Bournemouth’s seafront is among the busiest and best resort beaches in the country and has a Quality Coast Award. The central stretch of beach, around the pier, attracts thousands of visitors every day in peak season. Go-ahead management has made it one of the safest, cleanest, most enjoyable beaches on which to lay your bucket and spade.
Picture: Bournemouth Tourism and Bournemouth Helicopters
Where is it? In the centre of town. Just follow the signs from the A35 Wessex Way and the A338 spur road.
Best features: The quality of the beach environment and the proximity of so many other attractions make it Dorset's favourite spot for locals and tourists alike. And if you tire of the beach, you can stroll along the pier and enjoy the attractions around Pier Approach.
The seafront is the focal point for a host of summer events, including weekly firework displays in peak season.
Local facilities and shops: Within a stone’s throw of the beach, there is Aruba and Key West and inside the Waterfront complex you can find a Big Steak Pub and Wacky Warehouse and a KFC. Near neighbours are Harry Ramsden’s, surf restaurant Hot Rocks and seafront restaurant café West Beach, named the AA’s Best Seafood Restaurant 2005/06.
The pier and the Pier Approach also offer ice creams, snacks, amusement arcades, a theatre and more. The beach has traditional attractions such as deck chairs and beach huts, as well as lifts on the East Cliff and West Cliff. The huts are available to hire by the day, or pre-book for a week, call 0845 055 0968.
Bournemouth town centre, with its wide array of shops, cafes, restaurants and bars, is only a short, level walk through the Green Flag awardwinning Central and Lower Gardens.
Great for the kids? The beach runs the LV= KidZone scheme with staff help to find lost children quickly.
How far are the loos? Two sites contain loos for men and women, mother and baby rooms and two loos for people with disabilities.
Parking: There are several car parks in the vicinity, the closest being Bath South, from which you don’t need to cross a road – as long as you can find a space. Alternatives include Bath Road North, Central car park in Hinton Road, the BIC and Priory Road.
Public transport: The nearest bus stop is a short walk from the seafront, by the BIC on Exeter Road. From here, Yellow Buses serves most of Bournemouth and Christchurch via the following routes: 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 12, 17, 20, 21,22, 23, 32, 34, 35, 69.
Wilts and Dorset and Yellow Buses services from the Square and the Triangle provide links with the rest of the conurbation and beyond.
How about pets? No dogs are allowed on the beach between May and September. During the peak season, dogs on the prom must be kept on a lead. The nearest designated dog exercise area is west of Durley Chine. Seafront staff enforce bylaws requiring owners to clear up after their pets.
Other points of interest: Anglers often fish from a platform on the pier, which is also the boarding point for boat cruises around Poole Bay. There is a no-smoking section of beach between Bournemouth and Boscombe piers.
Wet weather options:
Learn to surf, kayak, paddle board at one of the surf schools.
Browse the boutiques and check out the designer shops, jewellers and art galleries along Westover Road, affectionately known as the ‘Bond Street of Bournemouth’.
Choose a restaurant to spend a long lazy lunch. Tantalise your taste buds and sample the superb cuisine at one of the town’s 250 restaurants, bistros, wine bars and clubs.
Visit the deep blue and experience the wonders of the natural world at the Oceanarium by Bournemouth Pier. Why not visit the world’s first interactive dive cage, so you can swim with the sharks without getting wet?
If you’re a culture vulture – take time out to discover the hidden treasures of the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum for free.
Sit back and enjoy a show at the BIC, Pavilion or Pier Theatres – with entertainment from leading names in the world of music and show business.
Indulge in one of the many spa treatments at hotels throughout the resort – feel revitalised and ready for your Bournemouth experience.
St. Peter’s Church in Bournemouth is where Percy Shelley enthusiasts come to see the grave where the poet's heart is buried along with his wife, Mary Shelley. She is remembered for penning 'Frankenstein'. Also in the Shelley tomb lie her distinguished parents, William Godwin, author of 'Political Justice' and Mary Woolstonecraft, one of the original liberated women.
Bournemouth offers the shopper a fabulous day out for retail enjoyment, Most of the town centre is pedestrianised with shops, boutiques and restaurants, cafes and coffee shops. The town centre is set against the backdrop of our award-winning gardens which run through the centre of the town and lead to the beach.
Get creative at All Fired Up Ceramics Café