Avon Beach, Dorset

Avon beach is one of the more well known beaches around Bournemouth and Christchurch. It has very easy access and therefore is a popular beach for sunbathers on a hot summers day but still has the comfortable feeling of a beach not frequented by beer box, pram pulling and litter dropping fools. The beach is popular amongst windsurfers probably because it caters for a wide variety of learning abilities. Quite often there is a small wave reeling off the sand bar and it does, on it’s day, have great down-the-line potential and fun jumping. I have heard as well that on a high tide with a swell period higher than your average there will be enough ground swell to produce a sick wave on the outer sandbar. What else? Well I guess it is worth mentioning it is at the mouth of the Avon River, that is, Christchurch harbour entrance.

Beach Faces:

South-east.

Best Wind Direction:

South-west, South. East/North-east is definitely sailable although it is mainly choppy windsurfing unless it’s a good Force 5 wind which can then throw up enough waves to jump off.

Best Wind Direction For Waves:

South westerly winds bring the best swell. Depending on how deep the generating low pressure is this can be anything from just good jumping to fun wave-riding.

Not Good:

North/North-west, but in this direction if you will settle for freestyle you can go sailing in Christchurch harbour (providing there is water).

Tide:

Incoming tide is best, pushing the waves up and nearer high tide because of the shallow shelving nature of the beach.

What’s On The Bottom:

Sand and pebbles.

Any Hazards:

The sea floor is quite shallow around this area and so for the unwary windsurfer sailing at low tide you should watch out for a number of sand bars with fin snapping potential.

Other Water Users:

The odd kitesurfer. Plus quite a lot of pleasure craft move in and out of Chistchurch harbour through the channel. This is clearly marked with red and green buoys.

Suitability / Levels:

Beginner to Advanced.

Wipeout Factor:

Minimal, it never gets heavy here except a shore break sometimes at high tide.

Instruction:

YES Ian Hunter is a very well respected instructor in the area, for more information visitwww.southcoastwindsurfing.com or call 07734467220. PlusOcean Sports also does tuition. Look for a branded Transporter or ask Mark at Spot On Water.

Kit Hire:

None

Friendly Factor:

Quite a chilled place, never gets that busy except for the summer sea breeze days.

No Wind Alternatives:

Quite a chilled place, never gets that busy except for the summer sea breeze days.

Surfable?:

Er, only for the longboard enthusiast.

Facilities:

Toilets

In Avon Beach Cafe or on Mudeford Quay nr The Haven Pub

Shower

No.

Windsurfing Shop

Spot on Water is the nearest:
312 Lymington Road
Highcliffe
BH23 5ET
Telephone: 01425 272509

Food

There is quite a special cafe on the beach with its own website!

Parking

Yes, but it works out to be about £1 per hour.

Pub

The Haven Pub is the nearest on Christchurch Quay. There are lots of pubs in Christchurch and on the way there. The nearest of these being the Ship in Distress.

Accommodation:

Go to www.christchurchdorset.co.uk Or email info@bournemouth.co.uk Tel.01202 451700 for the Bournemouth Tourist Board.

Local Hotshots:

Andy King, James Cox, Matt Wemms and the Spot On Water crew.

Extra:

Christchurch Sailing Club, which resides at Steamer Point just downwind of Avon beach. For further details phone Simon Bell on 07717570975, alternatively email:info@christchurchboardsailingclub.com. The club also has a reasonable website: www.christchurchboardsailingclub.com.

Avon Beach held the first Super X event in the UK in July 2005 organised by Spot on Water.

Tides: For information on tide times, visit the following link:tide times. If you decide to sail Christchurch harbour make sure you check the tides!!

How To Get There:

If you are coming from the East or the North then you will need to get to the M27 around Southampton and continue west. Turn off at Junction 1 onto the A337 to Lyndhurst. Once you reach Lyndhurst then take the A35 all the way to Christchurch. At the double roundabout take a left onto the A337 at the second roundabout. Take the 3rd exit on the next and follow this road until it turns 90 degrees to your right at which point turn left. If you pass Spot-on-Water you’ve gone to far!

Report By:

James Cox.

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