Boscombe Beach

Boscombe Beach

Boscombe Beach is a very popular beach due to its miles of golden sands in either direction and also because there are plenty of beach activities on offer, many of them free.

Google map of Boscombe Beach

A stroll along the restored pier makes for a nice change from sunbathing and offers great views of the coastline and out towards the Isle of Wight (free entry). You can fish from the end of the pier but you have to pick up a permit from the Boscombe Beach Office first.

Boscombe Beach and Boscombe Pier
Boscombe Beach is the name given to the beach on both sides of the pier. The beach on the right of the pier runs all the way to Bournemouth and is generally quieter. The beach to the left of the pier has loads of facilities such as cafes, restaurants, shops and equipment hire so is usually busier and more popular with the younger generation.

Next to the pier is The Neptune, part of the Harvester pub/restaurant chain. As you walk a bit further east (left side of the pier) you will find the The Overstrand, a multi-million pound regeneration development that includes the Urban Reef Seafront Restaurant and Beach Bar www.urbanreef.com , Sorted surf shop and surf school www.sortedsurfshop.co.uk , toilets and shower block, a beach office and 59 vintage-style beach pods. The pods are mini-holiday-apartments that are available to rent.

Panoramic view of Boscombe Beach
Panoramic view looking east. At the end of the golden sands is a sandstone headland called Hengistbury Head. Even further around the bay you can see some white chalk cliffs, these are known as the Needles on the Isle of White. If you look south straight out to sea then it’s about 74 miles to Cherbourg in France (although you won’t be able to see it sorry)

On the beach there are volley ball nets and some large boulders to climb on, as well as zones for slacklining and table tennis. There are paddle boards, kayaks, surfboards and wetsuits for hire. Lessons are available at the Sorted Surf School.

There are RNLI lifeguard station located on both sides of the pier. If you have young kids make sure that they enter the water between the two red and yellow flags since this is the only section of the beach that is monitored. (service only operating between May and September).

View of the roundabout at the approach to the pier
Pier approach roundabout.

Boscombe Overstrand Car Park

Sat Nav Postcode BH5 1BN (Google map)

This is a 24 hour long-stay car park for visitors to Boscombe Beach located just off Sea Road by Boscombe Pier. You can’t pay by cash. You can pay for parking by phone or using an online app such as JustPark, RingGo or PayByPhone (this is a similar method to most other pay and display car parks in the Bournemouth region).

More details can be found on the https://www.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/Parking/ website

Boscombe Overstrand Parking Charges

Apr-OctNov-Mar
Up to 1 hour£2.20£1.90
Up to 2 hours£4.40£1.90
Up to 3 hours£5.60£3.80
Up to 4 hours£6.80£3.80
Up to 6 hours£10.20£3.80
Up to 24 hours£16.80£3.80
Height limit 2.1m. Information updated 29 May 2022

Boscombe Undercliff Car Park (Seafront)

Sat Nav Postcode BH5 1BN (Google map)

This has to be one of the best seafront car parks in Bournemouth since parking is right on the promenade and just a few steps to the beach. This car park is particularly convenient if you are bringing loads of beach equipment such as tents and BBQs or carrying paddleboards or surf boards.

You can’t pay by cash. You can pay for parking by phone or using an online app such as JustPark, RingGo or PayByPhone (this is a similar method to most other pay and display car parks in the Bournemouth region).

During the school summer holidays (July & August) access to the seafront car park is controlled by an attendant at a ticket booth at the entrance by Boscombe Pier. During this time you can’t just pay by the hour – see the parking charges below. I’m pretty sure you have to pay by card (contactless) but not 100% sure they’ll accept cash.

More details can be found on the https://www.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/Parking/ website

Boscombe Undercliff Parking Charges

Summer High SeasonJuly-Sept*
Arrive before 2pm£13.60
Arrive between 2pm and 4pm£9.20
Arrive after 4pm£5.80
Arrive after 6pm£2.90
Access to the seafront car park is next to Boscombe Pier roundabout and is controlled by a ticket booth. Updated 20 April 2022
Mid and Low SeasonApr-Jun*, Set-Oct*Nov-Mar*
Up to 1 hour£2.20£1.90
Up to 2 hours£4.40£1.90
Up to 6 hours£6.80£3.80
Over 6 hours£9.20£3.80
* the exact dates depend on school terms. Access to the seafront car park is next to Boscombe Pier roundabout and is controlled by a ticket booth. Updated 29 May 2022
walking up Boscombe Chine Gardens
Boscombe Chine walk
Photo of the Land Train that runs between the beaches of Boscombe and Bournemouth
The Bournemouth Land Train runs between Boscombe Beach and Bournemouth Beach. There is a bus stop at the Pier Approach roundabout.
View from the pier looking east towards Hengistbury Head
Looking east along the beach from the pier.
Souvenirs at a beach shop
There are beach shops at the entrance to the pier and also at the Overstrand which is a short walk along the beach to the east.
Boscombe Pier is free to enter
Boscombe Pier is Free to walk along.
colourful deckchairs on the pier
You’ll have to pay to sit on a deckchair (if you get caught).
view from the pier looking back towards the west beach
View from the pier. This side of the beach is generally quieter since there aren’t so many facilities.
view from the pier looking back towards the east beach
The beach to the east of the pier has plenty of facilities including the Overstrand which is a fairly new development comprising shops, cafes, restaurants, surf school, equipment hire and toilets with showers.
view along Boscombe beach looking east. The Overstrand in clearly visible
There are lifeguard stations on both sides of the pier (summer months only)
Bouldering on the beach at Boscombe
Just to the left of the the pier are some large boulders to climb on and try different routes to the top. It’s free. Apparently each boulder has been shaped to resemble local landmarks including Old Harry Rocks and the Agglestone Rock in Studland.
There are lifeguard stations on both sides of the pier.
Lifeguard Station 10am – 6pm May – September. Swim between the yellow and red flags
The Overstrand at Boscombe includes the Urban Reef cafe / restaurant / bar
The Overstrand (Google map) includes Urban Reef Cafe/restaurant https://www.urbanreef.com, The Wood Oven (Pizzas) http://www.thewoodoven.co.uk, Sorted Surf School https://www.sortedsurfschool.co.uk who also hire out surfboards, wetsuits etc.
View of the Urban Reef outdoor seating
Urban Reef Cafe/restaurant
Sorted Surf Shop offer lessons and equipment hire
Sorted Surf Shop
Volleyball nets set up along the beach
There are a couple of volleyball nets set up on the beach in front of The Overstrand (Google map)
Paddle boards, surfboards and kayaks for hire on Boscombe Beach

Related Page: Bournemouth Land Train / Bournemouth Beach / Bournemouth / Fisherman’s Walk Beach / Southbourne Beach / Hengistbury Head