101 Things to do in Bournemouth – Friars Cliff Beach

Friars Cliff is the middle of three Blue Flag Beaches in the Christchurch area. This small beach tends to be quieter than some of its neighbours. It is has a nice vibe, great views and an award winning café.

View over Friars Cliff Beach
View over Friars Cliff Beach

Getting There

Friars Cliff is 7 miles east of Bournemouth and can be reached via the A338/A35/A337. By bus, the X1/X2 buses stop at Bure Lane, which is a 10 minute walk from the beach. On foot/by bike, Friars Cliff can be reached by following the prom/road to Hengistbury head then taking the ferry to Mudeford. This service operates at weekends year round and daily between April and October.


The beach is easily accessible with just a short ramp connecting it to Steamer Point Car Park. Alternatively, there is a promenade from Avon Beach, which is around 500 metres away. In the opposite direction, you can walk to Highcliffe Beach, although the paved prom does not run the entire way. Highcliffe is about a kilometre away and can also be reached via a cliff top path which takes you through Steamer Point Nature Reserve, a clifftop wooded nature reserve. 

Steamer Point
Steamer Point


Steamer Point Car Park is just behind the beach. Parking costs are seasonal, ranging from 80p all day in Winter to £1.90 for an hour in summer. Full details can be found here. Note: Meters don’t take cash.

Friars Cliff Beach from the Car Park
Friars Cliff Beach from the Car Park


The beach is predominantly sandy with a little shingle mainly along the water’s edge.

Friars Cliff Beach
Friars Cliff Beach

Food and Drink

The Beach Hut Café specialises in breakfasts, burgers, pizzas and home made cakes. There is covered seating outside on the veranda, with further seating on the prom overlooking the beach.

The Beach Hut Cafe
The Beach Hut Café


There are toilets on the prom near the café.

Other Facilities

  • Showers
  • Beach huts
Friars Cliff Beach Huts and Lifeguard Station
Friars Cliff Beach Huts and Lifeguard Station


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

Friars Cliff Beach for Children

This is a nice beach for children as it’s sheltered with a gentle shelf into the sea. The Beach Hut Café has a children’s menu.


Dogs are not permitted on Avon Beach between May and September. There is a dog friendly beach area between Avon Beach and Highcliffe Beach.


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