The Southern beach below Hengistbury Head is one of the the less commercialised beaches in the Bournemouth area. Most people refer to it as Hengistbury Head beach but its official name is Solent Beach.
The beach is a mix of sand and shingle and is offset by the 30 metre high crumbling cliff-face of Hengistbury Head. Although somewhat despoiled by the very necessary beach defences, the beach is a quiet natural place.
Hengistbury Head is a SSSI – a Site of Special Scientific Interest. It supports a huge huge range of wildlife and has a history which goes right back to the Iron Age. More information on these aspects is available On This Link
Hengistbury Head is much more than a beach. It provides the visitor with an insight into Iron Age life as well as providing rough and rugged natural terrain. It is well worth visiting with children, not so much for the beach but for the nature trail and the activities put on by the staff of the Visitors Centre. The Visitors Centre times and activities can be found On This Link. Perfect for a cloudy day!
If you want a continuous supply of ice cream, nearby toilets, childrens clubs etc, this is the wrong beach for you. If however you like to be a little more self sufficient and dislike noisy crowded beaches you will find Solent beach more to your liking. Be aware that there is no Lifeguard on the this beach and you should stay back from the cliffs.
Hengistbury Beach is also popular for sea fishing, especially from the end of the Long Groyne. Nearby open grassland known as Barn Field, allows the visitor to picnic away from the sandy beach and is also very popular for kite flying. Visitors should be aware that fires and barbeques are not allowed. This is after all, a very special place and should be treated with respect. There are toilets and a cafe. Finally there is a land train which will take you to Mudeford Sandspit