Helmsdale harbour

Helmsdale was developed in 1818 as a fishing village, largely herring fishing, as like many other villages in the Highlands around that time. Today, the harbour is a prominent feature of Helmsdale village and there are a number of fishing vessels based there which gives it a sense of a working harbour.

Harbour details


Latitude     58° 06.9' North
Longitude  03° 38.8' West

Harbour area

All waters below the level of MHWS commencing from the A9 bridge over the River Helmsdale and following the level of MHWS via the North shore to:

  • Latitude 58° 06.765' N, Longitude 03° 38.585' W; thence in a SW'ly direction for a distance of 290 metres to
  • Latitude 58° 06.765' N, Longitude 03° 38.757' W; thence in a ENE'ly direction for a distance of 470 metres to:
  • Latitude 58° 06.865' N, Longitude 03° 39.186' W on the level of MHWS, thence following the level of MHWS to meet with the A9 road bridge over the River Helmsdale.


  • 14,640 litres of fuel oil storage
  • Waste oil reception facilities
  • Shower and toilets are also available

Draft alongside pier
Maximum vessel size

Information on this website is not to be used for navigational purposes. Harbour Masters should always be contacted prior to vessels approaching the harbour. 

Types of vessel

  • Fishing vessels
  • RNLI
  • Customs cutters
  • Fishers protection vessels
  • Leisure

Out of hours service by arrangement with the Harbour Master

Safe anchorages

Anchorage, sheltered against winds from between SW and NW, can be obtained 5 cables SE of the harbour entrance in 12m. The holding is good but there is a possibility of the anchor fouling on large rocks.

Harbour personnel

Donald Sutherland; Harbour Master
Phone 01431 821692

Tony Usher, Harbours Manager
Phone 01349 781615 or 07785 341188

David Seddon, Marine Superintendent


For all other enquiries email  harbours@highland.gov.uk