Of course I knew that Bournemouth was a beach town, but when I went to the beach on my first afternoon in town, it took my breath away for a short moment. I really had not expected such an impressive sight!
Bournemouth is located at Poole Bay, a beautiful stretch of sand, 16km long! It runs all the way from Old Harry Rocks in the west to Christchurch in the east.
In the Bournemouth area, it is very beautiful with the sand, the pretty cliffs, and the views across the wide bay. However, I did not like Bournemouth Pier - I think it looked very ugly, and to my mind, the loud music playing here disturbed the atmosphere. There is an entertainment complex, cafés and an oceanarium, but I walked straight past and headed to the beach - a few minutes away from the pier it became much more tranquil and natural.
A few days later, I did a long walk along the beach. I walked from the pier to the suburb and Branksome, at the edge of the town of Poole. There were three places I wanted to visit there: A particular restaurant, the park of Alum Chine, and the place where J.R.R. Tolkien's house was formerly located. I decided to just walk along the beach instead of taking a bus, and it was the right decision - apart from some clouds it was a glorious sunny day, even warm enough to walk barefoot (although the sea was freezing cold), and I just enjoyed it very much. In the evening I walked back again. No matter what I expected of the UK, I had never expected a wonderful beach like this!
It would not be possible to visit Bournemouth and skip the beach, would it?
My hotel is only 50 meters away, and the sun was shining most of today, so I did hit the beach. Mind you, it was 8am and 3°c.
It goes for miles in either direction. The pier seems to be the mid point. It was closed at 8am, so I reserve my position on it.
It is a “commercial” beach, so you’ll find ice cream vendors, a little fairground, deck chair rentals and so on. No doubt its busy on a sunny summer day. If you seek solitude, seek it elsewhere (or be there at 8am).
It is spotlessly clean - and the water looked OK, but I didn’t check to see how it rates when tested.
According to the Mayor (speaking at my conference) the area has its own micro-climate, presumably conducive to beach activity.
...you'll find it here!
Bournemouth and its immediate neighbours of Poole and Boscombe front onto seven miles of golden sanded beaches which loop around the relatively sheltered bay. The area holds a total of eight prestigious Blue Flag awards which denote that the water quality is excellent, the facilities top notch and the beaches themselves clean and safe.
Different beach areas are set aside for differing uses, from just lolling in the sand to more energetic watersports such as surfing and kayaking. For surfers there is now the new artificial surf reef at Boscombe which was constructed to boost the existing surf.
Some of the beaches are dog-friendly whilst others are family-orientated and there are even smoke-free sections. Useful for families with young children is the LV=KIDZONE scheme where attendants issue free colour-coded wristbands for the children to wear. The colour of the wristband denotes the beach section that the parents are using and also gets the parents contact number written on it. So if the child gets lost it should be relatively easy to get it back (unless of course you switch off your phone and move to another beach section).
On a warm summer day, you can enjoy a day out on the beach in Bournemouth. The beach is sandy and there is 7 miles worth of it. However, although it's been said to be one of the best in the south, it is not as great as what they make sound on the official Bournemouth website. There is also a large amount of pebbels along the shore, which can be very uncomfortable to lay on (unless you have a deck chair) - not to mention walking on bare footed. They have only really managed to clear the not so large area on either side of the pier off the pebbles, which is a bit pathetic really, but there you go... Be aware that on a sunny day, the area around the pier will get absolutely packed, as people pile almost on top of each other to occupy the best bits of the beach!
In order to make you stay enjoyable, arrive early and of course leave early. Since absolutely everyone else has decided to go down to Bournemouth too, the traffic will get jammed, there will be queues everywhere and just too many bloody people around!!
In the 5 years I have lived in the UK, I haven't bothered very many times. The mass exodus to the beach drives me bonkers and I'd rather go to Spain if I'm totally honest.
Sure the beaches of Bournemouth don't need a mention, but whatever the weather, a trip to Bournemouth isn't complete without a walk on the beach.
On a hot day, take your towel and a good book, find a space on the sand the just relax.
When it's cold or rainy, wrap up and wander along the prom for some fresh sea air.
There are plenty of refreshment stands and pubs along the prom to take a break and cool or dry off.
All the beaches in Poole and Bournemouth have again been awarded the Blue flag for cleanliness so you can swim in the sea without fear of illness.
There are dog free beaches and child friendly beaches with coloured zones so the little ones don't get lost.
Head for the sand near Bournemouth pier if you are after a lively beach or further down the sand if you prefer to relex.