Poole, in Dorset, on England’s south coast, is a haven for water sports. Its bay and vast harbour have become popular for windsurfing, water skiing and kitesurfing. With possibly the largest sheltered, natural harbour in Europe, it’s easy to see why.
The town has its own Water Sports Academy based on the Sandbanks Peninsula. It’s here you can learn a variety of water sports including kayaking, wakeboarding and sailing. The Academy is RYA registered, and a member of the British Kitesurfing Association, so you’ll be in safe hands no matter your skill level: www.thewatersportsacademy.com has more details.
Poole Harbour Watersports is the place to go for paddleboard tuition. With more than 20 years’ experience behind them, Poole Harbour’s shallow water is an ideal place to learn this and a variety of water sports: www.pooleharbourwatersportsschool.co.uk has more information.
The town is also home to Poole Windsurfing School. The harbour’s shallow water and personal tuition in small groups makes this a superb learning experience. For more details go to www.poolewindsurfing.co.uk.
Water sports are not just reserved for the coastal area. Venture into Poole Park, and you’ll find Rockley. The Park has the UK’s largest inland saltwater lake and is a perfect environment to learn the basics of kayaking, windsurfing and sailing. For more details call 01202-677272..
To the east of Poole lies Bournemouth. Its clear waters stretch for miles, and, like Poole, it offers a wide variety of water sports. Surf Steps at Bournemouth Surf School offers tuition in surfing and SUP. They are the south coast’s only Surfing GB Centre of Excellence and all their instructors are fully accredited: www.bournemouthsurfschool.co.uk has more information.
WK Watersports offers two-hour summer evening group paddles. These popular events enable you to expand your kayaking skills and meet like-minded enthusiasts. The sessions cost £15 and are great value. They offer quality equipment hire for both beginners and the more experienced You’ll find details at www.wkwatersports.co.uk.
For the more adventurous, try South Coast Kitesurfing, operating out of Bournemouth. Established in 2001, they are the only dedicated kitesurfing school in the district. Their lessons run seven days a week, year round and are excellent value. Call 0845-241-2422 for more details.
Bournemouth is also home to the first artificial surf reef in Europe. Designed to increase the swell hitting the shore, it’s hoped the £3m investment, the size of a submerged football pitch, will attract more keen surfers to this glorious south coast.
Bournemouth Boating Services hire out rowing and motor boats from Tuckton Tea Gardens. Running daily from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., they operate from Easter until the end of October. Costing £25 per hour for motor boats and £15 per hour for rowing boats; it’s a superb value.
Both Poole and Bournemouth have multitudes of different water sports. Clear water and miles of golden sands are amongst many of their attractions. The Dorset coast offers countless ways to just kick back and chill out. Millions of visitors flock there. Whether on or offshore, the area has it all. For full details of what both towns have to offer, visit www.bournemouth.co.uk and www.pooletourism.com.