Avon Beach is generally a safe and mellow beach, although you do have to watch as the tide ebbs out of Mudeford Harbour. The flow can be very strong and the water state gets rather confused at certain stages of the cycle. If you do get caught in the rip it’s best to ride it out before paddling back to shore.
During the tidal flood you can ride the conveyor belt from Avon Beach round into the harbour, potter about here, stop off for a bite to eat before flowing back round to Avon when the tide switches.
For those after some wave riding Avon serves up a high tide mellow surf experience with liquid walls perfect for sliding along on your sit on top kayak. The beach also acts as a storm shelter when the main Bournemouth beaches are maxing out. You can still get breaking swell during lower water but high is best.
During flatter/calmer periods you can paddle along the coast, in either direction, as there’s plenty to explore for the intrepid kayaker.
Hit up Mudeford or Avon in the summer months and there’ll generally be someone out paddling their ’yak. Outside of season, and during windy bouts, both spots will have their fair share of windsurfers blatting back and forth – worth watching out for if it’s blustery.
How to get there:
Avon Beach and Mudeford Harbour are located in Christchurch, to the east of Bournemouth and Poole. Follow directions to Christchurch and Avon and Mudeford are both sign posted from there.
Public toilets are available while a café and pub/restaurant serve food and drinks. Lifeguards are on duty during high season.
Watch out for the tide flowing in and out of Mudeford Harbour and sometimes large, if mellow, waves at Avon Beach. Other water uses, such as windsurfers and kitesurfers, descend on both spots during a good blow.
Ins and Outs:
You can put in at both Avon and Mudeford right next to the water. Car parking is available at each spot although spaces are at a premium on busy days. Overflows are up on the cliff but you’ll have to carry your gear down to the water.
Avon Beach is an open water coastal venue affected by tide. During certain types of weather easy going waves will appear at high tide that are great fun to ride. Watch out for the current flowing out of the harbour.
Mudeford is an enclosed tidal harbour that offers a sheltered paddling experience and is great for newbies or those less confident.
Bournemouth is just a short drive away with plenty more beaches to choose from – some offering better surf than Avon.
Avon Beach is a slightly sleepier location than some of its rowdier neighbours – Boscombe, Bournemouth and Poole. That said it’s still a busy spot with plenty heading to this part of Dorset during sunny weather.
Behind Avon you’ll find Mudeford Harbour which is a sheltered tidal spot perfect for beginners or if it’s too full on at Avon.
Both locations offer easy put ins and are frequented by large numbers of kayakers. Avon throws up a wave during certain times of the year while Mudeford is flat, sedate and gentile.
There’s the Noisy Lobster pub/restaurant that offers the opportunity for a well earned après paddling beverage while the Avon Beach Café and Gift Shop towards Friars Cliff offers another eating and drinking alternative.