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The Stour Valley Way. A Ramblers Paradise

The magnificent Stour Valley Way winds its way down from Stourhead in Wiltshire to the sea at Mudeford by Mudeford Sandspit. It is in all 62 miles long and almost all of the river is accessible along its route.

Open Ferryboat at Tuckton
Open Ferryboat at Tuckton

The major section of the Stour Valley way near Bournemouth is at Tuckton near Christchurch. From here you can walk all the way down the side of the river to Quomps and from there follow an old smugglers path across marshland to Hengistbury Head. From Hengistbury Head the Stour valley Way makes its way down to Mudeford Sandspit and finally to the end of the Stour Valley at “The Run” where the joint outflow of the River Stour and the River Avon makes its way to the sea.

 

The end of the Stour valley Way
The tip of Mudeford Sandspit – the end of the Stour valley Way

Of course, there are other transport options! You can get a ferry from Tuckton all the way down past Christurch Quay to mid way along Mudford Sandspit. It is a truly beautiful journey on a sunny day. The boats you travel in are vintage locally built boats. They are now almost 80 years old. It is worth travelling on just for the experience. After all, you will not get the opportunity to travel in an  immaculately preserved and almost Art-Deco creation many times this lifetime. Just make sure you take a jumper and sun block. You will be in an open boat on a wide expanse of water so you can get both chilled and sun burned at the same time.

More details on the Tuckton Ferry service can be found On This Link

Stour vallay Way cafes.

There is a cafe at Tuckton, another at Hengistbury Head and finally a restaurant on mudeford sandspit. Another ferry operates from Mudeford Quay and goes directly to and from to Mudeford Sandspit. Mudeford Quay has a gastro pub and a large cafe.

Looking down the River Stour at Tuckton
Looking down the River Stour at Tuckton

The Kingfisher centre

There is another beautiful stretch of the Stour Valley Way on the outskirts of Bournemouth at a Muscliffe which has its own visitors centre. Otters are seen regularly in this section of the river. In fact the river throngs with wildlife.

There are many other sections of the Stour Valley way that are only a short distance from Bournemouth more information on these sections as well as those outline above are available on The Stour Valley Way website on On This Link

The Kingfisher Barn visitors centre at Muscliffe can be found On This Link

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