Properties of the surface and bottom circulation in the north-west Weddell and south Scotia seas in the region 59–66°S, 36–46°W are examined. The bottom currents have been recorded at different heights from 5–800 m above the seabed, and surface velocities have been obtained from the drift tracks of ARGOS buoys deployed in ice floes. The tidal regime is mixed and the power of motions at inertial frequencies is very variable and most dominant in the Scotia Sea. Flow is influenced by topography, effects of which are seen in eddy features and the damping of inertial motions in some areas. The sea ice motion is shown to be influenced by the bottom topography at very low frequencies whilst tidal periodicities observed in the north-western Weddell Sea are below the level of the noise in the region of the study. In this area the higher frequency ice motion is mainly wind driven with little of the energy being transferred to the underlying deep water.