Friars Cliff Beach (Christchurch)

Friars Cliff Beach (Christchurch) - Dorset
© Mike Smith and licensed for reuse under this Licence

This award-winning beach, near Christchurch,  is a good choice for a families looking for somewhere to paddle in the gentle waves and admire the lovely views.  It is usually a bit less crowded than nearby Avon Beach.

Visitors to the beach are rewarded with fine views over Hurst Spit, the Purbeck Hills and the Isle of Wight.

The terrain is mainly sand although patches of shingle bring added interest.
The beach is backed by a promenade featuring attractive beach huts which it is possible to rent.  The promenade gives easy access to the beach for pushchairs and visitors with mobility problems.

The facilities here and water quality are good, and the presence of a lifeguard in summer make the beach popular with those looking to take a dip on warm sunny days.

There is a designated water sports area adjacent to the concrete wave wall at Steamer Point.

From the beach it is possible to take a clifftop walk through the 24-acre Steamer Point Nature Reserve to 19th century Highcliffe Castle.

The award-winning Beach Hut Café is worth a visit for home-made meals and snacks.  They even do gluten-free options.

The beach is kept very clean and dogs are not permitted from the start of May until the start of October.

Type of beach


Lifeguard service


Dogs friendly beach?

Dogs are banned from 1st May to 30th September.

Dorset dog friendly beaches »


  • Kayaking/canoeing
  • Wind surfing


  • Beach hut hire

Nearest town



BH23 4GA

OS grid ref.

SZ 1919 9255


Pay parking is available for 200 cars, incl disabled.

Water quality

Water quality star rating


Marine Conservation Society Recommended

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Friars Cliff Beach (Christchurch) Reviews

Oct 27th 2020

Local rich council shutting the toilets in half term, at the most busy times, they should be ashamed , then parking wardens ready to pounce on parkers ..Greedy..

What did we get wrong?