Southbourne Beach (Bournemouth)

Bournemouth’s Southbourne Beach can be reached directly from Southbourne High Street via the Fisherman’s Walk nature trail. From the top of the cliff there are views of the beach and Hengistbury Head and, on a clear day, the Needles cliffs on the Isle of Wight. The cliff lift is in operation daily from Easter until the end of the season in late October.

Southbourne Beach is especially popular with families. The beach is sandy with some shingle and slopes gently and safely into the sea. Facilities include kiosks and pubs, baby changing facilities, lost children centres, and RNLI lifeguards on duty in season. The areas patrolled are clearly marked in between two red and yellow flags.

There is a small cafe selling hot food and ice creams, and a bistro style restaurant. Bright and attractive beach huts available for hire throughout the year. The free Beach Check app lets visitors check how busy the beach is as well as other aspects of the location.

Dogs are only allowed in dog-friendly areas during the season, and restrictions also apply to cycling, skating, skateboarding, and e-scooters on the promenade in the summer; only certain types of barbecues are permitted, and must be disposed of appropriately. 

There is a small car park at Southbourne Crossroads, and free parking on the cliff top at Southbourne Overcliff Drive and the coast Road, although visitors need to arrive early, especially in high season. There are wheelchair-accessible toilet facilities at Gordon’s Steps and Southbourne, with RADAR key access.

The beach here is a frequent recipient of the Blue Flag award.

Type of beach

Sand & shingle

Lifeguard service


Dogs friendly beach?

Dogs allowed

Dogs are allowed on parts of the beach throughout the year.

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  • Kayaking/canoeing
  • Good fishing
  • Jet-skiing
  • Sailing
  • Swimming/bathing
  • Surfing
  • Water skiing
  • Wind surfing


  • Promenade

Nearest town




OS grid ref.

SZ 1471 9106

Water quality

Water quality star rating


Blue Flag AwardMarine Conservation Society Recommended

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Southbourne Beach (Bournemouth) Reviews

Jewel of the South coast!

Oct 12th 2020

Incredible long sandy beach, near Hengisberry Head with simply stunning views across the Isle of Wight and across to Studland Bay! Far less commercial And less busy than the ‘Bournemouth end’ of the beach.

What did we get wrong?