Bournemouth Beach (Pier)
© Keith Edkins and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Bournemouth's main beach has been catering for beach-goers since Victorian times, yet remains one of Britain's favourite beaches. It is easy to see the attraction; a huge swathe of fine golden sand set on the doorstep of this vibrant coastal resort town.
In the summer Bournemouth beach may get a little too popular for some, but there are plenty of alternatives along this seven mile stretch of sand. With a promenade backing all of Bournemouth's beaches you can easily head to quieter sands towards Westbourne or Southbourne.
Being set so close to Bournemouth's town means there is no shortage of amenities and entertainment right on the beach. There are cafes, shops, amusement arcades, an IMAX cinema and oceanarium all within minutes from the beach.
And then there is the pier. Built in 1880 to consolidate Bournemouth's credentials as a major seaside resort the pier stretches over 300 metres into the sea. Back in its heyday the pier was used as a departure point for steamers travelling along the south coast. These days pleasure cruises to Swanage, Poole and the Isle of Wight still depart from here.