Hidden sandy beach 'without the crowds' just 90 minutes from Surrey

Southbourne Beach
-Credit: (Image: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire)


While Surrey is a beautiful county there is one thing it is missing. Despite being blessed with lots of natural gifts, we don’t have a coastline.

However, there are many gorgeous shores well within our reach, one of which is Southbourne. Described as a quieter alternative to other beaches in Bournemouth, this stretch of sand has recently been given a Blue Flag for 2024, awarding it for its cleanliness.

Sat on the south coast it is only a 90 minute drive away from Surrey making it perfectly accessible for the bank holiday weekend. With four and a half stars on Tripadvisor reviewers clearly believe it is worth the trip, calling the beach “simply beautiful”, “a lovely place to stroll” and “ a "little gem".

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One of Bournemouth’s most popular beaches, it is just off Boscombe pier, and can be accessed directly from Southbourne high-street. It has all the facilities you would need for a family day out including RNLI lifeguards, baby changing space and a cliff lift.

This special feature means that those who can’t manage steps are able to access the beach at the bottom, and a cliff cafe at the top. There is a small charge for using it, with more information available here.

The Blue Flag signifies that the beach upholds stringent standards regarding cleanliness, safety, and suitability for tourism. This means that users can be confident that the beach is of high quality.

In fact cleanliness is one thing that reviewers pick up on, when writing about their experience with one stating “Amazing stretch of sandy beach from Hengisbury Head to Bournemouth. Very clean. Great for a walk, picnic or swim. Probably less crowded than Bournemouth beach in peak season.”

Those staying for a longer stretch of time can hire out one the the many beach huts in the area, although you may need to do this some time in advance. This is something that writers on Tripadvisor also comment on, with one writing that "There is an ice cream kiosk, public toilets, lots of beach huts but no shops as this is very much a residential area."

To eat out there are a number of nearby fish and chip shops both on the beach side and nearer to the high street. A number of green spaces can also provide a break from the water, including the Southbourne Overcliff which is described as having gorgeous views across the bay.

Anyone thinking of heading up there for a bit of sun would find it easier to go by road. To get there from Guildford, you will spend most of your time on the A31 and can expect a travel time just short of two hours.

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