Along the coast from Christchurch is the pretty little fishing quay of Mudeford.
Mudeford is actually a suburb of Christchurch – with it’s quaint Bed & Breakfasts and fish orientated gastro-pubs. Just past the cricket pitch is the turning towards the quay – drive slowly as it’s a blink and you’ll miss it job.
The quay itself serves a variety of uses – it’s still a working fishing quay and during the day various boats ferry huge bags of shellfish (winkles/cockles?) onto shore. The quay also serves as the ferry stop to mudeford sandbank (official site here).
The quay also sports a thriving pub, cafe, shop and fresh fish stall. From here you can buy your crab lines and bait and join the throng “hunting” crabs from over the quay side. Here is where Mudeford excels – it can seem as though all of Dorset’s crabs have accumulated in one place as at the right time your bucket can be heaving with a dozen or so crabs within half an hour.
Fending off the eager swans can be a challenge as they fuss you for left over bait – but it’s all part of the charm.
Be aware that this is a tourist hotspot and car parking can be a real pain – despite a large car-park – popularity and a strange traffic flow mean that busy periods can get frustrating however with the facilities that the quay has to offer coupled with the beach walking further up from the quay – it’s a great destination.