Staycations will be booming in the summer, with many people flocking to seaside towns to see the best of the British coastline. Bournemouth is a quintessential British seaside town, boasting an 11-mile coastline, with award-winning Blue Flag beaches noted for their amenities – so it’s guaranteed to be bustling with tourists this year. If you’re planning on taking a train to Bournemouth but unsure of the best sandy beaches to visit, here are CrossCountry’s favourite Bournemouth beaches.
By far the busiest beach along this coastal town is its namesake: Bournemouth beach. Situated close to the restaurants, bars, and shopping centres within the town, it’s the perfect place for tourists to step straight out of the hotel or train and have sandy feet within minutes.
While it has all the amenities you’d expect from a beach of this calibre – toilets, cafes, and restaurants – its proximity to other activities is what draws people to Bournemouth beach year after year. If you’ve had enough of building sandcastles and dipping your toes in the sea, the Bournemouth Big Wheel, Oceanarium, and gardens are just a quick walk away, making it the perfect day out for everyone.
How to get there: It’s just a 20-minute walk away, or you can take the number 4 bus.
Alum Chine beach
You generally get a good feel of the best places to visit in an area by where the locals go, and most Bournemouth locals flock to Alum Chine beach in the summertime. Perhaps not as well-known to tourists, this West Bournemouth beach is busy enough to feel like a holiday attraction but far enough away from the town centre to give off the vibe of a secluded, secret beach.
That doesn’t mean it skimps on facilities, though. A pirate-themed playground, lost children centres, pubs, and ice cream kiosks make it accessible for anyone, whether you’re travelling alone, as a couple, or with the family.
How to get there: From the train station, take the M1 bus towards St Michaels Roundabout.
One of Britain’s most famous beaches, Sandbanks has built a reputation for being home to some of the country’s wealthiest people over the years – and for good reason. This peninsula is of the highest quality with some of the finest, golden sand in the country. No wonder it has received the accolade of one of Britain’s best beaches for several decades.
If it’s a family-friendly beach you’re looking for, Sandbanks is the place to visit. Awarded the Blue Flag for the last 30 years, you’ll have access to a crazy golf course, children’s play area, water sports equipment, volleyball equipment, and table tennis tables. Or, if you’re feeling lazy, relax at one of the many cafes along the promenade while basking in the summer sun.
How to get there: From the train station, take the number 50 bus to St. Nicolas Chapel.
Durley Chine beach
Just a kilometre away from the hustle and bustle of Bournemouth beach sits Durley Chine beach, yet another Blue Flag spot ideal for individuals and families alike. Dog-friendly and monitored regularly by RNLI lifeguards, this beach also has great facilities like toilets with baby changing facilities and lost children centres that make it the ideal place for a family day out.
This quiet beach spot has something for everyone. Pubs and restaurants on the town centre side of the beach make it ideal for a late-evening stroll to watch the sunset, sampling some of Bournemouth’s best food and drink. It’s the perfect way to end a day on one of the finest beaches in town –clean, golden sand and a calm sea. What’s not to love?
How to get there: From the train station, take the number 3 bus towards St Michaels Roundabout.
Canford Cliffs beach
If you’re looking for a quieter beach a bit further away from Bournemouth’s more well-known spots, then Canford Cliffs is the place to relax. Situated nearby one of the town’s more affluent areas, few people know about this beach and it’s all the better for it. One reason why it’s more relaxed than others on this list is because of the journey to get there: the only access is via a narrow ravine with many steps and different paths. But don’t let this put you off; it’s well worth the wait.
However, just because fewer people visit Canford Cliffs doesn’t mean it has fewer facilities. A football pitch on the beach, a designated safe swim zone, cafes, and toilets ensure anyone can enjoy the clear water and fine sand.
Shore Road beach
Relaxing and topping up the tan is what most people think of when they head to the beach. But others are looking for a more active time, with water sports and swimming. If the latter is more your cup of tea, make the short journey to Shore Beach Road.
With shallower waters than most beaches along the Bournemouth beachfront, Shore Road is well-known for its wind and kite surfing. But even if you aren’t feeling that adventurous, it offers a great place to swim safely with the family before you dry off for a coffee and stop off for food in one of the many local cafes, pubs, and restaurants.
How to get there: From the train station, take the number 50 bus towards Shore Road.
Book a train with CrossCountry
If you’re planning a holiday to Bournemouth, make sure to check out our Staycation Blog posts for more inspiration. Don’t forget to look at our Bournemouth train station guide and save money on your travel with Advance train tickets.
Written by Julia