A short distance from Hengistbury Head is the fine Southbourne beach. Due to its distance from central Bournemouth, Southbourne beach is usually less crowded and less hectic than the main beaches. Along with nearby Fishermans Walk, Southbourne beach possesses the coveted Blue Flag.
A Blue Flag guarantees the beach is very clean and the sea essentially free from pollution. The recent beach replenishment at Fishermans walk has had a good effect on Southbourne beach as well with the beach now widening and also losing some of its previous stony composition. The cliffs behind the beach get significantly lower along Southbourne beach and pedestrian access is easier. Access is also available at a number of different points. The nearest access from Bournemouth is down the Gordon ZigZag, which is half way between Southbourne Beach and Fishermans Walk.
Southbourne Beach is intended as a safe and friendly family beach. The LV KidZone scheme runs through the summer months and smoking on the beach is banned.Because Fishermans walk beach primarily a family beach and caters for families with small children, it is, during the summer months a people only beach - no dogs. But there is a dog excercise area sandwiched between Fishermans walk and Southbourne beach to the west and also to the east of the beach on Solent Beach. The beach has its own food/drink outlets, including the famous "Bistro On the Beach" toilets and an information centre. In summer the beach is patrolled by RNLI lifeguards.
Southbourne beach has a large carpark immediately behind the beach, there is also a fair amount of road parking available. Slightly further away (short walk) is the two main car parks at Hengistbury Head, or going west, the road parking and nose-on bays behind Fishermans walk and Boscombe beaches. Access for the less mobile can be made using the cliff lift at Fishermans Walk, then the promenade itself is an easy stroll.