Southbourne Beach

Southbourne Beach is a wide sandy beach backed by a promenade running below vegetation covered cliffs. The beach is much quieter than Bournemouth or Boscombe beaches so it very popular with locals. This is a Blue Flag beach so water quality is excellent. There is a lifeguard service running in June, July & August. Access to the beach is via sloping paths from Southbourne Coast Road (St Catherines Path) or from a path leading down from Warren Road Car Park (see below for details and car park charges). The great thing about Southbourne Beach (and the adjacent Fishermans Walk Beach) is that on-road cliff-top parking is free all day (Southbourne Coast Road & Southbourne Overcliff Drive all-day free parking).

Sat Nav Postcode BH6 4BE

Google map of Southbourne Beach

Southbourne Beach
Cliff-top view from Fisherman’s Walk looking towards Southbourne Beach with golden cliffs of Hengistbury Head in the distance, and the chalky white cliffs of the Needles on the Isle of Wight in the very far distance..

Facilities on the beach include a nice take-away cafe selling ice-creams as well as hot food. There are also beach front toilets.

Overall Southbourne Beach looks a bit run down and lacking a bit of investment but the actual beach is great. Locals love it just as it is as it doesn’t encourage the large influx of visitors as other more commercial beaches do. This may change in the next few years as the council have started construction of a new multi-million pound expanded facility including a modern restaurant, new toilets, a beach office and cliff lift.

Beach Map.

Southbourne Beach Car Parking

The Warren Edge Car Park is the closest surface car park in the area (see below) but you’ll have to pay to park there. Free all-day on-road parking can be found all the way along the clifftop road (Southbourne Coast Road & Southbourne Overcliff Drive) but you’ll have to get there early as the spaces fill up quickly.

Warren Edge Car Park

Sat Nav Postcode BH6 4BE (Google map)

This is a 24 hour long-stay car park for visitors to Southbourne Beach located just off the Southbourne Coast Road on cliffs overlooking the sea. You can’t pay by cash. You can only pay for parking by phone or using an online app such as JustPark, RingGo or PayByPhone.

More details can be found on the website

Warren Edge Car Park Charges

Up to 1 hour£2.50£2.10
Up to 2 hours£5£2.10
Up to 3 hours£6.20£4.20
Up to 4 hours£7.50£4.20
Up to 6 hours£11.30£4.20
Up to 24 hours£18.50£4.20
This car park is locked between 23.59pm and 8am. Height limit 2.1m. Information updated 06 March 2023
Southbourne Beach is a Blue Flag Beach. This means that the water quality is tested daily and is excellent for swimmers.
St Catherines Path down to the beach at Southbourne. At the bottom you’ll find the Bistro on the Beach Cafe & Restaurant, toilets, a beach office and beach shop. There are also a couple of water taps where you can fill up your water bottle and some outdoor showers.
The beach is patrolled by the RNLI lifeguards during the summer months June, July & August. The only area of the beach that is patrolled is the zone between the two yellow and red flags.
Bistro on the Beach ice-cream kiosk and take-away food.
This is at the far east end of the beach. From this point on it become Hengistbury Head Beach and there is no promenade although there is a wooden boardwalk just behind the sand dunes. This is a protected conservation area and nature reserve.

Related Pages: Mudeford Sandbank / Christchurch / Hengistbury Head / Fishermans Walk / Boscombe Beach / Bournemouth Beach / Bournemouth