Hengistbury Head Beach (Bournemouth) – All You Need To Know 2022

Hengistbury Head Beach

Hengistbury Head Beach is a south-facing pebble beach that separates Poole and Christchurch bay. The beach is a sand and pebbled beach, with striking clay and ironstone cliffs. Hengistbury Head is both – a scenic as well as a historic attraction that incorporates various habitats and supports a huge selection of wildlife and plants. This nature reserve welcomes over a million visitors every year!

The beach provides plenty of panoramic views – Heathland, Christchurch Harbour, Bournemouth Bay, and the Isle of Wight.

Over one million people set foot on Hengistbury Head every year – which is a lot of footsteps on such a delicate landscape. But the combination of volunteers and rangers manages to provide a healthy balance between allowing public access and protecting the landscape and wildlife – making it an extremely special place.

Hengistbury Head Walk

Many tourists who visit Hengistbury Head enjoy walking and roaming across its natural, yet accessible terrain and nearby attractions. There are several country walks over the head, many of which were resurfaced recently to allow wheelchair access. The short circular walk at the Hengistbury head beach Bournemouth spans around 3.7 miles. You can start by heading over to the 36m high cliffs, and coming down to the Mudeford Sandybank, and finally walking across the saltmarshes of the Christchurch bay.

To give you a better idea of the landscape, let us tell you that the Hengistbury Head Nature Reserve separates the Poole Bay and Christchurch Bay.

Hengistbury Head Beach walk

An idea for a nice day out might be to enjoy the day at Hengistbury Head – catching the land train from Hiker Café to Mudeford Sandbank where you can relax on the beaches and take in the wonderful views. Finish up your day with a lovely walk back whilst stopping by the Visitor Centre to pick up a couple of environmentally friendly souvenirs (all money raised goes towards the preservation of the site).

How far is the walk around Hengistbury Head?

The walk around Hengistbury Head is 5.8km (3.6 miles) and takes roughly 90 minutes to complete. There is an initial challenge to walk up the steep hill, but then a calm walk afterward with scenic views of Christchurch, Isle of Wight, Bournemouth, and Old Harrys Rocks.

Is Hengistbury Head beach dog friendly?

Dog owners will be pleased to know that their best friends are permitted at the sandy beaches of the Hengistbury Head all year round. So, no matter what time of the year you visit, your furry friend will be able to enjoy the one-and-a-half-kilometer-long relatively unspoilt beach with you. Of course, it is always a plus if you have well behaved dogs accompanying you.

Only guidance dogs are allowed to enter the visitor center, but there are plenty of shaded areas for your dogs to rest outside whilst you have a quick browse.

dogs Hengistbury head beach

Image by Mylene2401 from Pixabay

Hengistbury head nature reserve teems with many rare and easily frightened inhabitants. Hence, it is strongly advised to make sure that you keep your dogs under close supervision, or preferably, on a lead.

Hengistbury Head Beach Huts

Hengistbury head accommodates a wide variety of luxurious beach huts (344 to be precise), which are located at Mudeford Sandbank – forming part of Hengistbury head.

Hengistbury Head Beach dogs

The huts vary in sizing and facilities, but on average sleep around 4 people each. Find beach huts available for hire here.

Hengistbury Head Beach Cafe

Situated at Hengistbury Head, The Hiker Café is a great place to unwind after a long day of sightseeing. They offer a range of beverages and snacks with a delicious selection of home-made cakes and slices. You can find more information by heading over to their website, Hiker Café.

How To Get To Hengistbury Head?

Getting to Hengistbury head is easy and access is available for all ages and abilities. The most common way to get there is by car as there is plenty parking (both free and paid) nearby.

If you’re using a sat-nav then you can enter the postcode ‘BH6 4EN’ to navigate your way there.

Is there any car park available at Hengistbury head beach Bournemouth?

Yes, you can easily access the expansive 24-hour long stay car park. While cash is not accepted here, tourists can pay through Visa, Maestro and MasterCard. The machines located at this large car park accepts payments through these cards as well as via PayByPhone mobile app.


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