What does Southbourne have to offer?

Through reviews, we have found that our guests have absolutely loved Southbourne just as we do. How will you spend your stay…

We have lots of leaflets and information for you to browse when you arrive for your stay at Hengistbury Reach or Stourcliffe Retreat but here are just a few of our favourites for you to peruse. You’ll also find some handy information about food & drink near the holiday lets and local transport further down the page.

Days Out

Hengistbury Head

Southbourne Holiday Lets see Hengistbury HeadHengistbury Head offers something for everyone, from beach lovers to nature lovers, dog walkers to geology specialists. Do take a look at their website as I can’t do it justice here, hence to say it is my favourite place to go, the views on a clear day are spectacular so make sure you have your camera ready.

A visit to the Hengistbury Visitor Centre is a great starting point to your visit before walking up and over the headland taking in the amazing views, or engaging in the history and nature further. For young children, or just as a means of getting to Mudeford Spit more quickly then the land train (seasonal) along to Mudeford is an enjoyable experience. From the Spit you can then also catch the pedestrian ferry over to Mudeford and enjoy a nice pub lunch at The Haven House Inn on the quayside or crabbing over the harbour wall, children love this!


Southbourne Holiday Lets Southbourne Beach LiftsHengistbury Head is a relatively unspoilt beach, consistently featuring in the annual Tripadvisor Travellers Choice awards. It has a south facing pebble beach with imposing clay and ironstone cliffs, and soft sandy beaches at Mudeford Spit which is lined with the colourful most expensive beach huts in the UK.

Walking in the opposite direction Hengistbury Beach merges into Southbourne beach, with lifeguards on patrol along the blue flag sandy beach and waters. The Fisherman’s Walk cliff lift, built in 1935 is one of only two remaining funicular railways left along the 7+mile stretch of coastline and marks the border between Southbourne, Boscombe and Bournemouth Beaches beyond.

Whilst Bournemouth beach has a reputation for being busy Southbourne and Hengistbury Beaches are far quieter…shh don’t tell everyone though as we’d like to keep them that way!


Southbourne Holiday Lets visit ChristchurchViews of Christchurch Priory and harbour can be seen from Hengistbury Head. Additionally spend a few hours exploring this historic town, its high street and the ruins of Christchurch Castle and Norman House dating back to 1160.

The New Forest

Southbourne Holiday Lets New ForestAn absolute must for everyone no matter your age, the weather or what type of things you enjoy, there are hundreds of options! With wildlife and farm attractions , theme parks, museums, parks & gardens, arts, crafts & galleries, as well as wonderful restaurants, cafes and bars there’s just so much to mention. Still a firm favourite with our family we are happy to have a chat and make some recommendations to help you make the most of your visit. Either way this day out will end with wonderful memories and happy smiley faces.

Don’t forget to check out the Go New Forest Card for money-saving offers!

And a little further afield…

Corfe Castle

Southbourne Holiday Lets visit Corfe CastleThis thousand year old royal castle, or what remains, originally built for King Henry I is currently maintained by the National Trust. Surrounded by many hectares of heathlands, work is still being done to look after these sites and encourage moor heaths to grow. These areas make great habitats for birds, insects and reptiles along with dragonflies and butterflies in the summer.

As well as admiring the ruins and wildlife, there is also a visitor centre, shop and tea room for you to enjoy. To really make the most of your day we recommend taking the steam train from Swanage and coming back via the Studland chain ferry with views of Brownsea Island – also well worth a visit!

Dorset Heavy Horse Farm

Southbourne Holiday Lets visit Dorset Heavy Horse FarmA conservation centre for over 20 rare breed Heavy Horses, this attraction is not only educational but very entertaining for the family. Choose from activities such as carriage rides, tractor driving and riding or feeding the animals. The centre also has a vintage collection of trucks and caravans, daily talks and don’t forget to try out Smokey Joe’s Cafe! A firm favourite for the whole family and dog friendly too.

Paulton’s Park

Southbourne Holiday Lets visit Paultons ParkFamously known as the home of Peppa Pig World (with 4 other worlds to choose from), Paulton’s has been voted the UKs number 1 family theme park for the past 4 years. With over 70 rides and attractions, including indoor and outdoor play areas, they also have special seasonal events and shows. Download the app or book online for the best deals.

Food & Drink

On Southbourne Grove

This is a small selection of our favourites – there are many more options too!

SOBO:FISH  Great value seafood restaurant with both indoor and outdoor covered dining with dog friendly areas.

Ludo Lounge – A charming relaxed atmosphere, lovely for just a drink or enjoy a meal too.

The Larder House (and Library bar upstairs) – Our top choice for a special occasion being more intimate and exclusive.

Brewhouse & Kitchen – freshly-brewed craft beers and a food menu to satisfy all members of the family.

Spyglass and Kettle – Being just at the end of Stourwood Road on the way to the beach, more than a convenient stop off for a drink on the way back from the beach to Stourcliffe Retreat.

Near Hengistbury Reach

The Riverside Pub– just a 10min walk from Hengistbury Reach sit outside overlooking the river with your G&T or on cooler days enjoy a meal indoors.

Tuckton Tea Garden – slightly closer than The Riverside this is the perfect location for a cooked
breakfast or afternoon tea with dog friendly seating outside.

In Christchurch

The Thomas Tripp – a great pub atmosphere or for a special occasion why not try their special
Seafood Shack with its seafood menu (don’t worry it’s a restaurant out the back of the pub and not a
shack really!)

By Boscombe Pier

Urban Reef – A wonderful seafront cafe, bar and restaurant. Whether for breakfast, just a coffee and
huge slide of homemade cake or an evening meal it’s one of our favourite places to go.

Local Transport

You don’t necessarily need a car to enjoy everything Southbourne and the surrounding area has to offer.

Getting here:

Whilst here:

With so much to do on the doorstep dependent on the length of your stay you may opt to leave the car on the driveway.

Wick Ferry – a short hop across the river Stour and you are in central Christchurch which is then easily visited on foot.

Hengistbury Head Land train – save yourself some walking and reach Mudeford Spit by land train.

Beryl Bikes & e-scooters – download the app and hop on, found in many locations across the area.

Morebus run 24hrs a day from Central Southbourne to Bournemouth and Christchurch.
From Bournemouth buses connect to all over the south coast.

Timetables and local taxi information will be provided in our holiday homes