Bournemouth attracts almost 7-million visitors every year and whilst most visit in summer, Bournemouth is equally as pretty in the winter. If you’ve decided to visit the seaside town in the colder months, taking a walk around Bournemouth may not be at the top of your bucket list. However, we’re here to tell you that it should be (just remember to pack your winter warmers!).
We’ve picked out three walks in Bournemouth that are easily accessible from the city centre and can be completed in a morning or afternoon. Alternatively, if you’re an avid walker, you could do all three! Your step counter will thank you later.
Book your train to Bournemouth for a wonderful, winter walk. Take advantage of great prices when you book an Advance Ticket with CrossCountry.
1. Stream, Heath and Woodland Walk
Typical duration 1-2-hours, depending on pace and breaks
Start and finish Cenotaph War Memorial
Start postcode BH2 6DW
Getting there: The Cenotaph is located in Central Gardens and is just over a 20-minute walk from Bournemouth Station. Alternatively, there are plenty of buses that you can hop on which will drop you off around a 5-minute walk from the War Memorial.
The Stream, Heath and Woodland Walk is a lovely short stroll that takes in the nature that surrounds Bournemouth’s city-centre. The route starts in Central Gardens, where you will wander past a young oak tree commemorating the life of Princess Diana.
You will pass peaceful streams and bridges as you walk through the Upper Gardens, towards the wet area that is managed as a wildflower meadow. Flowers probably won’t be in bloom if you’re visiting in winter, but the wetland will be pretty, nonetheless.
Make your way further up the park to Coy Pond – a tranquil pond and gardens, perfect for a sit down. If you’ve packed some sarnies, now’s your chance to get them out. Watch the ducks waddle along the pond’s banks which are dominated by weeping willow and alder trees. The trees may be bare but follow the corridor they form to continue your route.
Soon you will reach a lovely viewpoint, with vistas over the heath. This is a great photo opportunity, so get your camera out before retracing your steps and continuing the walk.
Next, you will join the path down into the woodland of Pug’s Hole, thought to have been named after a local smuggler called Captain Pug. A valley with steep wooded slopes and wooded trails, Pug’s Hole looks magical during the winter. There are a variety of trees, from pines to sycamore, with lots of birds living in them, so keep an eye (and ear) out.
For the last section of the walk, you will pass through the immaculate grounds of Meyrick Park Golf Courses, so beware of fly away golf balls!
This is a gentle, easy stroll allowing you to enjoy Bournemouth’s inner-city fauna and flora.
2. Bournemouth Pier Amusements to Sandbanks
Typical duration 2.5-hours round-trip
Start and finish Bournemouth Pier
Start postcode BH5 5AA
Getting there: Bournemouth Pier Amusements is a 25-minute walk from Bournemouth Station. Or you can jump on a bus and arrive in 10-minutes.
The walk from Bournemouth Pier to Sandbanks Beach offers endless, beautiful seaside vistas along the coast. The promenade is flat the whole way, so the 2.5-hour round trip is as easy on the knees as it is the eyes. The coast can be very chilly during winter, so remember to wrap up warm!
Enjoy the crisp, coastal air as you wander along the promenade and watch the waves crashing onto the shore. There are several restaurants and cafés dotted along the route, so you can stop for a cup of coffee and a break from the cold.
After 3-miles of walking (roughly an hour), you will find that the promenade turns right, away from the beach. Opposite the Jazz Café, you’ll find an entrance to Sandbanks Beach Club. Follow the path until you reach Banks Road. Turn left and continue down this road until you see a carpark on your left. Walk through the carpark and you’ve found Sandbanks beach!
You can choose to retrace your steps back to Bournemouth Pier Amusements or jump on the number 12 bus back to Bournemouth city centre.
If you’re a regular hiker and want a bit more of a challenge, you can continue your walk to Swanage. This takes in stunning views of Old Harry Rocks, The Pinnacles, Studland and Bournemouth beaches.
3. Bournemouth Pier to Boscombe Pier
Distance 1.5-miles, one way
Typical duration 30-minutes, 1-hour round-trip
Start and finish Bournemouth Pier, Boscombe Pier
Start postcode BH2 5AA
Getting there: Getting to Bournemouth Pier on foot will take around 25-minutes from Bournemouth Station.
If the winter weather is taking its toll but you want to stretch your legs, this leisurely walk is the answer. Just 30-minutes of walking from Bournemouth to Boscombe Pier will get your blood pumping and release endorphins on any winter’s day.
This gorgeous coastal walk offers stunning views and is an easy walk for the whole family as the promenade is flat the whole way.
Looking for some culture on your trip to Bournemouth? Detour up the nearby East Cliff slope towards the Russell-Cotes Museum and Gallery, a fascinating and exotic seaside villa perched on the cliff top, filled with beautiful objects from the Victorian owners’ world travels. There are often art exhibitions, and you’ll find a welcoming café for warming refreshments.
Once you’re back on the promenade, continue walking straight until you reach Boscombe Pier. If you’re feeling full of energy you can do it all again in the opposite direction, or alternatively hop on the 1a bus from the Boscombe Gardens stop back to Bournemouth.
If you’re planning on staying in Bournemouth for a few days this year, gain inspiration for your itinerary with our guide on things to do in Bournemouth.
CrossCountry has services running throughout the year to Bournemouth from all over the country. Whenever you plan your visit, remember to buy an Advance ticket to CrossCountry using our Train Tickets app.