Local Information

The South West plays host to a wide range of shipping. Teignmouth is still a thriving port, with between 5 and 10 ships calling in an average week, and a few miles along the coast is Torbay, which has a variety of shipping uses. Further sources of local information can be found on the Links page.


Teignmouth is a thriving port, handling between 5 and 10 ships in an average week.

The main export is ball clay. This is mined locally in Newton Abbot, and shipped all over Europe in coasters of various descriptions.

A wide range of imports are handled, including farm products such as animal feed and fertiliser, and blast furnace slag, a biproduct of the refining process at the steel works in Port Talbot. This is shipped on vessels of the 'Lass' fleet, calling roughly once a fortnight.

Ships can be photographed at any time from the river beach, however the best time to catch them is whilst they are moving. This is typically an hour either side of high water, and photos can be taken on the Teignmouth side, or more popularly, from Shaldon, the village on the opposite river bank.


Torbay provides a safe anchorage for ships, and good shelter except in easterly gales.

English Channel pilotage, the pilot station being 1.5 miles north east of Berry Head, is provided by Torbay and Brixham Shipping Agents, who also supply their services to ships calling in for in-water hull surveys, repairs, stores or crew changes.

Torquay harbour is no longer used for commercial cargoes, but vessels very occassionally come alongside. Warships also visit the bay during exercises in the Channel.


Dartmouth is a small port dominated by Britannia, the Royal Naval College. Cruise liners and warships visit the port, mooring in the river, although small warships can go alongside the quay above the higher ferry. Good vantage points are at Dartmouth Castle and Higher Kingswear.