Bournemouth Beach – All you need to know about the Dorset seaside

BOURNEMOUTH is one of the most popular beaches along the south coast, with seven miles of golden sand, beautiful blue waters and even its famous pier.

However, there are a number of burning questions that wannabe visitors regularly ask before heading to the Dorset sandy paradise.

Bournemouth Beach is one of the most popular seaside hubs in England with seven miles of sandy paradise (Pixabay/Diego Torres)
Bournemouth Beach is one of the most popular seaside hubs in England with seven miles of sandy paradise (Pixabay/Diego Torres)

Do you have to pay to go to Bournemouth Beach?

Bournemouth Beach is a free-to-use public beach, meaning you will not need to pay to walk on its shores.

The beach is owned and maintained by the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council and while you are free to enter all day long, there are certain rules that you must follow, including:

  • Respect the beach staff from cleaners and rangers to RNLI volunteers
  • Do not litter. Use the bins provided or risk a maximum fine of £150
  • Do not sleep or camp on the beach overnight. You would face a £1,000 fine
  • Open fires, fire pits and fire bowls are prohibited from the beach, promenade and cliffs
  • Only disposable barbecues are permitted on Bournemouth Beach and from 6pm to 10.30pm
  • You must ask for permission to have a barbecue with 30 or more people
  • You are not allowed on the sand dunes
  • Cycling, skating and skateboarding are banned from the seafront promenades and paths in July and August from 10am to 6pm
  • Privately owned e-scooters are banned at all times. Beryl rental e-scooters are permitted except in July and August from 10am to 6pm
  • Lectures, sermons and any performances are forbidden on the beach
  • Ball games are banned from the promenades
  • Begging, busking or asking for money through donations, verbally or by handing out leaflets is forbidden
  • Generators are not permitted on the beach
  • Climbing walls, fences and cliffs are forbidden
  • Posters or notices are not allowed to be put up by the beach

How much does it cost to park at Bournemouth Beach?

With the sheer length of Bournemouth Beach, there is a wide range of places to park, from just a few metres from the seafront to a bit closer to the town centre.

The closest car park is Bath Road South that offers long stay parking and disabled spots 24/7, with prices from £3.30 for an hour between April and October or £2.10 for the rest of the year – however, it can get busy quite quickly.

Meanwhile, if you want to stay closer to the town centre, the NCP car park on Richmond Hill charges £2.40 for up to two hours and a maximum of £11.50 for 24 hours – but it is a ten-minute walk to the beach.

Bournemouth Beach has two piers - Boscombe Pier and Bournemouth Pier (Pixabay/Dimitris Vetsikas)
Bournemouth Beach has two piers – Boscombe Pier and Bournemouth Pier (Pixabay/Dimitris Vetsikas)

Does Bournemouth Beach have toilets?

There are 17 toilet facilities along the seafront with them all open between May 15 and September 17 from 7am to between 10pm and 11pm, with shorter hours during the winter months.

The majority do of bathroom hubs also have disabled restrooms – although there are some that don’t, with BCP Council denoting that the following are without one:

  • Toft zig zag next to Surfsteps surf school, Undercliff Drive
  • Boscombe West, next to the entrance gates for Boscombe Undercliff car park
  • Boscombe East, just past the coloured beach huts before the Bournemouth Beach Lodges, Boscombe Promenade
  • Manor Steps, at the bottom of the zig zag, behind Bournemouth Beach Lodges
    Boscombe Promenade
  • Warren’s Edge, white building at the bottom of the zig zag 100m east of Bistro on the Beach

Is Bournemouth Beach safe to swim in?

The English Channel that flows into Bournemouth Beach is safe to swim in with no pollution incidents reported.

Bournemouth Beach has also been awarded by Blue Flag, which accepts beaches based on their environment, safety, cleanliness and accessibility.

The following areas are Blue Flag beaches in Bournemouth:

  • Fisherman’s Walk
  • Manor Steps
  • Durley Chine
  • Alum Chine
  • Branksome Chine, Poole
  • Canford Cliffs Chine, Poole
  • Shore Road, Poole
  • Sandbanks Penisular, Poole
Bournemouth Beach is broken into various segments ranging from Hengisitbury Head to Poole's Sandbanks (Pixabay/Dimitris Vetsikas)
Bournemouth Beach is broken into various segments ranging from Hengistbury Head to Poole’s Sandbanks (Pixabay/Dimitris Vetsikas)

Are dogs allowed on Bournemouth Beach?

Dogs are allowed onto Bournemouth Beach all year round, but there are certain areas where they are banned from during the summer months.

From May 1 to September 30, canines are restricted from stepping onto the majority of the seafront by the Dorset town.

The areas that dogs are allowed on include:

  • Sandbanks, Poole
  • Branksome Dene, Poole
  • Middle Chine
  • Parts of Southbourne Beach
  • Hengistbury Head

It is advised that the check notice boards to ensure you remain within the correct limits.

Dogs must also be kept on a lead when you are on the promenade, piers, cliff paths and zig zags at all times, all year round.