Dreaming Of Sun and Golden Sands? Explore These Beautiful Bournemouth Beaches.
Updated: Jul 4
Are you dreaming of beach huts, golden sands, crystal-clear waters, and a wide range of activities for the whole family? Discover the most beautiful Bournemouth beaches in 2023!
Whether you seek bustling popular beaches, serene escapes, or family-friendly spots, Bournemouth has it all. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the top beaches, quieter escapes, and everything in between, ensuring you have an unforgettable beach vacation.
Discover the best beaches in Bournemouth for activities and attractions of all kinds.
Discover the best beaches in Bournemouth for a family-friendly beach experience with plenty of amenities and accessible facilities.
Discover the best beaches in Bournemouth, where you can experience a peaceful escape with stunning views, sand dunes & delightful dining options!
Bournemouth's Top Beaches
Bournemouth is renowned for ten miles of stunning sandy coastline, beach huts, fantastic waterside facilities, and the iconic Boscombe Pier.
The most popular beaches in Bournemouth, including Bournemouth Beach, Boscombe Beach, and Sandbanks Beach, offer an array of amenities and activities for visitors of all ages. Don’t miss the chance to visit the famous Bournemouth Pier, which is also a must-see attraction in the area.
From exciting water sports to charming pastel-coloured beach huts, there’s something for everyone at Bournemouth’s beautiful beaches.
Bournemouth's Beaches stretch for ten miles!
Bournemouth Central Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Dorset, attracting thousands of visitors every year who come to enjoy the sun, sand, and sea. Best of all, it's only a five-minute walk from the town centre and the well-regarded Bournemouth Beach House and Shell House (luxury self-catering accommodation).
With a wide variety of attractions nearby, such as the amazing oceanarium, thrilling zip line, crazy golf course, fun amusement arcades, and a wide selection of pubs and restaurants. Read more about Bournemouth Beach and Pier here, as it really has something for everyone.
This bustling sandy beach offers a lively atmosphere with various amenities and activities available, making it the most popular choice for tourists.
Whether you love watersports and want to try surfing or simply want to relax on the sandy beach, Bournemouth has it all.
During the summer season, you'll also be treated to the Bournemouth Air Show and the weekly August fireworks displays.
When you want to escape, you can take the land train from Bournemouth Pier to Boscombe Beach.
This is a traditional English beach with newly refurbished facilities, vibrant playgrounds, and modern beach pods, perfect for an enjoyable day out. The mile-long promenade offers a perfect vantage point to take in the breathtaking views of Bournemouth beach and pier on one side and the Studland coastline and the chalky cliffs of Old Harry Rocks on the other.
With a wide range of amenities, including a cafe, takeaways, surf school, parking and beach shop, Boscombe Beach has a lot to keep you entertained. If you're looking for quieter beaches, we recommend you head west of the pier.
Water sports enthusiasts should head east to the surf school and can enjoy a variety of activities. These include swimming, surfing, windsurfing, water skiing, jet skiing, kayaking, fishing, canoeing and sailing.
The Poole Sandbanks beach is a natural habitat, and the beach is a stunning spit of white sand that crosses the mouth of Poole Harbour, offering visitors an exclusive and prestigious beach experience. This strip really caters to everyone, especially if you enjoy soft sand that's perfect for building sandcastles!
There is an excellent range of amenities, such as public toilets, cafes, refreshment kiosks, and drinking fountains. The beach also offers a range of fun activities, including water sports equipment hire, crazy golf courses, table tennis, and volleyball nets.
Families can enjoy the kid's playground, and there are accessible facilities for the disabled.
Did you know: that Poole Harbour is the largest natural harbour in the world, with an area of 14 sq miles? It is extremely shallow, with an average depth of only 48cm. There are five islands in Poole Harbour; the largest is Brownsea Island which is owned by the national trust.
Knoll Beach, Studland and Shell Bay
If you want to get away from the crowds, take the chain link ferry from Sandbanks across to Studland and discover some of our favourite beaches.
The first beach is shell bay beach which can get a bit busy, but if you keep walking to Knoll Beach, you have a good chance of finding a secluded spot between sand dunes!
When you're done, book a table at the Shell Bay Restaurant (https://shellbay.net/) - one of the true gems in Bournemouth.
Family-Friendly Beaches in Bournemouth
If you’re seeking a safe and enjoyable environment for your children, Bournemouth’s family-friendly beaches are the perfect choice.
Alum Chine Beach, Durley Chine Beach, and East Cliff Beach are among the best beaches for families in Bournemouth, offering a variety of amenities and activities tailored to keep the little ones entertained.
From beach volleyball to kitesurfing to rock pooling, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. All three beaches have lifeguards on duty during the summer months, and the nearby cafes and restaurants provide a great place to refuel after a day of fun.
Alum Chine Beach
Alum Chine Beach is a quiet, blue flag, family-friendly beach known for its pirate-themed adventure playground and water play area (including a treasure island paddling pool). Its wide, clean sand-and-shingle beach and crystal clear water, carefully monitored by lifeguards, make it ideal for families with kids.
The large pirate-themed adventure playground with a paddling pool and sprinklers, ice cream parlours, and takeaway kiosks makes this section of the beach a perfect destination for a day of fun with the children. It's especially well suited to those who want to avoid the much larger crowds around West Cliff and East Cliff Beaches. There is ample parking, outdoor showers, plus a baby changing area.
Beach hut rentals are also available, including some of the new luxurious "super beach huts", allowing you to relax and enjoy the stunning views while your children play.
Durley Chine Beach
Durley Chine Beach is a beautiful Blue Flag beach with crystal-clear waters and golden sands, perfect for a day at the beach with your family. The beach offers a range of facilities, such as a beach office, deck chair hire, and a brand-new cafe, providing incredible views of the Bournemouth coastline.
The shallow, clean and clear waters at Durley Chine Beach make it a safe and enjoyable environment for families. With lifeguards on duty during the summer months, parents can relax while their children play and swim.
East Cliff Beach
East Cliff Beach is a clean and family-friendly beach with a long stretch of pale-coloured sand, a promenade, beach huts, and rental services available for water sports enthusiasts. The beach is perfect for a relaxing day by the sea, with its inviting atmosphere and range of amenities.
Families can enjoy a variety of activities at East Cliff Beach, including swimming, sunbathing, and beach volleyball. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer months, and there are accessible facilities for the disabled.
East Beach provides a safe and enjoyable environment for families.
Quieter Beach Escapes in Bournemouth
Escape the crowds and enjoy the tranquillity of Bournemouth’s quieter beaches. Hengistbury Head Beach, Fisherman’s Walk Beach, and Southbourne Beach all offer a peaceful and calming atmosphere, perfect for those seeking a more serene beach experience.
These beaches are ideal for those looking to relax and unwind away from the hustle and bustle of the more popular beaches, with plenty of space to spread out and enjoy the view.
Hengistbury Head Beach
Hengistbury Head Beach is a remote and quiet pebble beach located within a large nature reserve, perfect for a peaceful day by the sea.
The nature reserve features a diverse range of habitats, including whispering sand dunes, heathland, woodland, wetland, and grassland, providing a unique and unspoiled landscape to explore.
Visitors can enjoy thrilling water sports activities such as windsurfing, kayaking, and diving adventures at Hengistbury Head Beach. Around the corner and you enter the realm of Christchurch beaches and Avon Beach.
The beach also welcomes dogs all year round, making it an ideal destination for pet owners.
Fisherman's Walk Beach
Fisherman’s Walk Beach is an idyllic, family-friendly beach with soft sand and some shingle, offering exciting activities such as kayaking, surfing, and fishing.
The wide, sandy beach is perfect for sunbathing and building sandcastles, while the surrounding area offers activities like canoeing, jet-skiing, sailing, and windsurfing.
The beach is also home to the Fisherman’s Walk Cliff Lift, a funicular railway that swiftly takes you to the top, making it perfect for those with mobility issues. The local area is beloved by locals and offers a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle of the main beaches.
Southbourne Beach is a less-crowded, Blue Flag beach with shallow, clean waters, providing a relaxing and safe environment for families. Located in the beautiful town of Southbourne, the beach features soft golden sand, perfect for sunbathing and building sandcastles.
With lifeguards on duty during the summer months and wheelchair access, Southbourne Beach is accessible for all. The beach also offers a dog exercise area, ensuring that everyone can enjoy a day at the beach, including your four-legged friends.
Bournemouth Beach Amenities and Accessibility
Bournemouth beaches offer a wide range of amenities and accessibility options to ensure every visitor has an enjoyable experience. Wheelchair-accessible beach huts and beach balloon-tyred wheelchairs are available for hire, making the beaches more accessible for all.
For families, KidZone wristbands offer an extra layer of safety for children, and the Beach Check UK app helps you plan your beach day by providing information on beach safety, lifeguard presence, and dog-friendly areas.
Dog-Friendly Beaches in Bournemouth
For dog lovers, Bournemouth has a range of beaches that welcome your furry friends. Alum Chine, Durley Chine, Fisherman’s Walk, Manor Steps, Middle Chine, and Hengistbury Head all offer designated dog-friendly areas and seasonal restrictions to ensure everyone has a pleasant beach experience.
Always remember to keep your dog on a leash and clean up after them to maintain the cleanliness of Bournemouth’s beautiful beaches. Read our detailed, in-depth, guide on Dorset's best dog beaches.
Water Sports and Activities at Bournemouth Beaches
Bournemouth’s beaches offer a wide range of exciting water sports and activities for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re interested in surfing, kayaking, windsurfing, paddleboarding, or simply taking a dip in the crystal-clear waters, Bournemouth has something for everyone.
Remember to follow the instructions of lifeguards, wear a life jacket, and be aware of the tides and weather conditions to ensure a safe and enjoyable water sports experience.
Where to Stay Near Bournemouth Beaches
From luxury hotels to budget-friendly options, self-catering airbnb, and camping parks, Bournemouth offers a variety of accommodation options to suit every traveller’s needs.
Whether you’re looking for a beachfront hotel with stunning sea views or a cosy guest house within walking distance of the beach, you’ll be sure to find the perfect accommodation for your Bournemouth vacation.
We would recommend either of the two fabulous and well-rated (see airbnb), dog-friendly beach houses:
Dining and Refreshment Options Along Bournemouth Beaches
Satisfy your hunger and quench your thirst with a variety of dining and refreshment options available along Bournemouth’s beautiful beaches. From delightful restaurants and cosy cafes to lively bars and convenient street food vendors, you’ll never be far from a tasty treat.
Why not try some traditional fish and chips or indulge in a delicious Dorset ice cream cone as you stroll along the promenade?
Our General Tips for Visiting Bournemouth Beaches
To make the most of your beach experience, plan your visit by checking parking options (it can get very busy during the summer); if possible, stay within walking distance of the Beach! Look at the flags and beach safety guidelines, especially if you have children in the water, as rip currents can occasionally form.
Ensure you pack suitable beachwear and sunscreen and stay hydrated throughout the day. Respect other beachgoers, be mindful of wildlife, and always follow the guidance of lifeguards and beach staff for a safe and enjoyable visit.
In conclusion, Bournemouth boasts a wide variety of stunning beaches to suit every visitor’s needs. From the bustling popular beaches like Bournemouth Beach, Boscombe Beach, and Sandbanks Beach to the serene escapes of Hengistbury Head Beach, Fisherman’s Walk Beach, and Southbourne Beach, you’re sure to find the perfect beach destination in Bournemouth.
With an array of amenities, accessibility options, and activities available, Bournemouth’s beaches are truly gems on the south coast of England, waiting to be discovered.
Get answers to the most frequently asked questions about Bournemouth beaches, including information on water quality, safety, beach rankings, and comparisons with other popular beach destinations.
What are Blue Flag Beaches?
The Blue Flag Award is a prestigious, international award scheme that aims to provide an assurance to tourists that a beach has met a minimum standard. To obtain this certification, any United Kingdom beach must achieve the highest quality in water, facilities, safety, environmental education and management.
Does Bournemouth have Blue Flag Beaches?
Yes, six of Bournemouth's beaches have blue flag certification:
Weymouth Beach, Alum Chine Beach, Fishermans Walk Beach, Manor Steps Beach, Southbourne Beach.
Is Bournemouth Beach clean to swim?
Water quality is an extremely important factor when choosing a beach destination. Thankfully, all of Bournemouth's beaches are regularly tested for water quality, and the results are available online.
The environment agency has consistently reported that Bournemouth is exceptionally clean and safe to swim in. The beach has been classified as Excellent, demonstrating consistently high water quality from 2018 through 2023.
Is it safe to swim in Bournemouth?
Swimming in Bournemouth is safe and enjoyable, thanks to the excellent water quality and the presence of professional RNLI beach lifeguards and RLSS Volunteer Lifeguards during the season.
Please note: It’s important to swim between the red and yellow flags and follow the guidance of lifeguards for a safe and fun sea swim.
What colour is the sea in Bournemouth?
The sea in Bournemouth is a beautiful deep blue colour thanks to the reflection of the sky and sunlight. This mesmerizing blue hue adds to the stunning beauty of Bournemouth’s beaches, making them a popular destination for beachgoers. The crystal clear waters and golden sands make Bournemouth a great place to relax and enjoy the sun.
Where does Bournemouth Beach rank in the world?
Bournemouth Beach has been proudly ranked 24th in the world according to Tripadvisor’s Travellers Choice awards. The beach has also won the Travellers Choice award for the past three years. These awards recognize the excellent reviews, ratings, and popularity of Bournemouth Beach, making it a top destination for beach lovers.
The beach is renowned for its golden sand, crystal-clear waters, and stunning views. It is also home to a variety of activities, from swimming and sunbathing to beach volleyball and surfing. Visitors can also enjoy a visit to the museum.
Is Bournemouth Beach Clear Water?
The water at Bournemouth Beach is crystal clear on a calm day and has excellent water quality. This high standard of water quality is regularly monitored by local authorities, ensuring that swimming in Bournemouth is a safe and enjoyable experience for all.
As mentioned early, the local authorities regularly monitor the water quality to ensure that it meets the high standards expected. This ensures that swimming in Bournemouth is a safe and enjoyable experience for all.
Is Bournemouth a clean beach?
Bournemouth's Beaches are known for their cleanliness and the council's commitment to maintaining a beautiful environment for visitors. Reviews and news articles have praised the beach for its cleanliness and excellence, making it a popular destination for beach lovers as well as its many Blue Flag designations.
So, Yes, the beaches are all well-maintained and clean.
Which beach is better, Brighton or Bournemouth?
Brighton Beach is highly praised for its unique atmosphere and vibrant nightlife, making it a great destination for a holiday.
Bournemouth, on the other hand, has its own charm with its sandy beaches and heritage sites, making it an attractive option as well.
Of course, the choice between Brighton and Bournemouth depends on your personal taste and the type of beach experience you’re seeking.
Are there sandy beaches in Bournemouth?
Yes, there are definitely sandy beaches in Bournemouth! Located on the south coast of England, Bournemouth offers over seven miles of golden sands that stretch from Sandbanks to Christchurch Harbour.
From long stretches of beach to peaceful secret coves, Bournemouth has a beach for all tastes and preferences.
How many beaches are in Bournemouth?
Experience the beauty of Bournemouth’s coastline with 14 different but interconnected beaches to choose from! You won’t be short on stunning shorelines, white sands and sparkling blue waters in this seaside town.
Is Poole or Bournemouth better?
Both Poole and Bournemouth have much to offer visitors, with stunning scenery, exciting activities and top-class attractions. Whether it’s sandy beaches, amazing sunsets or vibrant nightlife you’re looking for; there is something for everyone in these fantastic towns.
What water sports and activities are available at Bournemouth beaches?
At Bournemouth beaches, you can have an exciting and adventurous day with a variety of water sports and activities, such as surfing, kayaking, windsurfing, and paddleboarding.