Sandbanks to Bournemouth
A wonderful walk from Sandbanks along the promenade east towards Bournemouth.
To the east lies Bournemouth where a couple of miles along the coast and half a mile inland you will discover the shopping centre of Westbourne. This district centre is famous for its wide variety of independent shops and eateries. There are three pubs and as many as a couple of dozen coffee shops and restaurants to enjoy, all in an attractive Victorian setting that includes a lovely, covered shopping arcade linking the two main shopping streets.
There are also bus services that link Bournemouth and Poole town centres with a bus every 5 minutes. The hourly No. 50 Purbeck Breezer open top service will take you back to Sandbanks Beach en route to its destination of Swanage via the ‘floating bridge’ ferry. To walk to Westbourne you should allow at least an hour and a half, or more if you want to sit on one of the countless seats along the promenade.
The ‘prom’ starts at the eastern end of Sandbanks beach and follows the coastline at the foot of the cliff edge. There are toilets at regular intervals and in the summer season many refreshment kiosks serving ice cream, hot drinks and a variety of snacks. There is also a large upmarket restaurant at Branksome Chine where you can relax with a meal and take in the superb views from its upper floor. A ’Chine’ is a wooded valley that links the seafront with inland areas of Poole and Bournemouth.
If you want to explore the area on your walk to Westbourne or prefer a shorter walk, then take the hard surfaced footpath up one of the chines where you will meet up with the No. 50 bus route to take you back to Sandbanks Beach or alternatively further eastward to Bournemouth town centre (passing through Westbourne shopping centre). Before reaching Branksome Chine on your walk you will see Flaghead Chine and Canford Cliffs Chine and after it, Branksome Dene Chine and Alum Chine Choose Canford Cliffs Chine to reach a large children’s play park on the cliff top and the local shopping centre which includes cafes and restaurants within the shopping parades and a large family pub in Ravine Road.
At Branksome Chine there is a cliff top walk with seats to enable you to enjoy the views along the sweeping coastline, and finishing with a short roadside walk to the Canford Cliffs shops. If you want to walk straight to Westbourne, carry straight on along the prom past Branksome Chine to take the gentle gradient inland up Alum Chine, where you will emerge from the woods just a quarter of a mile from the shopping centre. Another option is to carry on walking along the front towards Bournemouth pier where a short walk through the Lower Gardens will take you to Bournemouth Square, at the heart of the town centre. This is also where you can catch the No. 50 bus back to Sandbanks Beach.