Coastal estate

Managing a diverse property portfolio across Scotland, we work in partnership with politicians, businesses and communities, for mutual benefit.


Scotland’s coast and near-shore waters are an important and strategic national asset, managed by The Crown Estate on behalf of the nation. There is a general misconception that The Crown Estate manages all the foreshore in Scotland; we do in fact only manage around half the foreshore, the remainder being owned by a variety of private and public entities. We do, however, manage virtually all the seabed out to the 12 NM limit which gives us a unique opportunity to take a holistic and consistent approach to marine management.

Our key role, as a commercial land management organisation, is in providing the land to allow the development of infrastructure (e.g. ports and harbours, marinas, bridges, cables, pipes, moorings etc.) and activities such as dredging.

For more information on what to do if you want to carry out works on Crown Estate foreshore or seabed please see the useful documents section.

Marine Tourism

Marine Tourism plays an important role in The Crown Estate’s Scottish activities. Studies have suggested that sailing alone is worth in the region of £100 million to the Scottish economy.

In March 2015 a marine tourism strategy for Scotland – ‘Awakening the Giant’– was launched, and we continue to work with Royal Yachting Association Scotland (RYA Scotland), Highlands and Islands Enterprise, British Marine, Sail Scotland, Scottish Canals and other industry partners to put in place the key facilities and programmes to cement Scotland’ position as a key marine tourism destination.

A marine tourism strategy for Scotland: ‘Awakening the Giant’


As well as providing expertise and support for research programmes, The Crown Estate has made significant investments in recent years, for example: £250,000 towards creating a 70-berth marina in Wick in partnership with Wick Harbour Authority, and over £400,000 in new pontoons and services at Loch Maddy in North Uist.

The Crown Estate also owns Rhu Marina, which is managed on a day-to-day basis by Quay Marinas. The £2.3 million programme of improvements to facilities at Rhu reflects our commitment to secure the Clyde’s position as a premier marine tourism hub for Scotland's west coast.

Rhu Marina

Working with coastal communities

Managing marine activities in Scotland is a complex activity, requiring a range of skills and partnership working.

People who live and work on the coast are increasingly coming together to form community organisations to install and build facilities to help sustain local businesses and provide leisure opportunities for residents and visitors alike.

The Crown Estate can play an important role in helping community groups realise their plans, whether it is through providing early certainty on agreements for our land via one of our Local Management Agreements (LMAs)  or providing help, support and advice on community consultation, we have significant expertise community groups are able to call on.

Some community groups involved in land acquisitions may wish to purchase foreshore adjacent to the land being bought, to help this process we developed pilot project and in May 2015, Carloway Estate Trust on the Isle of Lewis became the first community group to acquire foreshore from The Crown Estate.

Further information

Moorings in Scotland