Fancy heading to the beach but don’t want to be surrounded by the masses? Prefer to relax surrounded by nature rather than fast-food eateries and ice-cream sellers? Then pack up your beach bag and head for Southbourne in Dorset.
Though you’ll be in close proximity to buzzing Bournemouth with restaurants galore and a variety of summertime entertainment to enjoy if you feel the need, Southbourne offers one a more laid-back, small-town vibe in which to enjoy summer holidays, or a long-weekend break.
The beautiful golden sandy beaches stretch from Blue Flag Southbourne Beach along the rugged coastline to the more shingled beach around Hengistbury Head and follows on up to Mudeford where local’s reside in colourful beach huts that enjoy outstanding views of the famous natural landmark of The Needles and the Isle of Wight.
The bliss is that restaurants are few and far between at these Southbourne beaches so obviously you’ll steer clear of the crowds and can enjoy a delicious picnic that you’ve created with all your favourites, or perhaps you’ll stop off at one of the local bakeries for fresh baked goods. There is also one butcher in particular who offers cold cuts, cheeses and pickles too.
However, if you are looking for the cream of the crop of Southbourne restaurants then we highly recommend Deli Rocks. Stop by and introduce yourself to the fabulous and friendly owner, Giovanni whose wonderful restaurant/Deli has a modern NYC loft/bistro feel to it… not dissimilar to Le Pain Quotidian chain but this is definitely a one-of-a-kind type of establishment… rustic furniture, beautifully stocked shelves brimming with delicious looking pasta, oils and relishes. One immediately feels at home the minute they walk in the door. The food is so very fresh and tasty and their cappuccino is second to none!
Whilst meandering along Southbourne high street other stores of note are The Candle Box at No.50, offering a huge selection of fragrant, stylish and elegant candles, candle sticks, wall-hangings. It’s the perfect store to visit when you feel like treating yourself but not blowing the bank! Earth Foods, a fabulous health store that has been a staple in Southbourne for years, offering organic and fair trade produce, herbs, spices and toiletries…. Check out the soaps at the back of the store… deeelicious!
Of late, I’d say that Southbourne has been going through somewhat of a transformation with the appearance of several cool little establishments opening on the high street. Even a Fish Monger has emerged in the past few months – something that we rarely see these days and thus so very welcome it is to the neighbourhood! I imagine in a couple of years’ time this part of Bournemouth could be quite a happening little spot – a beach community with a bohemian yet cool and trendy feel to it with a little room for that quaint old English vibe too. Definitely, a place to check out next time you’re in the Bournemouth area.
Your choice of accommodation is a big part of the package when you’re off on your holidays and though there a fair selection of bed and breakfast properties and guesthouses, there really are no hotels to speak of in Southbourne. For me, I enjoy my creature comforts and look for one of the unique and stylish hotels that are within walking distance to the beach such as the Urban Beach Hotel and Bistro. However, there are many hotels ranging from a small seaside B&B’s to all-inclusive affairs.
So, next time you’ve a few days off and want to relax away from the hustle and bustle, why not take a trip to Dorset to enjoy the untouched beaches of Southbourne.