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McConks’ stand up paddle boarding bitesize travel guides: Mudeford Harbour, Christchurch, Dorset.


Mudeford Harbour, Christchurch, Dorset

Spot type:

Sheltered, but tidal, shallow water venue with a long fishing history. Nowadays more the haven of boating enthusiasts looking for safe haven and watersports practitioners.


Mudeford Harbour is pretty flat, even when winds blow hard. You do get some chop and flow but it never gets too hectic in terms of waves and such. You’ll need to be mindful of the outgoing tide that rips through the narrow gap and will ferry SUPers out into the English Channel quick smart. Without breeze it’s a relatively small and easy going playing field that’d suit recreational/beginner paddlers.


There are LOTS of mooring lines, buoys, lobster pots and other ‘tethers’ to keep well away from. Some boating traffic exists – especially during high season. And the tide can be strong in Mudeford Harbour mouth. Common sense prevails basically.


Access is simple, with the ability to park right next to the water and launch straight off the bat. You may have to jostle for space though in summer.

Popularity (1-10):

Mudeford can be fairly busy but it never really gets excessive on the water. 6-8.


There’s a sailing club, local pub and a few shops within relative easy walking distance. The open sea frontage of Avon has a few more seaside restaurants and beachside shops. Generally though Mudeford Harbour is quiet, which is saying something for this area!


Mudeford has been used for years as a more sheltered or storm windsurfing spot. Particularly if the open sea side of Avon is too hectic. Of late plenty stand up paddle boarders frequent Mudeford with the location being particularly good for beginners and progressing intermediates.

A large number of summer home dwellings populate the shoreline and it’s not uncommon for these inhabitants to have some form of paddle craft in their arsenal – stand up paddle boards especially. Whilst you mightn’t be entirely alone paddling here you can score quieter times.

Mellow pretty sums up the Mudeford Harbour SUP experience. There’s not really anywhere to go, unless you plan on heading into open water for some touring fun. For most the harbour’s a location to enjoy good weather and being beside the sea on sunshine days.

More McConks bitesize SUP travel guides can be found here.

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