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General Information about the Port

The Port of Bridgwater extends from Bridgwater Town Centre down the River Parrett to the Bristol Channel.


The statutory Harbour Limits as defined within local legislation are depicted on Admiralty Chart 1152, and are defined within the Icon for pdf Port of Bridgwater Operations Manual [395.38KB] .

The limits of the Port are summarised below:

  • Bridgwater Bay from Brean Down to east of Hinkley Point
  • The River Parrett as far as Bridgwater town centre
  • The River Brue as far as Highbridge Clyce Sluice
  • A small part of the tidal River Axe

A general plan showing the Port approaches is available here:  Icon for pdf Port of Bridgwater Approaches Plan [40.98KB]  (Please note this is only an approximate plan and should not be relied upon for navigation or any other purpose.) 


As the Statutory Harbour Authority, Sedgemoor District Council has responsibilities for:

  • Safe and efficient marine operations
  • Pilotage
  • Conservancy - maintenance of navigation channels and navigation aids
  • Emergency response
  • Environmental protection including oil spill contingency planning, and waste management.

Sedgemoor District Council has powers to levy charges on Port users in order to raise funds to finance the safe management of the Port. These are detailed on the Charges and Permits page.


There are currently operational commercial berths located at Dunball and a facility at Combwich.

All the berths within the port are privately owned, and use of those berths is dependent upon permissions from the owners. The Harbour Master can provide contact details of Berth owners on request.

Tides and Pilotage

The Port is wholly within a dynamic tidal regime, with ranges at Burnham on Sea in excess of 12 metres, and significant tidal flows within the navigable River Parrett. Because of the extreme tidal range, winding river and constantly changing channels, all vessels navigating in the tidal River Parrett south of an imaginary line drawn from Stert Point to the north bank of the confluence of the River Brue with the River Parrett, are subject to compulsory Pilotage with the following exceptions:

  • Those vessels excluded by virtue of Section 7(3) of the Pilotage Act 1987.
  • Vessels not exceeding 30 metres length overall.
  • Vessels under the pilotage of the holder of a "Pilotage Exemption Certificate" issued by the Competent Harbour Authority.

For further information, please see the  Pilotage page.