The dock at Sharpness was opened in 1874 and is one of the most inland ports in Britain, and the eighth largest in the South West. It serves as the gateway from the River Severn to the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal.
The Canal & River Trust is, in fact, the port authority for the impounded dock. While the quayside activities are run by Sharpness Dock Limited. The Severn Area Rescue Association (SARA) maintains a rescue station in the Port, supporting vessels on the River Severn (which famously has the second largest tidal range in the world).
Sharpness Port is one of the access points to England’s historic network of inland waterways. If you wish to go on to the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal you'll need:
Please get your licence before your journey, either:
You'll need to book at least 24 hours in advance by calling the Sharpness Pier Head on 01453 511968 to make sure the lock is available. (Please leave an answer phone message outside of the published watch-keeping times.)
If you want to pass through the port outside of the published times you will only be allowed at the discretion of the harbour master.
Note: there is a lockage fee (on top of your licence) for passing through the entrance lock and using the port:
If you're buying a short term licence or a 30 day explorer licence, or making trips above the number permitted by your licence, there will be a £25 lockage fee each way.
Group booking discounts as follows:
|No' of craft||Cost per boat|
|2 to 5||£25|
|6 to 10||£20|
|11 to 20||£15|
|20 plus||Price on application|
The craft in your group will need to pass through Sharpness lock as a single unit both on arrival and departure from Sharpness.
Port entrance signals at the entrance to Sharpness Dock control the safe movement of all craft entering the port from the Severn estuary.
To receive any further instructions, you should also maintain contact with Sharpness Pierhead on VHF channel 13.
On approaching the dock gates, please follow the signal lights as shown below:
If you have any queries please contact: Sharpness Port, Navigation House, Sharpness Docks, Berkeley, Gloucestershire GL13 9UD. T:01453 811862 F: 01453 811863
Download our traffic lights / entrance signals information.
Canal & River Trust staff operate from the port in line with customer demands and commercial shipping movements. The port is open for leisure traffic between the hours of 9.00am and 9.00pm in line with the high water times set out below.
6 hours – 5 hours before high water and 1 hour after high water
3 hours – 2.5 hours before high water and 0.5 hour after high water
General duty times:
8.00am to 4.00pm – 8 hours
Note: Restrictions sometimes apply at the port and are published accordingly. Check the latest information on the website, or call the Pier Head on 01453 511968.
Canal & River Trust are the statutory Port Authority for Sharpness Docks only.
The competent Harbour Authority for the River Severn from the Severn Road Bridges up to Gloucester is Gloucester Harbour Trustees and they are responsible for navigation aids in the channel and for the provision of pilots.
Information for passage from Gloucester to Bristol using the River Severn can be found on their website, including how to book Pilotage.
Last date edited: 28 July 2017