101 Things to do in Bournemouth -Bournemouth Pier

The iconic Bournemouth Pier is the focal point of Bournemouth. This cherished landmark is sandwiched between the sea and the town with golden sand stretching as far as the eye can see on either side. A walk along the pier offers breath-taking panoramic views of the coastline. Head there on a summer’s day and there’s always something going on.

Bournemouth Pier
Bournemouth Pier

Getting There

The Pier situated on a large plaza, called Pier Approach. From here, it is a short walk through Bournemouth Gardens to the town centre. Numerous buses stop at Bournemouth Pier (1,1a,1b,1c,4,5,5a,6,6a,12,13,22,33). In addition, the 70 and 80 Breezer Buses, which travel along the coast, stop here in summer. With parking in Bournemouth being expensive and bus fares capped at £2 until October, travelling by bus makes perfect sense.


There are a couple of car parks close to the pier. The closest is Bath Road South. Parking charges are seasonal, ranging from £1.90 an hour in winter to £3 for an hour between April and October. Further details can be found here.

Opening Times

The pier is open daily from 9 am until 11 pm.


Entry is free between November and March. In the summer, a single visit costs £1.50 or you can purchase a season ticket for £5. If you have a reservation for one of the attractions on the pier, you do not need to pay the entrance toll.


The pier was built in 1880. It was actually the third pier to be built in Bournemouth, after the first two met with disaster (the first was eaten by worms and the second blew away in a storm). Like most British piers, it was partially destroyed in 1940 in a bid to make the country less susceptible to German invasion. It reopened in 1946.

Bournemouth Pier
Looking down Bournemouth Pier

For many years, there was a theatre on the pier, but in 2014 the building was repurposed as ‘RockReef’ with various activities such as a climbing wall and giant slide. In addition, a zipwire was installed on a tower on the end of the pier, so if you are that way inclined, you can zip wire from the pier back to the beach.


The pier boasts an array of attractions and activities to suit every visitor’s taste.


For adrenaline junkies, the RockReef Adventure Activity Centre is a must-visit. From rock climbing and aerial obstacle courses to the thrilling PierZip; a zip line that glides you over the waves.

View from Bournemouth Pier with zipline
View from the Pier with zipline

RockReef’s opening times are seasonal. It is currently open from Friday to Monday. Further details here. Costs start from $10 for an individual session or packages are available. £30 will give you two hours access to the Clip ‘n Climb, HighLine, PierCave and Vertical Slide. Prices for the zipwire start at £17 for an individual ride or £30 if you go tandem with a friend.


The pier’s amusement arcade is packed with classic and modern games, with some cool art work thrown in. It is open daily from 10 am.

There is also a small funfair including a helter skelter and carousel (only operating between April and October). And a News/Gift shop plus a shop selling beach goods.

Bournemouth Pier Fun Fair
Pier Fun Fair
Street Art

As you walk along the pier, you can see two pieces of art which form part of the Prom Selfie Trail; Floating Love and The £99 Flake. Plus a couple of pieces by digital artist Maxine Walter; Beach Love and Ice Dreams.

Floating Love Bournemouth Selfie Trail
Floating Love

Food and Drink


At the entrance to the pier you will find Aruba restaurant and club.

Key West

Key West is on the end of the pier. As well as dining, it offers a wide range of entertainment, from music to a Faulty Towers Dining experience or a visit from Santa. The events calendar can be found here.

Proper Cornish

There is also an outlet selling pies and pasties; Proper Cornish.

There are plenty more dining options on Pier Approach and the surrounding area heading along the prom or into the Gardens.


Bournemouth Pier is home to some of my favourite toilets, if it is possible to have favourite toilets, as the interior has been painted by local artists Paint Shop Studio. Walking in always makes me smile.

Bournemouth Pier Toilets
Bournemouth Pier Toilets


Throughout the year, Bournemouth Pier hosts an exciting line-up of events and entertainment. From live music concerts and firework displays to art exhibitions and charity fundraisers, there’s always something happening on the pier. Checking the events calendar before your visit will ensure you don’t miss out on any performances or celebrations.

Pier to Pier Swim

In July, the popular Pier to Pier Swim takes place where thousands of swimmers attempt to swim the 1.4 miles from Bournemouth Pier to Boscombe Pier.

Swimming from Pier to Pier
Swimming from Pier to Pier
Air Festival

On the first weekend in September, the pier forms the focal point for the annual Air Festival and evening firework displays.

Run Bournemouth

In October, the pier forms part of the route for Run Bournemouth, so you are likely to see plenty of runners practicing and going after those pier Strava segments. It is at this point that you really appreciate how long the pier is (304.8 metres to be precise) which feels like a lot when you’ve just run 13 miles and were briefly in sight of the finish line!

Finishing Bournemouth Half Marathon on the Pier
Finishing Bournemouth Half Marathon on the Pier

Bournemouth Pier for Children

The fun fair ideal for small children while older children will enjoy the amusement arcade. RockReef is suitable for ages 4 and up while ages 6 and up can use the zipline. Key West and Aruba both offer a children’s menu.


3 responses to “101 Things to do in Bournemouth -Bournemouth Pier”

  1. […] 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, […]


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