101 Things to do in Bournemouth – Manor Steps Beach

For some people, going to their ‘local’ means a trip to the nearest pub. This is my local. In-between Southbourne and Boscombe, two miles east of Bournemouth is Manor Steps Beach. This Blue Flag Beach doesn’t have as many facilities as some of its neighbours, but being between suburbs means it can be somewhat quieter than the beaches further along the coast. If it’s just beach that you’re after, then it ticks all the boxes.

Manor Steps Beach
Manor Steps Beach

Getting There

Manor Steps Beach can be reached from Bournemouth by road (the A35) or by foot/bike along the prom. By bus, Nos 1, 1A and M2 stop at Portman Road. From here it is around a 15 minute walk to the beach. In the summer, the Beach Bus stops at Shelley Park near the top of Manor Steps. In addition, the Land Train, which runs along the Prom (between April and October) stops at Manor Steps.

Manor Steps Beach from the cliff top
Manor Steps Beach from the cliff top


The beach can be accessed from the cliff top via Manor Steps Zigzag. There is a step free option, but it is a rather steep. Flat access is only possible via the prom. Theoretically, there are solar powered lights along the zigzag for night time perambulations although in reality, most of these are broken.


There is free roadside parking on the cliff top above Manor Steps.


A wide expanse of sand rolling gently to the sea nestled at the bottom of a wooded cliff. There are groynes every 200 metres or so along the beach.

Manor Steps Beach
Manor Steps Beach

Food and Drink

There is a kiosk style café with some outdoor seating.

Kiosk on Manor Steps Beach
Kiosk on Manor Steps Beach


The public toilets are above and behind the kiosk. They are accessed by going up and then down and then up some stairs, which is a little confusing as there are also various other stairs giving access to the beach lodges.

Other Facilities

  • Drinking water
  • Shower
  • Beach huts
  • Beach office
Bournemouth Beach Lodges

If you want to holiday really close to the beach, it is possible to stay at Bournemouth Beach Lodges. These 24 beach hut style dwellings sleep up to six people for between £350 (midweek off peak) to £1440 (one week peak).

Bournemouth Beach Lodges
Bournemouth Beach Lodges


There is an RNLI Lifeguard Station on Manor Steps Beach, which is manned from 10 am until 6 pm between 15th July and 3rd September.

Lifeguard Tower at Manor Steps Beach
Lifeguard Tower at Manor Steps Beach

Manor Steps Beach for Children

Although there’s no specific provisions for children (apart from a changing table in the toilets) it is a quieter beach, so may be more suitable for families than some of the beaches closer to Bournemouth. And the kiosk sells ice cream. Sand, sea and ice cream – a childhood triple whammy!

Manor Steps Beach
Manor Steps Beach

Dogs on the Beach

Dogs are not allowed on Manor Steps Beach between May and September. The nearest dog friendly beach is in Southbourne. Dog friendly beach lodges are available for a £40 supplement.


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