Branksome Dene Beach Poole

Branksome Dene Beach is the first of the Poole beaches as you approach from Bournemouth. Next to the busy Alum Chine Beach it is a little quieter. It is also a Dog Friendly Beach where dogs may be exercised on the sand in the summer months.

Entering Branksome Dene beach from Alum Chine.
Entering Branksome Dene beach from Alum Chine.

The promenade here becomes known as Branksome Dene Promenade and it sits below a row of Beach huts. These are on a raised angular beach defence. Just beyond these are a group of huts that sit into the Dene itself.

The beach itself is a fine sandy beach that has gained both in width and quality over the last forty years, mainly from the beach recharges that have taken place nearby. These are where many thousands of tonnes of dredged sand are added to the beach as a coastal defence mechanism.

Further along the beach huts change away from the traditional hut shape found at the start of the beach to a white flat roof terraced variety.

What is a Dene?

The western end of Branksome Dene beach
The western end of Branksome Dene beach

A Dene is an Old English name for a valley. In this location it differentiates the shallower slopes of the valley sides from those of its Chine neighbors like Middle Chine and Branksome Chine. In essence a Dene is a less dramatic version of a Chine. Here though the demarcation is so slight that further back from the beach this little valley becomes known as Branksome Dene Chine.

Further along the beach huts change away from the traditional hut shape found at the start of the beach to a white flat roof terraced variety.

Branksome Dene Chine

This beach like just about all of its counterparts, is a beautiful, sandy, wide beach. But if you want to go off beach then just behind the beach is the beautiful Branksome Dene Chine. This is a semi-natural chine that is also a designated SSSI. It has a beauty all of its own.

Just why Branksome Dene is also Branksome Dene Chine is a mystery. Perhaps the demarcation between a Chine and Dene is so close for this area they decided to hedge their bets!



All parking information is provided as-is and untested. I cannot guarantee it is correct. You use it at your own discretion and risk.

Branksome Dene Car Park BH13 6JP

This car park is a short walk from the beach. It has 135 spaces, 8 of which are reserved for disabled parking.

There is also some road parking nearby along Westminster Road (around BH13 6JR) and Pinewood Avenue (south of BH13 6JS). There is a path down to to the beach Dene Pinewood Avenue – just don’t miss it! Other wise you will end up doing a quite pleasant though time consuming detour through the next beach along – Branksome Chine.

Branksome Dene and Winston Churchill

Back in 1893 when Winston Churchill was a teenager he had a severe accident that nearly cost him his life. While in a game of hide and seek with two relatives he decided to jump off a bridge and clamber down a tree. Unfortunately he lost his grip. He fell some 30 feet to the ground and ruptured a kidney. He was in a coma for three days.

Churchill was on holiday at the time and visiting his aunt Lady Wimborne. This area along with neighboring Alum chine to the east, was owned by her.

It is though unclear exactly whether the accident occurred here at Branksome Dene or at Alum Chine. Later in life Churchill recalled it happened at Branksome Dene. However this was contradicted by one of his rescuers. I would think that the rescuer who lived locally would probably have had a better handle on actual locations. The rescuer reported the location as being at Alum Chine.

I would suggest that Churchill, recalling the event many years later and unaware of the complete geography of the area, misplaced his position by a few hundred yards.

But, we will probably never know.