Boscombe Beach is just down the road (literally – it’s quite a steep road) from the centre of Boscombe. The beach is divided into Boscombe East and Boscombe West by the Pier.
Boscombe is 1.5 miles along the Prom from Bournemouth. It’s a pleasant stroll/cycle, or it can be reached on the land train. There is a beachside Pay & Display car park (approximately £2.20 an hour). This fills up very quickly at peak times; a better option is to park at the Park & Ride in King’s Park. This costs £5 per day and includes the complimentary shuttle bus, which runs every 15 minutes between 9 am and 6.45 pm and stops right next to the Pier. (Note; the Park & Ride does not operate if AFC Bournemouth are playing at home).
Boscombe Pier is a lovely place to take a stroll and admire the view across the bay to the Purbecks and the Isle of Wight.
There are two Lifeguard points, one situated either side of the pier. They are manned from 10 am to 6 pm. Boscombe East is in operation from 9th April to 25th September and Boscombe West from 28th May to 4th September.
Food and Drink
There are several dining options on the beach itself, plus plenty more on the way up the hill into Boscombe and in Boscombe itself. There is also a kiosk selling junk food and beach tat at the end of the pier (the owner nearly ran me over during a boot camp once, not that I bear a grudge or anything).
Urban Reef has an an inside section – a cosy place to eat and enjoy a sea view when it’s cold/windy. However, in summer, most of the action spills outside. There’s also a wood fired oven takeaway pizza service.
There is a Harvester (The Neptune) serving typical Harvester food right opposite the pier. I’ve never eaten here, but I guess it’s pretty similar to other Harvesters, only closer to the beach. It has some outdoor seating.
The Prom Diner is, not surprisingly, a diner on the Prom. It also has an ice cream kiosk. Currently, there is an additional area on the beach itself, called, wait for it…. The Beach Diner. Here, you can order and a man will bring it across the road to you Abbey Road style. At least it reminds me of Abbey Road every time I cycle past and nearly knock him over, because in the previous six years I’ve lived here, nobody has ever used that crossing…
Boscombe Beach also has public toilets and public barbecues. In addition, there are plenty of activities available if you prefer your beach time to be action packed. There are some boulders for climbing on (very popular with selfie lovers), volleyball courts, table tennis tables and Sorted Surf School, which offers surfing and SUP lessons plus surfboard, SUP and kayak hire.
Bournemouth Air Festival
One of my highlights of the year is Bournemouth Air Festival and Boscombe Beach is my favourite locations for watching the action, especially the Red Arrows who appear from behind the cliff top to dive and soar overhead. It pays to get there in plenty of time, though if you want to claim a sport on the beach.