100 Things to do in (and around) Bournemouth 36 – Southbourne Beach

Full disclosure – today’s Blog was going to be titled ‘Go to the Beach’. Bournemouth boasts 7 miles of sandy beaches including 12 Blue Flag Beaches and two further Seaside Award Beaches. The plan was to cycle the length of the Prom, from east to west, visiting and photographing all 11 beaches (the other three are further to the east).

Looking down at Southbourne Beach
Looking down at Southbourne Beach

It was a glorious day. According to my weather App, the first in a long line of glorious days. So I got up early (cycling is prohibited on the Prom between 10 am and 6 pm in July/August), packed my bag with water, a bikini and a book and set off for the first beach; Southbourne Beach.

Southbourne Beach
Southbourne Beach

Like I said, it was a glorious day and three hours later, I was still on Southbourne Beach lazing in the sunshine reading aforementioned book. So, a slight change of tack due to a very un-British weather forecast of days and days and days of hot, dry (perfect beach) weather; visit one beach a day. Thus, today’s post is solely about Southbourne Beach.

Prom at Southbourne Beach
Prom at Southbourne Beach

Getting There

Southbourne Beach is approximately 3.5 miles along the Prom from central Bournemouth. It can be accessed from the Coast Road via St Catherine’s Path or Warren Edge Path. Warren Edge has a Pay & Display Car Park and there is also some free roadside parking. Buster’s Beach Bus runs along the Coast Road and stops at Warren Edge. The M2 bus stops nearby at Southbourne Cross Roads.

St Catherine's Path to Southbourne Beach
St Catherine’s Path to Southbourne Beach

If you haven’t visiting Southbourne Beach in the past few months, it looks rather different. The former restaurant, Bistro on the Beach, has been demolished to make way for a larger building which will be accessible either from the Prom or the cliff top.

Rear of SOBO Beach
Rear of SOBO Beach

SOBO Beach

In the meantime, new for 2022 (it only opened on 9th July), a trendy new pop up, SOBO Beach, has been installed. Consisting of a row of brightly coloured shipping containers, which house the Flamingo Grill, Wok Shack, an Ice Cream Hut and a Cocktail Bar. In addition, there is a Double Decker Bus Bar/VIP Lounge. All surrounded by elevated seating and enclosed in a windproof box, so you can sit and enjoy the view whilst imbibing even on those less than perfect English Summer’s Days.

SOBO Beach from the beach
SOBO Beach from the beach

At the moment, the restaurant is only partially open; there is still work going on (so it was rather noisy) and their Alcohol Licence doesn’t kick in until 19th July, so I haven’t visited yet. Once cocktails are on the menu, I am willing to ‘take one for the team’ and go and try them out…

SOBO Beach Bus Bar
SOBO Beach Bus Bar

Lifeguards

There is an RNLI Lifeguard Station on Southbourne Beach, which is manned from 10 am until 6 pm between 28th May and 4th September. The lifeguarded area is solely for swimmers and is theoretically dog free. Water craft, such as SUPs and kayaks, and dogs can be launched from areas to the east or west of here.

Southbourne Beach Lifeguard Tower
Southbourne Beach Lifeguard Tower

Other Facilities

There are two sets of public toilets; one in a shipping container next to SOBO Beach and another (permanent building) next to the bottom of Warren Path. There is also an Ice Cream Kiosk by Warren Path.

Author: Jane's Midlife Journey

Stopped work, started travelling. Sometimes I run - combining the two with some parkrun tourism.

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