101 Things to do in Bournemouth – Highcliffe Beach

Highcliffe Beach is the most easterly beach in the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole conurbation. It is situated a few minutes walk from the centre of the genteel suburb of Highcliffe. The coastal path that runs beneath the cliffs provides a spectacular backdrop for a walk/run. However, unlike most of Bournemouth’s beaches, Highcliffe doesn’t have a proliferation of sand.

Highcliffe Beach from the Car Park
Highcliffe Beach from the Car Park

Getting There

Highcliffe is 9 miles east of Bournemouth, reached by the A338/A35/A337. It is possible to walk here along the prom/coast path from Bournemouth using the Mudeford Ferry. If you’re feeling less energetic (or you only want to walk one way) the X1 and X2 buses stop at Sea Corner, around a 10 minute walk from the beach.


There is a large (424 space) Pay & Display car park on Highcliffe Cliff Top. Parking charges are seasonal with no charges between October and March and summer prices costing up to £1.90 for an hour. Further details can be found here.


From the cliff top, the beach can be accessed by stairs or a gravel path. Both routes are quite uneven, so not suitable for those with mobility issues.


The beach here is predominantly shingle. There is a gravel path along the rear of the beach which runs along the bottom of the cliffs to meet the Prom near Friars Cliff.

Highcliffe Beach and Coastal Path
Highcliffe Beach and Coastal Path

Food and Drink

Cliffhanger on the cliff top has dine-in and outdoor seating options. During peak times, there is also the Little Hanger where you can purchase takeaway food, the Beach Hanger for drinks and snacks and The Cream Hanger for ice creams. There are plenty more restaurants and shops on nearby Highcliffe high street.



There are toilets next to Cliffhanger on the cliff top which are open when the café is open. There are no toilets at beach level.

Other Facilities

There are no facilities on Highcliffe Beach.

Highcliffe Beach
Highcliffe Beach


The Highcliffe Beach Lifeguard tower is manned from 10 am until 6 pm between 15th July and 3rd September.

Highcliffe Beach for Children

Not my favourite beach because it’s shingle. The coastal path is a very popular dog walking route, so there’s a lot of dog poo. I wouldn’t bring children here.


Dogs are not permitted on the blue flag area of the beach between May and September. The areas either side are dog friendly.


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