Found: idyllic beach less than 2 hours away!

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Take one New Zealander husband. Plant him in the most landlocked county in England. Watch the sun shine and his mood darken…
Yes, it’s safe to say that S is a bit grumpy about living so far away from a beach, and for years we’ve been trying to find some coast that is close enough for a day trip but also meets his exacting kiwi beach standards.

But I’m happy to report that finally – dear God, finally – we’ve found it. The perfect sandy sojourn if you live in Bucks/Oxon or a little beyond. It’s Mudeford Sandbank, in Dorset (nearest town: Christchurch), an easy two hour drive from Muddy Towers to the most exquisite set of white sandy beaches, each enclosed wooden groynes or rocks.

Finn on Mudeford beach

The beaches are a two minute chug across to the spit on a ferry, and as you arrive you’ll see a fantastic cafe/bar/restaurant, The Beach House, open all week from 10am-6pm, and until 10pm on a Saturday night if you really can’t bear to leave. Next door is a small shop with the basics (wipes, nappies, sweets, cereal etc) if you’re planning on staying the night or need emergency child-bribing rations.

Attractive, colourful, much-loved beach huts line the beach – if you have a spare £100,000 knocking around you can buy one – and there’s not a beer belly or knotted handkerchief in sight.

Did I mention there's an ice cream counter too?

You can either park at Mudeford Quay and get the little boat, or start from Hengistbury Head (go to Christchurch and follow the signs) and walk/scoot/cycle the mile or so to the beach. There’s a little Noddy train that goes both ways if you want some help getting back to the car.

All in all, an idyllic day out. Enjoy it.

Good for: families of all ages, watersports enthusiasts (Christchurch Harbour is on the ferry side of the spit), romantics

Bad for: British beach traditionalists. Donkey rides, Punch & Judy and arcades are 5 miles down the road in Bournmouth.

Mudeford Quay: BH23 4AB. Call 07968 334441 for up to date ferry information.

Mudeford Beach Hut Association for hut rentals and sales

4 comments on “Found: idyllic beach less than 2 hours away!”

  • Rachel. B March 22, 2012

    Hero, you legend… thanks so much for this gem of beach info. I’m a ‘land-locked in Bucks kiwi’ too… First fine week-end it’s slip, slop, slap…togs and jandals on… we’re outta here!! Will make a change from dragging the husbando and cherubs to Wales. Love the blog… you really make me smile !!

    Reply
    • Muddy Stilettos March 22, 2012

      Thank you, so pleased you enjoy the blog. Eefinitely try Mudeford – my husband feels really at home there. We’ll probably see you on the beach! x

      Reply
  • Chris Ayriss June 3, 2013

    Hi Please could you link the photograph you have used to my web page? http://swimmingnews.wordpress.com/2012/05/11/the-0pening-of-rutland-water-bathing-beach-has-been-delayed-due-to-the-drought/

    Reply
    • muddystiletto June 4, 2013

      Hi Chris, I’m sorry if I’ve used something without permission. Can you tell me the photo and the feature please? The link you gave isn’t from a feature I’ve written.

      Reply

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Bucks & Oxon