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Things to do in Mudeford, Dorset

The usual things you see from Mudeford Spit
The View from Mudeford Spit - Click Photos for Slideshow © Jim Champion via Flickr

Overlooking the entrance to Christchurch Harbour in Dorset, Mudeford is a sleepy fishing village with great charm and history.

Its old fishermen's cottages and historic Haven House Inn were linked with smuggling enterprises in past times.

Haven House Inn, Mudeford Quay, Dorset
Haven House Inn © Mike Cattell via Flickr

In 1784, a skirmish between bootleggers and Customs Officers took place near Mudeford Quay it what became known as the Battle of Mudeford.

Waiting for the Ferry
Waiting for the Ferry © Jim Champion via Flickr

Hannah Seller was the landlady at the Haven House Inn at that time and the pub was used to provide cover for the smugglers.

One Customs officer was killed and one of the smugglers was later executed for the crime.

Bure Homage House was built in the early 19th century by Sophie Dawes, daughter of a famous smuggler and known for her scandalous lifestyle.

All that remains today are the Bure Homage Gardens and lodge house.

The delightful All Saints Church was built in 1869 by the owner of Bure Homage House, Mortimer Ricardo.

In 1801, George III visited Mudeford and used a bathing machine to enjoy the local waters.

Mudeford's moment of glory came when a troopship foundered in the bay in 1809.

All 100 soldiers were saved by the brave actions of the fishermen in the village.

Present Day Mudeford

Situated on the River Mude, the town currently has about 4000 residents. It is the centre of the local fishing industry with lobster pots piled up along the quay.

The ferry runs from the Quay to neighbouring Christchurch and to Mudeford Sandbank, a spit of land adjoining Hengistbury Head.

Mudeford Quay is an authentic working dock at the entrance to Christchurch Harbour which is known as "The Run". It is a calm area of water for enjoying sailing and windsurfing.

Mudeford Spit
Mudeford Spit © Jim Champion via Flickr

The park area is popular for picnics, kite-flying, and ball games. There is also a children's play area, an RNLI inshore lifeboat station and a cafe, pub and a fresh fish stall.

The town has a historic theatre and cinema as well as an interesting collection of local history exhibits at the Red House Museum.

Cafes, gifts shops, inns and restaurants make this a pleasant place to visit or to live.

Historic buildings in the village include the Grade 2 listed Mudeford House, Waterford Lodge Hotel, the Grade 2 listed Sandford Hotel which once hosted the Post Office, and the Nelson Tavern.

Look for the 1856 Victorian letterbox next to The Moorings.

Mudeford Harbour
Mudeford Harbour © Shaun Dunphy via Flickr

There are two nearby wooded areas and a recreation ground with a cricket pitch, probably dating back to the 1860s.

Things to Do in Mudeford

Mudeford is a mecca for watersports fans and fishing enthusiasts.

Avon Beach has beautiful sands and Blue Flag awarded waters.

There is a pleasant promenade linking the quay with the beach, which is ideal for swimming, windsurfing and taking boat trips across the Solent.

Other local activities include fishing, kayaking, boat hire and browsing artworks at the local art galleries.

Beach huts at Mudeford © Herry Lawford via Flickr

Stanpit Marsh is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and the wetlands are popular for bird watching, especially during the winter migration.

Pick up details of the local flora and fauna from the Information Caravan located at the entrance.

Further afield, Christchurch Priory, Highcliffe Castle and the Old Mill are interesting places to visit from Mudeford.

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