From Bournemouth Pier's amusements and excellent range of cafes along the coast to the new and exciting developments at Boscombe and the family friendly atmosphere of Southbourne and the Chines, there truly is something for everyone on and around Bournemouth's golden beaches. There are a wide range of hotels in Bournemouth to suit all tastes and budget.
Boscombe beach is the section of the beach which surrounds Boscombe pier and stretches down from Bournemouth Beach towards Hengistbury Head.
It includes the Portman Ravine zigzag and extends to the lift at Southbourne Beach. For many years, Boscombe Beach had been the poor relation. Until recently it could could only boast a derelict pier and a set of run down beach huts, however this is no longer the case and with the arrival of the surfing phenomenon, Boscombe has blossomed. The area either side of the pier is particularly popular with the surfing fraternity and has become the place to go surfing in the Bournemouth Area.
A great deal of re-development has taken place on and around Boscombe Beach. The pier has been modified with the removal of the old Mermaid theatre. A new artificial surf reef has been built although this has unfortunately not as yet been the success the council hoped. The beach is also a good family beach and has a number of lifeguard stations during the peak season. There is a pub, a couple of cafes and a number of ice-cream sellers.
If you find that the beaches become too busy for you on a hot summers day, there are other options available to you which can provide a quieter beach experience and are well worth exploring.
To the East of Bournemouth, just a short distance from Hengistbury Head is the fine Southbourne beach. Due to its distance from central Bournemouth, Southbourne beach is generally much less crowded and less hectic than the main beaches. Along with nearby Fishermans Walk, Southbourne beach also possesses the coveted Blue Flag award which guarantees the excellent condition of the beach and the sea. The recent beach replenishment at Fishermans walk has had an excellent effect on Southbourne beach as well with the beach now widening and also losing some of its previous stony composition.
The cliffs behind the beach get significantly lower along Southbourne beach and pedestrian access becomes significantly easier. Access is also available at a number of different points. The nearest access from Bournemouth is down the Gordon ZigZag, which is half way between Southbourne Beach and Fishermans Walk.
A wonderful way to explore the beach, take in the scenery and rest your weary legs is to travel by the Bournemouth's famous Land Train.
The Land Train will sweep you along the the Promenade from Bournemouth Pier to Boscombe Pier, via Boscombe Gardens or from Bournemouth Pier to Alum Chine and provides some wonderful views of the seafront scene.
Trains depart daily during the period from Easter and the end of October half term, during February half term and between Boxing Day to the 3rd January. At all other times of the year, this service is reduced to become a weekend service only. There is no Christmas Day service and the operation of the Land Train is subject to permissible weather conditions at all times. Under 5’s and permanent wheelchair users plus one carer travel for free.
For for operating times, please check the train stop notice board or contact the Seafront Office on 01202 451781.
Bursting With Activities and Watersports
We have endeavoured to provide a list of many of the activities which are available along the Bournemouth coastline to help whet your appetite for some of the fun and adventures that are available to everyone visiting this wonderful town.
Power Boating - Luxury power boating provides some octane excitement and other activities including RIB (rigid inflatable boats) rides and jet ski rides ensure that there is no faster adrenaline hit available in the area!
Surfing - The new Boscombe surf reef has been attracting a huge amount of publicity and an ever growing number of visitors and watersports enthusiasts to the area.
Kitesurfing & Kiteboarding - This thrilling, wind powered sport uses wind to pull riders through the water on a small surfboard or kiteboard.
Wakeboarding - Wakeboarding is one of the fastest growing watersports in the UK and once you have started you will not want to stop!
Paddleboarding - Stand-up paddleboarding has become hugely popular in the UK and provides not only countless hours of fun but also acts as an excellent form of exercise.
Coasteering - Coasteering is a relatively new pastime and involves swimming, climbing and jumping off the rugged coastal terrain available in Bournemouth. Visiting rarely explored caves, tunnels and plunge pools provides an exhilarating thrill where you will be able to ride the rise and fall of the swell and test your nerves on a series of jumps. Led by an expert guide, you will experience a mixture of sea level traversing, swimming, exploring caves and jumping into plunge pools.
Fishing - For a more traditional past-time, the waters off the Bournemouth coast-line are literally teeming with fish - cod, whiting, mackerel, bream and flounder are all there for the taking.
Sailing - Bournemouth's coast-line acts as a magnet for sailers from all over the country. With sheltered waters, amazing scenery, easy access and excellent marinas, the surrounding areas of long been a leading sailing destination. There truly are few places which are as beautiful to set sail.
Windsurfing - With its safe and shallow waters, there is nowhere better to learn how to surf in a safe environment.
Cruises - Hop on board at Bournemouth Pier to take a trip along Dorset's stunning heritage coast to Swanage, past scenic Old Harry Rocks, Sandbanks and Brownsea Island.
Jet-Skiing - Take a jet-ski onto the open sea and under the guidance of an expert instructor enjoy and exhilarating trip along the Jurassic coast-line and Bournemouth coast.
If you have ever wanted to combine the views of the beach and sea with the convenience of a place to hide from the sun and enjoy a relaxing cup of tea without granules of sand finding their way into your sugar bowl, once of Bournemouth's high quality beach huts is exactly what you have been looking for.
Bournemouth has a varied range of beach huts available for hire including traditional beach huts, accessible beach huts, an Ikea furnished beach hut (great for parties) and a new concept of Beach pods, which provide a retro feel. These huts are available to hire on a daily, weekly or monthly basis and may even be available to purchase.
For refreshment by the beach, either bring a picnic or have lunch at one of the many excellent restaurants along the seafront. Light refreshments such as tea, coffee, cakes and ice-creams can all be obtained along the seafront so if you don't want to have to bring any equipment with you, you don't have to.
Bournemouth's seven miles of award-winning beaches are beautifully located beneath a magnificent cliff line, which helps the bay to enjoy its own micro-climate and because of this it provides some of the warmest sea temperatures in the entire UK along with some breathtaking views of the Isle of Wight and the Purbecks.
Each section of Bournemouth's beach offers a different experience for you when you visit the area. From watersports to the family attractions at Pier Approach, whether you are looking to relax in a deckchair, stroll along to the famous piers, enjoy some tasty food or just spend some time overlooking miles of superb coast line - Bournemouth beach is the ideal location throughout all periods of the year.
To help ensure that your trip to the beach as enjoyable as possible, there are several seafront offices which can be found located across the length of the beach, all of which have dedicated teams who will help you make the most of your day out, by providing information and LV=KidZone wristbands. Deck chairs, sunbeds, windbreaks and parasols can all be hired along the beach - all you need to do is help yourself and an attendant will collect the hire charge once you're settled.
For ease of access to the beach Cliff Lifts are situated at West Cliff, East Cliff and Fisherman’s Walk along side zigzag path ways. The Land Train also runs along the promenade - you can travel from Bournemouth Pier to Boscombe Pier, via Boscombe Precinct and Gardens or from Bournemouth Pier to Alum Chine.
Bournemouth beach is also one of the safest beaches in the UK with RNLI Lifeguards based all the way along our seven mile stretch of beach. We also have lifeguards based to the east of Boscombe Pier 365 days a year.
Dog friendly beaches can be found at Alum Chine, Middle Chine, Fisherman's Walk and Hengistbury Head between 1 May and 30 September. Enquire at a Seafront Office or pick up a beach leaflet when you're here. Don't forget your doggy bags!