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A former smuggler's den in Dorset

Overlooking Christchurch Harbour, Mudeford is a charming fishing village with a notorious past. Its old fishermen's cottages and historic Haven House Inn have links with the smuggling trade, and a clash between bootleggers and customs officers in 1784 became known as the Battle of Mudeford. These days, you're more likely to see skirmishes on the waves with sailing and windsurfing contests.

Tuck into fresh seafood

Mudeford still has a thriving fishing industry. You'll see lobster pots piled up along the quay, and won't find fish much fresher than it is here. Try the seafood thermidor or tiger prawns at the Ship in Distress pub, or a classic dressed crab salad at The Galleon.

Take a ferry ride

Catch a boat to the traffic-free Mudeford Sandbank and Hengistbury Head, which jut out into the English Channel. The beach huts here are much sought-after, and offer stunning views across to the Isle of Wight. You can also take the ferry across the harbour to historic Christchurch, which boasts a priory church, Saxon watermill, medieval bridge and the site of a civil war siege in 1645. Looking for accommodation in Mudeford? Travelodge Christchurch is a 5-minute drive from the village. Slightly further afield is Travelodge Bournemouth Cooper Dean.