Bournemouth Beach

Bournemouth Beach is often considered to be one of the best beaches in the UK especially when you take into account beach cleanliness, water quality, visitor facilities, attractions and good weather. The beach is situated in the middle of a 9.5 mile stretch of beautiful golden sands running from Hengistbury Head, 5.5 miles to the east, all the way to Sandbanks 4 miles to the west.

Photo of Bournemouth Pier in the summer taken from the West Cliff.
Bournemouth Beach (West) and Pier. You can see the chalk cliffs of the Isle of Wight on the horizon.

Great beaches and some of the best weather in the UK make Bournemouth a very popular destination attracting more than 6 million visitors per year. This means it can get quite crowded during the summer holidays especially at the weekends or when guaranteed sunshine is forecast.

The beaches close to the pier tend to be more popular with the younger crowd and with the large student population studying in the town. However just a short walk in either direction will soon bring you to a quieter stretch of sand. The nearby beaches at Durley Chine (11 minutes walk west), Middle Chine (14 minutes walk west) or Alum Chine (18 minutes walk west) are all Blue Flag award beaches and make excellent alternatives to Bournemouth’s busier beaches. This is where you’ll find the locals setting out their towels in the summer. If you don’t feel like walking then a couple of Seafront Land Trains run along the promenade starting from the pier. One runs east to Boscombe Pier and another runs west as far as Branksome Chine Beach stopping at all the intermediate beaches on the way.

Facilities at Bournemouth Beach are numerous as you would expect for a resort of this size. You’ll find plenty of seafront restaurants, cafes and ice-cream kiosks, as well as amusement arcades, toilets and beach shops. The landscaped area directly in front of the pier is known as the Pier Approach. You’ll find the Tourist Information Office here filled with friendly and knowledgeable staff (Google map). The office has plenty of maps and leaflets to help you make the most of your visit as well as guide books and souvenirs.

Bournemouth Tourism’s Official website can be found at

View of the pier taken from a drone. You can see the zip-line tower on the end of the pier. The red building to the left is the Bournemouth International Centre BIC.
View of Bournemouth Pier taken from a drone. You can see the zip-line tower on the end of the pier. The red brick building to the left is the Bournemouth International Centre BIC.

Bournemouth Pier

Opening times: 9am till 11pm, 7 days a week

There is a pier toll from the beginning of March until the end of October. It’s free during the winter months. Each ticket is valid for the full season so save the ticket if you plan to return.

Ticket typeEntrance fee
Adult day / season ticket£1.40
Family day / season ticket£4.40
Child day / season ticket£1.00
Under 5’s Free
Carer with disabled personFree
Entrance price from March to October. Free November to February. Info last updated 06 March 2023
Bournemouth Pier and Bournemouth East Beach taken from the East Cliff. You can see the headland of Old Harry Rocks in the distance
View from the East Cliff looking towards the pier. You can see Old Harry Rocks near Studland in the distance.

Nearby Bournemouth Visitor attractions

Visitor attractions close to the beach include the Big Wheel, the Oceanarium, the RockReef & Pier Zip , the Lower Gardens and the Russell Cotes Art Gallery and Museum.

For information about car parks and car parking charges please see our webpage Bournemouth Car Parks

Records show that Bournemouth experiences 32% less rain in August than the national average, 8-10% higher peak temperatures and 18-25% more sunshine over the summer month.

View from the West Cliff looking west towards Sandbanks and Studland beaches
Sand castles
There are plenty of deck chairs available along the sea front at Bournemouth but you’ll have to pay to hire them.
Fishing boats on Durley Chine Beach at sunrise. You can see the Pier in the distance.

Related Pages: Bournemouth / Bournemouth Car Parks / Bournemouth Big Wheel / Bournemouth Oceanarium / RockReef and PierZip / Lower Gardens / Russell Cotes Museum / Land Train / Boscombe Beach / Alum Chine Beach / Durley Chine Beach / Bournemouth Air Festival / Christmas Tree Wonderland