Boscombe beach is the section of the beach strand surrounding Boscombe pier and stretches down from Bournemouth Beach towards Hengistbury Head. It includes the Portman Ravine zigzag and extends to the lift at Southbourne Beach. It is the centre for surfing in Bournemouth.
For many years, Boscombe Beach had been the poor relation. Until recently it could could only boast a derelict pier and a set of run down beach huts.
However with the arrival of the surfing phenomenon Boscombe has blossomed. The area either side of the modified and restored pier is particularly popular with the surfing fraternity and has become the place to go surfing in the Bournemouth Area.
A great deal of re-development has taken place on and around Boscombe Beach. The pier has been modified with the removal of the old Mermaid theatre. A new artificial surf reef has been built although this has unfortunately not as yet been the succes the council hoped. The beach is also a good family beach and has a number of lifeguard stations during the peak season. There is a pub, a couple of cafes and a number of ice-cream sellers.
The Mermaid theatre that was at the end of Boscombe Pier was closed about 20 years ago and had lain derelict ever since. In a storm part of the roof came off and was never replaced. The whole of the pier end was regarded as a safety hazard and closed off from the public. Every year she deteriorated and nobody wanted to pick up the bill to repair her or the pier. Now shes gone, with the dangerous pier end as well. Today Boscombe Pier although somewhat shorter, is actually a rather nice place to promenade
Parking is not as good as it used to be. One of the large car parks near the pier has been sold off for (yet) more flats. There is still parking along the beach strand at the botton of the hill past the pier entrance but this is limited. Usually parking can be found further up in Boscombe.