The Beaulieu River
The Beaulieu River is centrally located on the Solent, and is one of the most picturesque rivers in the south. Forming part of the Beaulieu Estate, Beaulieu River is one of the few privately owned rivers in the world and is largely unspoilt, both in terms of its landscape and as a haven for wildlife. The banks play host to an exceptional variety of habitat with an equally varied display of flora and fauna.
When approaching Beaulieu River from the east, keep the lit south cardinal to starboard off Stone Point and steer to the vicinity of a lit, yellow spherical racing buoy close to the transit which should be 324° with the leading marks aligned with the front port No. 2 beacon and the eastern edge of Lepe House. To approach from the west, keep well off the mud banks of Warren Flat and Beaulieu Spit and again steer a course towards the racing buoy and transit as above.
The Beaulieu Spit dolphin marks the entrance, a large port hand tripod. It is recommended to avoid the entrance 2 hours either side of LW to avoid the bar 0.8m depth at LW Springs. If your boat draws 5 feet, you can enter the river 1½ hours after LW Springs. The navigation channel at the mouth of the river is defined with red and green piles and further upstream, branches of willow painted red and green known as 'withies' are used.
The river benefits from a double tide, and a secondary high water. The flood tide takes 6 hours coming in; then, after a gentle fall, there is a second high tide some 2 hours later followed by a period of slack water for about an hour. Then the ebb sets in, and LW is reached in just 3½ hours.
Buckler's Hard village
Buckler's Hard village and its marina are 3.5m upstream from the entrance to Beaulieu River.
Set within the heart of the New Forest National Park, Buckler's Hard Yacht Harbour offers a unique location for short stays and welcomes visiting vessels. The masters of vessels arriving inside the limits of the river are expected to report to the Harbour Master within 24 hours. The harbour does not listen on a Channel; please phone the Harbour Office on 01590 616200. The harbour speed limit is 5 knots from the entrance and for the entire length of the river.
Visitors are welcome to enter the marina at any time, day or night. Berths for overnight visitors can be reserved in advance, subject to availability. Alternatively, you may be offered a visitor pontoon or mooring upstream of the marina but a dinghy will be required to get ashore. The marina is dredged to 6 feet below Mean Low Water Springs.
Buckler's Hard Yacht Harbour is a member of TransEurope Marinas and, in 2013, was awarded the top rating of 5 Gold Anchors by the Yacht Harbour Association. It has full marina services and facilities available including a boatyard, chandlery, fuel waste disposal facilities, scrubbing grid, yacht valet service, security, toilets, showers, and a launderette. Diesel, petrol, and fresh water are available from the fuel jetty. A small selection of grocery items including fresh milk, bread, newspapers (weekends only), confectionery, soft drinks and ice may be obtained from the Harbour Master’s Office.
A Water Taxi will be available from Easter to September, contact them on VHF Ch 77, Call Sign 'Beaulieu River Taxi'. Telephone the Harbour Office for more details.
Contact: Harbour Master's Office, Buckler's Hard Yacht Harbour, Beaulieu, Hampshire, SO42 7XB. Tel: 01590 616200. www.beaulieuriver.com