A very popular venue and the largest natural harbour in the world. Poole Harbour can be sailed in a wide variety of wind directions (anything other than NE). Shelves gently so is ideal for beginners while intermediates learning to water start, gybe etc. will find it perfect too. Poole Harbour is zoned and the windsurfing area, Whitley Lake, is in the NE corner next to the road to the ferry. Another good spot is Hamworthy Park (over the lifting bridge from Poole Quay then turn left at the 2nd set of lights then you”ll see the car park on the left), and is great for a long reach over to the other side of the harbour, works in SE round to NW. Still tidal but gets deep faster than Whitley Lake so you don”t have the walk out, but there is more of a current so you need to be intermediate or better. There”s a cafe and toilets plus kids paddling pool! Investing in a Poole tide table is recommended as the water goes out a long way at low tide. Strong currents affect the entrance to the harbour. There is payable roadside parking by the launch point, (cheaper during out of season) but it gets crowded very early at summer weekends. There are several shops in the area catering for every type of windsurfing kit imaginable.
Getting there: Take the B3369 (Banks Road) off the A35
Parking: By the beach if you’re early enough or in the car parks half way along Sandbanks
Ideal Wind: Anything except a NE
Accomodation: Plenty of B&B’s nearby, campsites on outskirts of Poole and Bournemouth
Amenities: Café on seaward side of Sandbanks plus one in Beach Road, toilets along the main Sandbanks beach, Watersports Academy with hot showers, changing rooms, hire and tuition.
Suitable for: All abilities