Enjoy a relaxing scenic paddle along two miles of tidal water, starting at Iford Bridge where you can park for free and enter the water easily. If you want breakfast before you begin I recommend the Old Bridge Tea Rooms.
Follow the meandering river heading away from the Bridge, although Stour means 'the strong powerful one' the course is suitable for novices, the river is full of Mullet, Bass and Flounder head for Tuckton Bridge and on towards Christchurch, you will hear the bells of the priory and enjoy the ambiance of Christchurch Quay from your priviledged position and opposite the unspoilt village of Wick where the ferry takes foot passengers across to the quay.
At Christchurch the Stour meets the Avon, the main river flows past historic Hengistbury Head (also a site of special scientific interest) dating back to 10,000BC one of only 25 from the Old Stone Age period.
Head towards the colourful beach huts at Mudeford Sandpit and take a leisurely break for lunch at The Beach House Cafe - the view is great and the food is fabulous.
At Mudeford the river enters the sea through a narrow channel known as 'The Run' which is best avoided unless you are extremely brave and experienced! If you enjoy sea kayaking the sandy beaches of Avon and Southbourne are close by and offer a contrast to the serenity of the river for those wanting to enjoy the surf.
Old Bridge Tea Rooms 16, Old Bridge Road, Iford, Bournemouth Tel:01202 477110
The Beach House Cafe, Mudeford Sandbank, Broadway,Southbourne. www.beachhousecafe.co.uk
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