Undoubtedly, Dorset and the Jurassic Coast offer some great opportunities to enjoy coastal activities and watersports. From Weymouth to Poole and Bournemouth, the region is home to some of the best coastal adventures.
Whether you are getting a jump on next summer, or the idea of a wetsuit and sea adventures are calling you right now, the area is renowned for its coastal activities. There are a number of businesses that can teach, support and equip you for water ports – all while you enjoy the luxury and convenience of one of our holiday cottages in Dorset.
Before hitting the water, here are some ideas of the best ways to enjoy Dorset’s vibrant coast:
Sailing and Yachting
When the Summer Olympics were held in London in 2012, the sailing events were held in and around Weymouth Harbour. Along the coast of Dorset, sailing has been a popular activity for over two centuries. King George moored his yacht – the Royal Sovereign – in Weymouth, and the region gave the world the racing Weymouth Falcon Dinghy Class.
The sailing marketplace has expanded to motorised yachting and day cruising as well.
The region is perfect for bringing your own craft, with a number of launch points available. Most coastal communities have their own sailing clubs, like the ones in Poole, Weymouth, Christchurch and Lyme Regis. For those hoping for a first-time sailing adventure, there are a number of companies offering lessons and excursions as well.
The Watersports Academy offers a variety of sailing activities from its location in Poole. From introductory courses to licensed RYA training, the Academy can help you get into sailing. Companies like Dorset Cruises offer a number of options to explore the water – including evening party cruises and a Swanage Pier Cruise. For those interested in yachting, Yachting Experiences operate excursions all along the coastline.
Kayaking and Coasteering
Two coastal activities have gained in popularity lately. Getting wet with sea kayaking and coasteering in and around Dorset’s major bays and coves is a fantastic activity.
One of the earliest forms of navigating the Jurassic Coast, sea kayaking can involve intense or leisurely paddling along the rocks and inlets of the area. The treks vary in distance and require a bit of planning and expertise. Weather conditions, tides and changes in currents all require some mastering. There are several licensed companies that can take you into the water and show you the ropes. The Studland Sea School offers lessons, tours and kayak hire.
Studland, and other companies like Jurassic Coast Activities, also invites visitors to take part in the latest watersports hobby to take the industry by storm. The art of coasteering has steadily become a favourite activity in Dorset and the rest of the UK. A physical challenge for all, the sport includes ocean swimming, rock climbing and a bit of diving. Participants negotiate nature’s obstacles as they move along the coastline without the aid of a boat.
In both activities, experience and safety equipment are recommended. Be sure to consult local guides for information before deciding to participate.
Feel the wind in your hair
Perhaps you would like to have a go at windsurfing, or maybe hanging from a kite is more your style. There are even power boats, wakeboarding and waterskiing to really get you moving. With so many watersport choices in Dorset, there is a world of aquatic adventure waiting for you.
Located in the harbour, Poole Windsurfing will get you into the sport in no time. They offer lessons and hire for all abilities and ages. With more than 20 years of experience, they are dedicated to the sport. Private and kids’ lessons are available as well.
If the high speeds of kitesurfing interest you, there are plenty of opportunities for that as well. Often seen as an extreme sport, participants negotiate the water while being attached to a large, manoeuvrable kite. With some practice and experience, tricks and jumps can be performed with relative ease. For more information about getting involved, the Poseidon Kite School can answer all your questions.
Finally, if power is what you’re looking for in your water adventures, speed boats, waterskiing and wakeboarding are your tickets. Based just outside of Ringwood, the Ellingham Water Ski & Wakeboard Club sits on a serene 32-acre lake. They offer a number of activities, including the above mentioned activities, barefoot skiing, and open water swimming.
Image Credits: Kyle Taylor (flickr.com)