Britain’s answer to the Costa del Sol, Bournemouth is spoiled for choice when it comes to award-winning beaches. Smack bang in the centre of a 7 mile golden coastline, the seaside town is bustling with life with its two jam-packed piers, air shows, marathons and an abundance of festivals. Stretching eastward towards Christchurch and westwards to Poole, here’s our list of the best sun-bathing spots in Bournemouth.
Named the best beach in the United Kingdom, the Central Beaches are the pride and joy of the town. Stroll 10 minutes through the Lower Gardens and you’ll reach Pier Approach, the gateway to the action. Heaving in the summer time, scramble for a patch of golden sand to plant your towel on and bask in the sun. Take a break from the life of leisure and walk the length of the pier for spectacular views of the bay. Make sure to test out the world’s first shore zipwire, the PierZip and get lost in the amusement arcade located on the main boardwalk of the pier. Bournemouth beach is a place you’ll never want to leave so book a beach hut for the summer and spend the weekends paddling in the warm waters and eating at the beach restaurant, West Beach.
Just a short walk down the promenade from Bournemouth pier, Boscombe beach is the perfect spot to spend a family day out in the sun. Following its involvement in a redevelopment scheme, this sleepy 1950s style beach town has been transformed into the ideal holiday destination. Rent out a beach pod and enjoy an adventure at the coastal activity park where you can try windsurfing, snorkelling and diving. Play a round of mini golf on the pier with golf balls made of fish food so you can feed the fishes when you’re done!
This Blue Flag award winning stretch of sand is a great place to top up your tan and relax in the sun. Located on the west cliff, take the land train from Bournemouth pier towards Poole to get to the wide shingle beach and walk through the idyllic wooded Chine. Escape from the hustle and bustle of the busy Bournemouth Pier and lounge on one of the locals’ favourite beaches. The calm clear waters and outstanding cleanliness of the shoreline make for an unrivalled beach day out. On a clear day you’ll also be treated to spectacular views over Old Harry’s Rocks and the Solet of the Isle of Wight while you eat your ice cream.
Listed as an ancient monument, Hengistbury head is a headland jutting out into the English Channel between Bournemouth and Mudeford. Designated a local nature reserve in 1990, the area boasts beautiful walks as well as a long stretch of golden sand. Hop on the land train from the carpark at the head and make your way to Mudeford spit for Bournemouth’s quietest beach. Home to the most expensive beach huts in Britain, it is dog-friendly and a wind-surfers paradise. There is plenty to do back at the nature reserve if you get bored of bathing so this is the best place to spend the day for the more restless beach goers.
Stroll along from Durley and you’ll reach another one of Bournemouth’s award winning beaches, Alum Chine. A particular favourite of families due to the massive pirate-themed playground, the crystal clear waters and sandy shore line is more than inviting. Boasting beautiful tropical gardens on the cliff face, this area is well worth a visit and is a welcome break from the busy the town centre further down the promenade.
Accessible by cliff lift or a walk through the nature trail, Southbourne Beach is a twenty minute walk from Boscombe beach along the promenade. Head to Fisherman’s walk nature trail and wander through the wooded land featuring some of the coast’s resident wildlife and flora. If you don’t fancy the walk, Southbourne operates a cliff lift that will take you directly down to the beach in seconds. Enjoy a quick coffee in the clifftop café or a spot of mini golf. With its incredible safe waters and fantastic sea views, this award winning beach has pretty much everything you could want and more.
Planning at day at the seaside? Make sure to tag us in your photos of the best sunbathing spots in Bournemouth using the hashtag #ryanairstories for a chance to be featured on Ryanair’s Instagram feed.
Flights to Bournemouth
- Lucy Norris