Detail of Bournemouth Pier and crowded beach.

Thomas Faull/Getty

Bournemouth Beach


Bournemouth's sandy shoreline regularly clocks up seaside awards. It stretches from Southbourne in the far east to Alum Chine in the west – an immense promenade backed by some 3000 deckchairs, ornamental gardens, kids' playgrounds, cafes and 200 beach huts that are available for hire. The resort also has two piers. Around Bournemouth Pier you can rent deckchairs (per day £3), windbreaks (£6) and parasols (£6). Boscombe Pier is a focus for watersports.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Bournemouth attractions

1. Bournemouth Beach Huts


Some 200 brightly painted beach huts are available for hire. They come equipped with three deckchairs and a gas stove.

2. Russell-Cotes

0.22 MILES

Ostentation oozes from almost every inch of this arresting structure – a mash-up of Italianate villa and Scottish baronial pile. It was built at the end…

3. West Cliff Lift Railway

0.31 MILES

Built in 1908 to link Bournemouth's steep but relatively low cliffs to the beach, the West Cliff Lift Railway regularly trundles up and down a short…

4. East Cliff Lift Railway

0.43 MILES

First built in 1908, this historic railway is closed indefinitely – possibly permanently – following extensive damage in a landslide.

5. Alum Chine

0.97 MILES

Bournemouth's 1920s heyday is beautifully evoked at a subtropical enclave containing plants from the Canary Islands, New Zealand, Mexico and the Himalayas…

6. Sandbanks

3.18 MILES

A 2-mile, wafer-thin peninsula of land that curls around the expanse of Poole Harbour, Sandbanks is studded with some of the most expensive houses in the…

7. Brownsea Island

4.53 MILES

On this small, wooded island in the middle of Poole Harbour, trails weave through heath and woods, past peacocks, red squirrels, red deer and a wealth of…

8. Poole Museum

5.02 MILES

The building alone is worth seeing – a beautifully restored 15th-century warehouse. The star exhibit is a 2300-year-old Iron Age logboat dredged up from…