal and maritime environment.

Seen or heard anything unusual?  Report it.

Call your local Police on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously  on 0800 555 111.  Quote KRAKEN.



For more information on Kent Police and the matter of cross channel illegal immigration in small craft, please see the NEWS page.

For the LINK click HERE



Site update 13th  October 2020

This site is the Intellectual Property of the Sandwich Port and Haven Commissioners

Copyright 2020 ©

Unless otherwise shown all pictures on this website were taken by the Webmaster Robert Holden.  If you have something you would like to contribute relevant to the River Stour we would be pleased to hear from you.       

Contact details on the contacts page via the site navigation buttons above.


This site does not knowingly use third Party Cookies.  Google Analytics is  though used periodically to

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Fairway Buoy moved to new position See Notices to Mariners here

Notices to Mariners

Sandwich Swing Bridge - aka - The Toll Bridge.  


For the latest info on Sandwich Toll Bridge Refurbishment.  See here.

For your information, the works to refurbish the Sandwich Toll Bridge which were postponed earlier in the year due to A256 emergency sewer works and then the national Covid-19 lockdown have been rescheduled to commence on 21st September for a period of 11 weeks.  I attach a copy of the start of works notification which includes our detailed arrangements for the use of a shuttle bus to transport pedestrians around the diversion as required.

During  this period the bridge deck will be completely removed and transported to a yard so mechanical and electrical components can be replaced.  The opportunity will also be taken to clean and repaint the bridge deck.  During the period the bridge deck is removed various upgrades and refurbishments will continue at the bridge site.

Unfortunately, there will be a short period at the start of the works and during final commissioning when we will be unable to open the bridge to river traffic.  The exact date for the bridge to be lifted off will need to be confirmed but I would expect that river traffic will be hindered / prevented between 21st September  and early week commencing 28th September at the latest.  It is difficult to provide the exact date for the bridge to be lifted back on again at this time but I would currently expect this to be around 27th November with river traffic being prevented / hindered for up to about a week following the date the bridge is lifted back on.

We will continue to liaise with the Sandwich Port and Haven Commissioners and they will be issuing notices to mariners.  We will also keep the normal telephone number for booking bridge swings up to date with the latest information regarding the need and availability to open the bridge if you need to plan a journey past the bridge.

Notices to Mariners