100 Things to do in (and around) Bournemouth 46 – Bournemouth Beach

Most people’s idea of a trip to Bournemouth is to visit Bournemouth Beach. The main access point is from the centre of town via Pier Approach. There are further access points via West Cliff Zigzag to the west and Toff Zigzag to the east. Bournemouth Beach is split, by the Pier into East (Cliff) and West (Cliff).

Bournemouth Beach
Bournemouth Beach

Pier Approach

Pier Approach; a plaza at the head of the Pier has several attractions; there are restaurants, Tourist Information, an Observation Wheel, mini golf and toilets.

Pier Approach with Spiderman art installation
Pier Approach with Spiderman art installation

Bars/Restaurants

Aruba

Restaurant/bar/club, Aruba has a short food menu and a long drinks menu. It offers plenty of entertainment, plus a popular bottomless brunch on Fridays and Saturdays.

Aruba
Aruba

Sunset Beach Club

Pop up restaurant Sunset Beach Club, linked with Aruba, is open from 15th April to 1st October. It offers food (mainly burgers and pizza), drinks (focusing on cocktails) and DJs.

Sunset Beach Club
Sunset Beach Club

Hot Rocks

Specialising in pizza downstairs with an upstairs restaurant, Hot Rocks is currently closed following a fire. I went here once – that was enough.

Hot Rocks
Hot Rocks

Prom Cafe

The Prom Cafe is yet another place on Bournemouth seafront to buy burgers.

Prom Cafe and Tourist Information
Prom Cafe and Tourist Information

Bournemouth Pier

The Focal Point of Bournemouth Beach is the Victorian Bournemouth Pier; a tourist attraction in its own right, with amusements, a restaurant and Rock Reef (climbing, slides and zipwire).

Bournemouth Pier from Observation Wheel
Bournemouth Pier from Observation Wheel

Bournemouth West Beach

Also known as West Cliff Beach, this popular beach stretches for 1.5 miles from west of Bournemouth Pier to Durley Chine Beach. It’s a busy beach with many bars, restaurants, amusements and shops.

The Shack at West Beach
The Shack at West Beach

Bars/Restaurants

West Beach

West Beach offers a menu focused on seafood (with a vegan fish & chips option) a refreshing change from the burger rich menus of other establishments. In addition, it has some interesting art work on its exterior.

West Beach
West Beach

W Beach

W Beach is West Beach’s summer pop up. It offers a bar menu focusing on drinks, plus a few food options – mainly pizza.

W Beach
W Beach

Other Facilities

Also on West Beach are the Oceanarium, Happyland Amusements, an ice cream kiosk and toilets.

Happyland Amusements
Happyland Amusements

Bournemouth East Beach

Also known as East Cliff Beach, this popular beach stretches for 1.5 miles just east of Bournemouth Pier to Boscombe Pier. It’s a busy beach with many bars, restaurants, amusements, shops and access points.

Bournemouth East Beach
Bournemouth East Beach

Bars/Restaurants

Harry Ramsdens

Iconic Fish & Chips Restaurant Harry Ramsden’s is based on the prom, close to the pier. It has a dine in restaurant and take away. Seating 420, the restaurant boasts being one of the largest Fish & Chip restaurants in the world. Be prepared to queue during peak time. And if you opt for takeaway, watch out for seagulls!

Harry Ramsdens
Harry Ramsdens

Bayside Restaurant

Bayside Restaurant is a beachside pop up restaurant, only open for the month of August, situated in, and I quote; “an astonishing tent that offers a breezy experience.” With high prices and an unadventurous vegetarian menu, I think I shall give this one a miss, astonishing tent or not…

Bayside Restaurant
Bayside Restaurant

El Murrino

An Italian themed pop up restaurant on the beach.

El Murrino
El Murrino

Other Facilities

Other facilities available are an ice cream kiosk toilets, bike hire, beach barbecues, exercise equipment and Who Dares Gyms beachside gym.

Who Dares Gyms
Who Dares Gyms

Lifeguards

There are lifeguard towers along Bournemouth Beach, which operate between 10 am and 6 pm during peak times, as follows:.

Bournemouth West – 9th April to 25th September

Bournemouth West Lifeguard Tower

Bournemouth East – 9th April to 25th September

Bournemouth East Lifeguard Tower

East Cliff Beach – there is an additional station at East Cliff from 9th July to 4th September

East Cliff Lifeguard Tower

Coloured Beach Huts

The iconic image of a trip to Bournemouth seafront is the row of coloured beach huts. Nicknamed ‘Sunrise to Sundown’, they feature 75 beach huts coloured in a palette developed by paint manufacturer Crown.

‘Sunrise to Sundown’ Beach Huts

Cliff Lifts

There are Victorian Cliff Lifts at both East Cliff and West Cliff. These funicular railways, linking the beach to the many hotels etc on the cliff top were built in 1908. The lift at East Cliff closed in 2016 after a landslide and is yet to reopen. The West Cliff Lift is still in operation. It runs daily from 9th April until 31st October, between 10 am and 5 pm. A ticket costs £1.85. There is a weekly (£11.50) and seasonal (£37) option.

West Cliff Lift
West Cliff Lift

Land Train

The Land Train operates between Bournemouth and Alum Chine and between Bournemouth and Boscombe. Trains run from 9th April until 31st October, between 10 am and 5 pm. A single ticket costs £3.50, or an unlimited ticket costs £6.50.

Land Train
Land Train

Land Train Garage

Nestled under the cliffs you can see the Land Train Garage, which has been given a facelift this year thanks to Paint Shop Studio with this seaside quote.

Land Train Garage
Land Train Garage

Refill Revolution

New for 2022 are a series of water refill stations along the seafront. The Refill revolution initiative aims to reduce the amount of single use plastic in the environment.

Re Fill Point
Re Fill Point

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