Beaches near Bournemouth
Located on England’s southern coast, Bournemouth attracts over five million tourists annually. With stunning views, its own micro-climate, and some of the balmiest water for swimming in the UK, it’s easy to see why.
Boasting plenty of family-friendly activities, dynamic things to do, and our lovely Haven’s Rockley Park Holiday Park close by, Bournemouth might just become your newest favourite holiday spot.
Whether you are interested in relaxing on the beach, exploring nature, your next adventure, or making memories with your family, the beaches in Bournemouth cater for everyone.
Beach walks: find inspiration in Bournemouth’s natural beauty
With seven miles of coastline backed by sand clay cliffs, there are endless walking trail options for those looking to take in Bournemouth’s natural beauty on foot.
For nature lovers, Hengistbury Head offers many trails that allow you to explore the local wildlife found on the reserve, culminating with magnificent views atop Warren Hill. For those looking for something a little less challenging, gentle guided tours are also available. The walking trails at Hengistbury Head are unique as they take you through various local habitats, including heathland, grassland, woodland, freshwater wetland, and coastline.
If you're looking for a walk that offers multiple vantage points of the scenic coastline, Fisherman's Walk Beach offers just that. There are acres of sandy beach to walk along as you soak up the warmth of the sun and the fresh ocean air.
This beach also features its own cliff lift, allowing everyone to take in the panoramic seaside views as you walk elevated along the tops of the sand clay cliffs.
Beach history: ain’t no party like a Victorian beach party
Among the beaches in Bournemouth, Bournemouth Beach itself is among the oldest in the region, having been a major attraction for beach-goers since the Victorian era. And it all began with the famous Bournemouth Pier.
Originally, in 1855, the pier was nothing more than a small wooden jetty. Once the railway had arrived in Bournemouth in 1870, it became easier for visitors to access this resort town, leading to a rapid increase in visitor traffic. In order to solidify themselves as a major seaside resort, the town decided that a pier was necessary. So, in 1880, they updated the old wooden jetty to an iron cast pier.
In Victorian times, piers were used to allow upper-class travellers to disembark from ships without getting wet, making the pier the mark of a major resort travel destination.
While some beach traditions have changed, like “sea bathing” while fully clothed, Victorian era beach-goers enjoyed many of the same beach activities we do today. Activities such as building sandcastles and getting ice cream cones.
Over the last 140 years, there have been many updates, repairs, and additions made to the pier, and the way we enjoy the surrounding beaches. Even with these changes, Bournemouth Pier can still transport you back in time to Victorian England with a leisurely stroll and some “sea bathing”.
Beach attractions: inject some fun into your beach holiday
Besides being one of the most historically enjoyed beaches in the UK, Bournemouth Beach and its attached pier have plenty of activities to enjoy aside from Victorian “sea bathing”.
There are two piers you can find on this seven-mile stretch of golden sand beaches. The largest of the two is Bournemouth Pier. There, at the head of Bournemouth Beach, you can find countless activities to keep everyone entertained, young and old - from rock climbing and zip lining to shopping and dining and the various events happening daily.
Bournemouth Pier is such a popular destination that many travel to this seaside destination, even during the chilly winter months, to enjoy the annual Christmas festivities. You can even plan a wedding there!
Known as Bournemouth’s centre for surfing, Boscombe Beach is a clean and friendly beach, excellent for those who want to hang ten, those who are ten, and everyone in between.
Having undergone some recent upgrading, Boscombe Beach boasts a large stretch of pristine beach that is an excellent place to bring the family. Swim, dig, and play all day long while enjoying fewer crowds and a quieter environment than some of the more popular Bournemouth locals.
Those with more adventurous appetites will find themselves drawn to this popular surfing destination, hoping to catch a most righteous wave.
The best thing is that whether you are making core memories with the family or riding the waves, the fun doesn’t stop there. Boscombe Pier has plenty to offer fun-seeking visitors, including over 30 different activities and a variety of food and drink vendors at The Coastal Activity Park.
This includes free activities like bouldering, swingball, slacklining, and table tennis. There are even two interactive trails that encourage you to work out your body and your mind. The gym trail lets you work out surrounded by stunning coastal views, while the music trail inspires your creative side with a selection of hand-crafted instruments such as seaside chimes, babel drums, and tubular bells.
Feel the adrenaline rush as you fly across Bournemouth Pier on a zip line. Take a relaxing stroll with your toes in the sea at Fisherman’s Walk Beach. Enjoy some fun in the sun with the whole family at Boscombe Beach. As you can see, whether you are seeking thrills, R&R, or just some plain old fun, the beaches in Bournemouth have something for all the family.