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Southbourne Beach – A Blue Flag Beach

Southbourne Beach is a beautiful expanse of yellow sand and is a short distance west from Hengistbury Head. Due to its distance from central Bournemouth, this beach is usually less crowded and less hectic than the main beaches. Along with nearby Fishermans Walk, Southbourne Beach possesses a coveted Blue Flag.

Southbourne Beach
Southbourne Beach – a fine sandy family beach

A Blue Flag guarantees the beach is very clean and free from pollution. The cliffs behind the beach get significantly lower along Southbourne beach and pedestrian access is easier. Access is available at a number of different points. The Gordon ZigZag is the nearest access point from Bournemouth.


This beach is intended to be a safe and friendly environment children. The LV KidZone scheme runs through the summer months. In summer smoking on the beach is banned. Like Fishermans Walk beach, this is  primarily a family beach. It caters for families with small children and so during  the summer months it is a people only beach – No dogs.

While the beach is itself dog free, there are two dog excercise areas nearby. One is sandwiched in a small area between this beach and Fishermans Walk. There other is towards Solent (or Hengistbury Head) Beach. The beach has its own food/drink outlets including the famous “Bistro On the Beach” restaurant. Toilets and an information centre are also available along with a plethoria of ice cream outlets. RNLI lifeguards patrol the beach in summer and also administer the KidZone scheme..

Southbourne Beach viewed from the Gordon ZigZag
The Gordon ZigZag leads to Southbourne Beach

Parking for Southbourne Beach

A large carpark sits immediately behind the beach. Another is acroos the road from the beach and there is also a fair amount of freee road parking available. Slightly further away (short walk) are the two main car parks at Hengistbury Head, or going west, the road parking and nose-on bays behind Fishermans walk. The less mobile can access the beach by using the cliff lift at Fishermans Walk. The promenade from the lift is level and flat and an easy stroll. Further details on parking for this beach can be found On This Link

Some information on the development of this beach and the rest of the Bournemouth seafront is available on the council website On This Link