Hengistbury Head

Hengistbury Head Beach lies at the most eastern end of an 9.5 mile continuous strip of golden beaches that runs from Sandbanks via Bournemouth and Boscombe. The beach is relatively unspoilt and free from the usual commercialism found elsewhere. Generally the beach is sandy with sections of shingle and backed by sand dunes and sandy cliffs towards the end. There is no lifeguard service on this beach.

Sat Nav Postcode BH6 4EN

Google map of Hengistbury Head Beach

Hengistbury Head Beach looking east with views of the Isle of Wight in the background.
Hengistbury Head looking east. The chalk cliffs on the horizon are part of the Needles on the Isle of Wight.

Hengistbury Head is not only popular for its beach but it is a favourite with walkers, particularly visitors with dogs since dogs are allowed on the beaches all year round. The whole area is a designated as a Local Nature Reserve, a Site of Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation. Paths lead up to the top of the Headland from which you get spectacular panoramic views of the nature reserve, Christchurch Harbour, Mudeford Sandbank, Mudeford Quay, Poole Bay and across to the Needles on the Isle of Wight.

Hengistbury Head Beach
Hengistbury Head beach

Facilities at Hengistbury Head include a large car park (see below for car park charges and details), the Hiker Cafe next to the car park with public toilets. A land train runs between the cafe and Mudeford Sandbank, otherwise it’s a 20 minute walk. At the excellent Hengistbury Head Visitors Centre you can learn about the flora and fauna and the history of the area. https://www.visithengistburyhead.co.uk/ The centre is packed with interactive displays and run by friendly and enthusiastic volunteers. Evidence shows that people have lived and worked on the site for around 12,000 years. During the Bronze Age, around 4,000 years ago, Hengistbury Head became a place for ceremony and ritual and there is evidence of burial mounds. For more info visit the Visitor Centre or their website.

View from Hengistbury Head of the beach huts along Mudeford Sandbank. Some of the huts have sold for as much as £250,000. Christchurch Harbour is in the foreground with the tide out. Behind the beach huts is the sea, well Christchurch Bay to be more specific.

Hengistbury Head Car Park

Sat Nav Postcode BH6 4EN (Google map of car park)

There is a large 24 hour long stay car park for visitors to Hengistbury Head and Mudeford Sandbank. 704 spaces (17 disabled spaces). You can’t pay by cash but the machines will accept payment by card. Alternatively you can pay by phone or by using an online app (JustPark, RingGo or PayByPhone). Even though this is a 24 hour car park the gates to the car park are locked between 10pm and 5am. This is to provide added security for people leaving their cars and staying overnight at the beach huts on Mudeford Sandbank.

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

Hengistbury Head Parking Charges

15 Mar – 31 Oct01 Nov – 14 Mar
Up to 1 hour£2.80£2.30
Up to 2 hours£5.50£2.30
Up to 3 hours£6.80£4.60
Up to 4 hours£8.30£4.60
Up to 6 hours£12.40£4.60
Up to 24 hours£20.40£4.60
The car park is locked between 10pm and 5am. Height limit 2.1m. Information updated 03 March 2024
View of Mudeford Sandbank

Hengistbury Head Land Train

The land train runs between the Hiker Cafe (next to the main Hengistbury Head car park) and Mudeford Sandbank.

Website: https://www.visithengistburyhead.co.uk/

Trains running dates and times
16 – 31 March 2024: weekends
April – October 2024: everday
Winter: closed
Trains run from 10am till 4pm (until 5pm during school summer holidays)
The last train can get very busy in the summer so best to take an earlier one or prepare to walk back if full.

Hengistbury Head Land Train Ticket Prices

Children (5-16 yrs)£2.70
Family (2A+3C)£12.50
Under 5s/ carerFree
Card payments only, Pay the guard on the train. Info last updated 06 March 2024
View across to Christchurch and Christchurch Priory church with the Christchurch Harbour and the River Stour.

Related Pages: Mudeford Quay / Mudeford Sandbank / Christchurch / Southbourne Beach / Fishermans Walk / Boscombe Beach / Bournemouth Beach / Bournemouth