Stand Up Paddleboarding, Christchurch

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Avon Beach is a place I never tire of visiting. Perfectly encapsulating Dorset’s enviable watersports culture, summer evenings bring throngs of local watery enthusiasts to this perfect arc of sand.

In fact, crouching deep within the dunes of Mudeford Spit is Britain’s most valuable beach hut. The teeny tongue and groove mansion has beds for six, boat storage, and views of some of the finest estuarine and coastal scenery to be found anywhere in England.

Sadly, my budget couldn’t match the £170,000 asking price.

Suffused in a dewy drizzle, the slimy tarmac glowed beneath a weak promise of sunshine as we returned to Mudeford, one Sunday morning in early September.

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The beach, pock-marked by raindrops, supported a continuous stream of cagouled strollers; as I struggled valiantly into a wetsuit.

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The SUP, sandy from a week’s paddling all over the Bay, propelled me seawards; towards distant yachts enjoying racing at the Needles, and over a faint, pewter-toned swell.

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Fantastically shaped storm clouds surged for the island, shaking their metaphorical fists at the jetskis and cruisers that breezed past, searching for sanctuary in the harbour.

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After half an hour of feeling wonderfully balanced, I finally succumbed to the waves and fell beneath the surface of the sea, where silver turned to green and back again as I surfaced, chilly yet refreshed.

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The RNLI lifeguards seemed visibly relieved as I waded ashore, observed by the requisite band of bemused onlookers.

Avon Beach is a great place to come for a day of watery fun; whether SUP, kitesurfing, windsurfing, kayaking or simply sunbathing.

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