Warmer weather and lighter evenings make spring the perfect time of year to enjoy a walk. If you’re longing to breathe fresh air and feel the sun on your skin, Bournemouth and the surrounding area is blessed with some of the most jaw-dropping scenery in the country. From beach treks to gardens, here are 5 of the best walks to try.
Fisherman’s Walk stretches between Southbourne and Boscombe. You can get there easily via the M2 bus or by car along Southbourne Overcliff Drive, which offers superb sea views and a decent amount of on street parking.
Quieter than the often-crowded beach around Boscombe pier, Fisherman’s Walk is a local favourite. It has a walkway, beach huts, safe swimming and a Blue Flag quality sandy beach that is perfect for families.
The Fisherman’s Walk lift provides easy access to a nearby cliff and stunning views of Poole Harbour and the Isle of Wight. For the more adventurous, Fisherman’s Walk resides between two glorious nature reserves, Hengistbury Head and Boscombe and Southbourne Overcliff.
Image by Roman Hobler
Over the last two centuries approximately 85% of Dorset’s heathland has been lost. As the largest expanse of unspoiled lowland left, Godlingston Heath is the closest thing you’ll see to the beautiful landscapes described in the novels of Thomas Hardy.
A diverse range of protected wildlife lives among the heather, gorse and bracken, including all six types of lizard native to the British Isles. Managed by the National Trust, the heath walk also boasts barbecue spots and breath-taking views across to Sandbanks and Bournemouth.
From Bournemouth, Godlingston Heath is a near seven-mile drive along Ferry Road. You can also reach it by taking the number 50 bus from Bournemouth Station, getting off at Goathorn Farm and walking the rest of the way by following National Trust signs.
Old Harry Rocks
Image by Stephanie King
Old Harry Rocks is one of the most recognisable landmarks on the Dorset coast. The chalk rocks used to be part of a long stretch of coast between Purbeck and the Isle of Wight. Now, eroded by the sea, they mark the most easterly point of the Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The walk up to the rocks begins and ends at the Bankes Arms, near the South Beach car park. The circular route is an easy stroll that takes you along the clifftop and through the chalk grassland of the surrounding area. At the rocks, you will be rewarded with spectacular views across Poole harbour, back to Bournemouth and the Isle of Wight.
Like Godlingston Heath, Old Harry Rocks is a short drive from Bournemouth, along Ferry Road.
Image by Jeremy Tarling
Chine is a native Dorset word that refers to steep valleys carved by running water over thousands of years. Bournemouth has several chines that have been converted into wonderful gardens.
Boscombe Chine Gardens is a beautifully restored Victorian garden, with a huge array of award-winning flowerbeds coming into full bloom, mini golf and a tree trail that is home to a scurry of squirrels.
Alum Chine is the largest of Bournemouth’s chines. It has a gorgeous tropical garden displaying delightfully exotic plants and flowers. Three bridges also span the width of the chine, offering a majestic bird’s eye view of the fantastic foliage and botanical brilliance below.
Bournemouth Lower Gardens
Image by Henry Burrows
Bournemouth’s Lower Garden is a five-minute walk from the town centre. Retaining all its traditional Grade II listed Victorian charm, this award-winning garden is renowned for its incredible floral displays.
Throughout the warmer months, the garden hosts frequent special events, including live music in the fabulous Pine Walk Bandstand. The resident Bournemouth Balloon, which soars to 150 feet, provides awe-inspiring views of the city and beyond.
As part of a large town park split into three areas, you can choose to move through Lower Gardens and into the Central and Upper Gardens. All three gardens have won the prestigious Green Flag Award every year since 1999, and offer spectacular surroundings for enjoying a spring stroll in the sunshine.
Putting your feet up
If you want to make your springtime stay in Bournemouth longer, we have a handful of magnificent hotels in excellent locations to choose from.
Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth Carlton has dramatic seafront views, Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth West Cliff is located within walking distance of several sandy beaches and the town centre, while Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth East Cliff enjoys an impressive cliff top view, plus beaches and the town centre within walking distance.
All our hotels include comfortable beds for a good night’s sleep, free access to super-fast Wi-Fi, 24-hour room service, a delicious breakfast buffet and many other facilities.
Book now to avoid missing out on Hallmark Hotels’ special offers.