Paddle Boarding South England invites us to explore this area via river, lake and sea. Here are three Dorset detailed routes from the book to navigate on SUP, canoe or kayak.

However, the book also features Charmouth to Lyme Regis and West Bay to Bridport.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: Litton Lakes near Dorchester, ideal for beginners. (Photo: Lisa Drewe)Litton Lakes near Dorchester, ideal for beginners. (Photo: Lisa Drewe)

Great for Families: Litton Lakes 

Perfect family paddling on crystal-clear waters overlooked by the Dorset Downs and only a short distance from the fabulous Jurassic Coast. At this small, spring-fed lake with camping, glamping, and a great café, you’ll share the water with its main residents – two friendly ‘gobby geese’.

After a gentle paddle around the lake’s island, you’ll see and hear plenty more wildlife – the aerial ballet of the numerous damselflies or the plop of one of the many frogs leaping into the water. The lake is a great base for exploring this beautiful corner of Dorset – if you can pull yourself away from its cool waters. Onsite, the Purple Turtle is a chalet-style café serving great coffee, cakes, and snacks on a wooden terrace overlooking the lake. It even sells wood and marshmallows for toasting on your own firepit at night. The popular local pub is just a short walk away along an off-road track, thoughtfully created through one of the site’s fields. This is a very civilised, wild family adventure.

Distance: Free-range

Paddling Environment: 1 (small area protected, never far from bank)

Access Restrictions: Non-campers can use the lake to swim & SUP; £5/half day to self-launch SUP or swim.

Starting Point: Litton Lakes, Litton Lane, Dorchester, DT2 9DH (Grid ref. SY 5450 8970) Launching: Lakeside, short walk from campsite.

Pitstops: Purple Turtle, Litton Lakes (weekends only); White Horse Inn, Litton Lane (10-minute walk), tel. 01308 482539.

Hire: SUP hire or weekend yoga session: book through Jez at or

tel. 07580 169622.

Getting There: A35 east from Bridport, turn right at West Compton crossroads, continue through Litton Cheney village, then along Litton Road following signs to Lakes.

Special Points: Ideal place for beginners and families.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: Explore Bramble Bush Bay and its islands. (Photo: Lisa Drewe)Explore Bramble Bush Bay and its islands. (Photo: Lisa Drewe)

A Three Island Paddle: Bramble Bay 

Paddle in an extraordinarily beautiful location and explore three lesser-known islands of Poole Harbour, a world away from the bustle of its north shore. Launch from the northeast side of Bramblebush Bay and head southwest (left), parallel to Studland Heath nature reserve to reach large, shallow Brand’s Bay which drains and fills quickly with turning tides. Paddle towards small marshy, Drove Island, sitting in the south of this bay, then head north alongside the dense coniferous woods of the peninsula to Goathorn Point.

The Pier at its tip was originally built to transfer Purbeck ball clay to ocean-going vessels waiting in deeper waters. Heading left at the point, enter the waters of South Deep and pass the entrance to the marshy, wild inlet of Newton Bay before paddling around Green Island. The third largest in Poole Harbour with a 20-metre highpoint and a huge eco-house, this island is privately owned and an important nature reserve.

Across the channel, pine-clad Furzey Island is the second largest in Poole Harbour and the oil from the 20 wells here at the Wytch Farm field (the largest onshore field in Britain) is delivered via pipeline directly to Southampton. From here, return to Bramblebush Bay. The full trip can be shortened at any point

Distance: 9km return

Paddling Environment: 3 (predominantly sheltered bay)

Starting Point: Bramble Bush Bay, Ferry Road, Studland, BH19 3BA. Grid Ref. SZ 0354 8654

Launching: Beach, 300m walk from car park.

Parking: Shell Bay NT car park (free to members), Ferry Road, Swanage, BH19 3BA

Pitstops: Wonderfully located, laid-back seafood restaurant, Shell Bay Café, tel. 01929 450363.

Lessons, tours: Adventure360,

Getting There: From Studland, continue along Ferry Road to Shell Bay car park (on right next to Sandbanks Ferry terminus). To get to beach follow Ferry Road towards ferry, launch close to Shell Bay Café. Bus: Purbeck Breezer 50 regular services from Bournemouth to Swanage, via Sandbanks and Studland.

Special Points: Leave 3 hours before high tide for assistance from flooding tide; return at high/slack tide. On neap tides, water levels within Poole Harbour don’t change massively, but on springs this shallow area dries out and it’s easy to get marooned. Always check tide times to ensure there is enough water to paddle in.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: Explore the Stour and the Avon at Christchurch. (Photo: Lisa Drewe)Explore the Stour and the Avon at Christchurch. (Photo: Lisa Drewe)

Stour & Avon Paddle: Christchurch Two River Loop

A fantastic two-river paddle on the Stour and Avon where they enter Christchurch Harbour, with good views of the town and over peaceful nature reserves. Launch from the slipway at Mayors Mead onto the Stour and turn left towards the sea and harbour, passing between the rows of moored boats and open fields.

After the Christchurch Sailing Club, take the left fork (straight ahead) to enter the river Avon, then the next left fork past the various marinas looking out for magnificent 11th-century Christchurch Priory, then the ruins of the Norman House on the left. Pass under the low arches of the bridge then take the right fork around the furthest point of this route past meadows and woodland, before passing back under the second bridge of Bridge Street and along a stretch with more marinas.

Don’t miss the ‘paddle up coffee stop’ at the super-friendly and knowledgeable SUP Store on the left for great barista coffee and paddling chat. Continue along the Avon and back to where it meets the Stour, then upstream back to the launch point. A 6 kilometre extension from Mayors Mead upriver (right) to Ilford Bridge is also possible.

Distance: 3.5km return

Paddling Environment: 2 (some flow, maybe obstacles in water or from bank)

Starting Point: Mayors Mead, Wick Lane, Christchurch. Grid Ref: SZ 1565 9228

Launching: Slipway adjacent to car park.

Parking: Mayors Mead car park, Wick Lane, Christchurch, BH23 1NY.

Pitstops: Great coffee, snacks, and chats at the SUP Store, tel. 07857 268918.

Hire, lessons, tours: SUP Store, Little Avon Marina, Christchurch, BH23 1HW, tel. 07857 268918;; also run regular events and river cleans.

Getting There: Exit A338 at Bournemouth Hospital, continue on A35 into Christchurch. At Fountain Roundabout take 4th exit onto Soper’s Lane following signs to Wick Lane Ferry Slipway.

Special Points: Combination of ebbing tide/river flow can create strong flows at river bends; always check tide times. Paddle only on normal river conditions and avoid after high rainfall due to fast flowing water. Anglers and shallows may be encountered north of bridges.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: Paddle Boarding South West England (Photo: Wild Things Publishing)Paddle Boarding South West England (Photo: Wild Things Publishing)

Featuring more than 100 stunning locations across Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Wiltshire and Somerset, Paddle Boarding South West England provides all the practical information you’ll need for trips out on the water by paddleboard, canoe or kayak, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned paddler. There are 16 Dorset routes:

Charmouth to Lyme Regis

Litton Lakes

West Bay to Bridport

Portland Harbour Explorer

Lulworth Cove to Durdle Door

Kimmeridge Bay

Swanage Bay Explorer

Studland to Old Harry Rocks

Bramble Bush Bay and Islands

Brownsea Island Circumnavigation

Whitley Lake, Poole Harbour

Wareham to Gigger’s Island

Eye Bridge to Coventry Arms

Blandford to Keyneston Mill

Christchurch Two Rivers Loop

Mudeford Quay and Christchurch Harbour

Paddle Boarding South West England: 100 places to SUP, Canoe & Kayak by Lisa Drewe is published by Wild Things Publishing at £18.99. Dorset magazine readers can enjoy a 25% discount and free P&P using the code Dorset23 at

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: Lisa Drewe author of the book with her dog. (Photo: Lisa Drewe)Lisa Drewe author of the book with her dog. (Photo: Lisa Drewe) MEET THE AUTHOR:

Lisa Drewe is the award-winning author of Islandeering, Island Bagging and founder of Following a career that included the Foreign Office and National Trust, she is now a full-time writer and photographer. Dividing her time between Wiltshire and the Isle of Skye, Lisa is chair of the charity, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, and an Ordnance Survey Outdoor Champion.