BeachPeople is an adult-only Ocean Sports Club based on the South Coast of Dorset. The coast stretches from Christchurch to Studland and provides an amazing array of Ocean Sports and BeachPeople aims to be the gateway to as many sports here as it safely can.
This page is for our friends In The City (I was one once, two years and a lifetime ago) – its initially going to take the form of FAQs and it’ll probably evolve from there, so check back from time to time. Here we go:
So. I’m in London and you’re in Dorset – what gives? Well, it’s two hours direct from London Waterloo, and with a National Railcard (£30pa from https://www.network-railcard.co.uk) it costs about £35 return to Bournemouth, and a few quid more to Poole. Being a member of the Club allows you to arrange to meet others in a London pub on a Friday pm and hop on the same train to Paradise.
Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch – these sound like old people places and I’m barely thirty! Sure – all the old people have all the houses but that's because they are better than us. We’re here for the beach and the Ocean. There are very few rivers draining into this stretch of coastline and those there are drop their silt in Christchurch and Poole harbour so the beaches are a fine golden sand with the occasional dunes, and the water is clear and clean with a slight green tint. It’s the warmest water in the UK and you can get here without a cavity search. Then there is Studland – a huge area of outstanding natural beauty that’s a £1, 20-minute chain ferry ride away.
So I arrive in Bournemouth by train - what then? The buses are your friend around here. Clickit2Ride is an app that allows you to buy a day traveller for the M1 and M2 buses for £3.70 – they cover the whole coast between them and are embarrassingly frequent (every 6 minutes at peak and there are night buses). The reason buses beat trains is that there aren’t that many stations and those there are generally not close to the water. On top of that there are the open top buses that will take you on the ferry to Studland (hourly). There are plenty of taxis too and Uber is due here soon.
What about driving? M25 M3 M27 Ringwood Bournemouth. https://www.rac.co.uk/route-planner/. Watch the speed camera on the Wessex Way 40/50/40mph – it’s a big money earner for plod.
What about Hotels etc? As In The City is just starting we haven’t yet established relationships with hotels so I can only recommend the ones I stayed in when I first came here but there are hundreds to choose from – some with outdoor pools and others that aren’t full of children and wee. Location is important unless you want a long steep walk - there are big cliffs here.
Is it good for cycling? Definitely bring a bike. There are hills inland to keep the Daleks out but the real joy is the prom that stretches for about an hour’s ride (20mph to 10mph limits, not usable July & August between 10am & 6pm) then hop on the ferry and head off to Studland.
What about SUPs? We arrange days on the water with established rental companies and we have good relationships with two perfectly-placed rental centres that can accommodate our numbers (24 SUPs last time inc 3 instructors). The best location is around Sandbanks as you have the choice of Harbour (flat) and Coast (can be lumpy).
How about Canoes and Kayaks? As with SUPs we have built up relationships with the right people in the right places so there’s a range from one-hour hire to full day expeditions to choose from. Quiite a few of us have our own boats too.
How’s the surf? There are two piers – Bournemouth and Boscombe – around which the sand has built up and as a result you get way longer rides there than elsewhere, where longshore drift has deepened the sea meaning waves build up quite close to shore and then dump. We use a surf hire shack between the two piers. See the MagicSeaweed Boscombe surf cameras for more.
No kids? Yup – no kids.
Dogs? Ideally yes but some venues, no.
Is nobody going to ask about Fin Swimming? No? Bueller? Bueller?
To The Beach!