Places to Paddleboard in Dorset

May 14, 2023 | Activities | 0 comments

It’s that time of year to dust or wash down the paddleboard, check all the equipment works and head to one of your fave SUP / Paddleboard in Dorset spots. To get you started here are 5 of my favourite spots.

It goes without saying to check the weather, wind and tides before you paddle and make sure you have all the correct equipment.

1. River Brit (Bridport to West Bay)

West Bay - why not stop & grab a snack from one of the yummy hutsPin this image on Pinterest
West Bay – why not stop & grab a snack from one of the yummy huts
  • Location: This is one of my favourite paddles and is approximately a 4 km round trip from Bridport to West Bay and back, paddling past Melplash showground.
  • Level: You’ll need to know what you’re doing for this spot, as you paddle round bends, under trees and against the wind at times. Also, would recommend wearing a buoyancy aid and waist leash.
  • Access: Park at the Bridport football ground car park. £1 for one hour, £2.20 for 2 hours and free on Sunday (according to Google). You’ll need to cross the road and launch on the river by Palmer’s Brewery. It’s a bit rocky getting in, so go careful. Note: I don’t believe you need a licence to paddle on this stretch of the river.
  • Top Tip: Paddle towards West Bay and moor up and check out the little foody huts at West Bay or even stop for a drink at The Rise pub. Remember to take money with you!

2. Old Harry Rocks (Middle Beach to Old Harry Rocks)

Sunrise at Old Harry RocksPin this image on Pinterest
Sunrise at Old Harry Rocks
  • Location: Old Harry Rocks is one of the most picturesque areas of the stunning Jurassic Coast near Studland.
  • Level: Intermediate. You’ll need to know what you’re doing when it comes to reading the wind and tides. We went with a guide from Apex Expedition as part of a package for my birthday.
  • Access: If you’re an early bird you could park on the road near The Pig Hotel – Manor Road / Beach Road. There is also a car park nearby and then head down to Middle Beach.
  • Top Tip: Set the alarm early for an early sunrise SUP – you won’t regret it. Take it all in when you’re paddling around Old Harrys and make sure you dock up and take a wander on the beach.
  • If you like the sound of this paddle, you can read more here from when I headed there with my best friend for a surprise birthday SUP.

3. Litton Lakes

Paddle and bird watching at the same timePin this image on Pinterest
Paddle and bird watching at the same time
  • Location: A beautiful campsite and lakes near Burton Bradstock amongst the ducks!  You’ll need to book an online pass to SUP or swim. A half-day pass costs £5.
  • Level: It’s very sheltered and doesn’t get too windy – perfect for finding your paddleboard legs again if you’re new to the sport or have little ones.
  • Access: Parking is close to the lakes and it’s really easy to get on and off the lake.
  • Top Tip: Grab a coffee and yummy cake at the Purple Turtle café afterwards.

4. Sandsfoot Castle and Beach

Great views of the castle ruinsPin this image on Pinterest
Great views of the castle ruins
  • Location: Where else can you say you’ve paddled near a castle (well ruins)? This idyllic spot is located between Weymouth and Portland
  • Level: Sandsfoot Beach is pretty sheltered so would be okay for all levels of paddleboarding, if you do paddle around to Sandsfoot Castle stay close to the coastline.
  • Access: Parking gets very busy along Old Castle Road, so this one is great for an early sunrise SUP.
  • Top Tip: Go early to grab a parking space and if you do get a chance pop along to the Sandsfoot café for a post-SUP coffee and cake

5. Lulworth Cove

Early morning view of Lulworth CovePin this image on Pinterest
Early morning view of Lulworth Cove
  • Location: The iconic Lulworth Cove on the Jurassic Coast needs no introduction. It’s breathtaking from all angles and is on many paddleboarders’ places-to-visit lists.
  • Level: If you stay within Lulworth Cove which is sheltered it would be suitable for beginners, if you venture outside and along to Durdle Door you will need to make sure you’re a confident paddleboarder and have the correct equipment. There are often guided SUPs along the Jurassic Coast which you can find online.
  • Access: Park at Lulworth Cove car park. It’s £5.20 for 4 hours on Just Park. You can inflate your boards in the car park and then walk down to the Cove to launch.
  • Top Tip: It’s worth going early for sunrise and beating the crowds. When the sea is calm it’s great for sea dipping and swimming. You might also spot the odd celeb – Fearne Cotton is a huge fan of the positive mental health effects of sea swimming.

Discover the 5 SUP spots on Google here. Also, you might like one of my previous blogs Top 10 places to paddleboard in Dorset

Have you SUPed / paddleboarded in any of these locations before? Where’s your favourite place to SUP in Dorset? Drop a comment below.

Note: Before you decide to head out SUPing / paddleboarding please check if your location needs a permit to launch and of course be careful of the weather and respect the water. Here are a few wise notes before you head out SUPing:

  • Wear a suitable leash – either ankle or waist depending on the water flow.
  • Wear a buoyancy aid – Palm Equipment have some great ones.
  • Check the weather before heading out as it can change quickly.
  • Tell someone your paddling route and timings.
  • Check if you need a permit to launch.
  • Understand your paddling environment.
  • Have a way of being able to self-rescue.

Becky x

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