Royal Quays Marina lies close to the mouth of the River Tyne at North Shields near Newcastle upon Tyne.
The marina first opened in 1998 and was part of the flagship Royal Quays urban renewal scheme undertaken by the former Tyne and Wear Development Corporation around the disused Albert Edward Dock.
The area has been transformed and Royal Quays Marina lies as a centrepiece in the development of housing, leisure, retail, business and landscaped parkland.
The marina is part of the Quay Marinas group which operates six other marinas across England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, all of which demonstrate the company ethos of offering a ‘safe haven, friendly service and fine facilities’.
The marina is conveniently located for boaters from across the north-east region and enjoys deep water access and all tide accessibility along with excellent facilities and secure sheltered berths. As a cruising ground the north-east coast offers some stunning scenery, quiet unspoilt waters and vibrant ports.
The marina also attracts yachtsmen from the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium, many of whom find it a convenient landfall after crossing the North Sea, either to cruise the north-east coast or before heading north into Scottish waters.
The marina attracts a wide spectrum of boating activity including cruising sailors, powerboaters, sea anglers, divers and sail training organisations.
Royal Quays Marina also acts as a busy harbour catering for a variety of commercial vessels including charter, fishery protection, commercial fishing boats, RNLI lifeboats and MOD.
A high standard of service is demonstrated by being voted Runner Up in the Marina of the Year Awards 2015 in the most prestigious UK coastal marina over 250 berths category.
The marina offers first-class boating facilities for local folk of the north-east, many of whom have a strong affinity to the sea because of the region’s ship building and maritime heritage.
The Herb Garden Harbour and new washroom facilities opened last month. The new washrooms have been designed to be the best on the coast and even feature a full sized bath so that anyone who has had a cold, wet trip can be rewarded with a long, hot soak before stepping next door for some well earned refreshment.
The nearest chandler is Storrar Marine Store three miles away. Deliveries to the marina are available for cruising sailors.
- 24 hour all tide access
- High quality, well maintained marina environment
- TYHA 4 Gold Anchor Marina
- Well trained, welcoming and friendly staff
- RYA Active Marina – regular programme of events
- A high standard of security featuring 24 hour staffing and operation by berth masters, CCTV surveillance and security controlled access to pontoon and boatyard
- Boatyard with secure storage and 40 tonne boat lift with jib crane
- Open yard policy for boatyard
- Free Wi-Fi
- New luxury washrooms
- New waterfront café bar restaurant, The Herb Garden Harbour (open 8am each day
- Diesel and petrol available 24 hours from fuel berth. Calor and Camping Gaz
- On site yacht and powerboat brokerage
- RYA Sea School (power and sail)
- Reciprocal berthing at other Quay Marinas sites via the Quay Plus benefits package
- Discounted visitor berthing at over 70 marinas in UK and Europe via TransEurope Marina Membership
- Extensive range of marine services available by local contractors
BERTHING & STORAGE
Royal Quays Marina can accommodate vessels up to 30m LOA and 7m beam.
The marina originally opened with 165 berths. Three further phases of expansion have seen capacity increase to the current 350 high quality Walcon aluminum framed pontoon berths. All are fully serviced. Overall capacity is 350 afloat and 120 ashore.
The boatyard also has a 40 tonne boat hoist and jib crane.
The marina is situated on the north bank of the Tyne estuary, just 2nm from the outer pier heads. Entrance to Royal Quays Marina is via a modern sector gate ‘yacht lock’ which operates 24 hours at all states of the tide.
The entrance to the River Tyne is straightforward. Enter between the piers and follow the channel, which is clearly marked by light buoys to the narrows by North Shields Fish Quay. From here progress upstream keeping to the right hand side of the channel.
A watch should be kept for the Shields Ferry, which crosses to and fro between North and South Shields. The marina is situated in the former Albert Edward Dock. A starboard hand light marks the outer waiting pontoon, whilst the lock traffic light are mounted above and behind on the stone middle pier.
On entering the Tyne piers call ‘Tyne VTS’ on VHF CH 12. Once past North Shields Fish Quay call the marina (Call sign Royal Quays Marina) on VHF CH 80. Access is via lock gates 24 hours and locking is on demand. A waiting pontoon is available. Lines and fenders should be rigged to starboard,
The fuel berth is situated in the approach channel on the seaward side of the lock gates.
Situated close to the A19 (T) Tyne Tunnel, the marina is easily accessed by road from across the north-east. The Tyne and Wear Metro provides convenient links to Newcastle Central Station (rail) and Newcastle Airport.
Royal Quays is adjacent to the DFDS ferry terminal, which provides daily sailings to and from Ijmuiden.
Recommendations for a day cruise include Blyth (Royal Northumberland Yacht Club) to the north or Sunderland to the south. Both are a two-hour sail. Alternatively head up to the River Tyne to Newcastle Quayside (8nm) and moor in the heart of the city beneath the iconic Newcastle bridges for a spot of culture and a fabulous night in the ‘toon’.
For a weekend cruise head north to the Northumberland (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) coast. Amble (23nm) is at the southern end of the AONB coast and there are stunning anchorages at Low Newton, the Farne Islands and Holy Island. A cruise along this coast takes in all the famous Northumberland castles at Warkworth, Dunstanburgh, Bamburgh and Holy Island.
For those interested in longer distance cruising either make your way north to the many small harbours of the Firth of Forth or for the more adventurous Royal Quays is an excellent starting point for a passage across the North Sea to Holland (240nm), offering the prospect of an enjoyable fortnight holiday cruising the Ijselmeer and Amsterdam.
Note that strong onshore winds and seas can make entry into north-east harbours dangerous, but thankfully the prevailing wind is offshore.
The newly opened café bar restaurant The Herb Garden Harbour is guaranteed to be a big hit with sailors and locals alike.
For those looking to take a stroll or a short taxi ride North Shields Fish Quay has lots of atmosphere and an interesting mix of eating and drinking establishments, as does the attractive Tynemouth Village overlooking the harbour mouth.
There are supermarkets in North Shields town centre, one mile away.
THINGS TO DO
The city of Newcastle is an exciting regional capital with stunning classical architecture and a vibrant nightlife and cultural scene. It always dispels wrongly held preconceptions held by many from further south.
A great maritime heritage on the River Tyne, a must is a visit to Newcastle’s Discovery Museum to see Turbinia. Charles Parsons’ 34m steam powered ship was once the fastest ship in the world and an iconic part of the history of Tyneside. (discoverymuseum.org.uk/about-us/about-discovery-museum)