Dorset, England

Southbourne to Sandbanks Waterfront Promenade & Overcliff Paths

Creative Commons: Nigel Mykura

There’s some wonderful running in the Southbourne and Eastbourne area, highlighted by one of the longest continuous waterfront promenades along the water on the UK’s southwestern coast. There are great views of the Channnel along the 7-mile path, and some good add-on opportunities. A great ‘loop’ option is to combine the waterfront promenade and the ‘overliff’ paths.  Also, the beach is wide and the sand good for running near the water, depending on tides.

The east end of the path is at Southbourne Beach. Head west along the Boscombe Promenade. It’s 2.6 miles to Boscombe Pier, which is a nice pier to run out. Continue west along Undercliff Dr. At 4.25 miles is Bournemouth Pier. (nice add-on up to Bournemouth Gardens). From here, the W Undercliff Promenade continues west along the beach for nearly another 3 miles to Sandbanks.

Promenade above beach, Bournemouth. Google Street View

Overcliff Paths: In Bournemouth, Boscombe and Eastbourne, there are scenic ‘overcliff’ paths & promenades atop the bluff above the beach. They can be reached by a series of stair/ramp ‘Zig Zag’ paths from the ‘undercliff’ promenades, and even a Cliff Lift at Fisherman’s Walk. The nicest sections are in Bournemouth between the Fisherman’s Walk & Manor Steps ‘Zig Zags’; west of  Boscombe Pier; and a paved path for 1 mile between Bournemouth Pier & Durley Beach.

Add-Ons: At Sandbanks (western end of path), another nice 1.5-2 miles of running on Banks Rd./Shore Rd. along the Bay across from Poole. At the eastern end of the path in Southbourne, several miles of scenic running at Hengistbury Head. In the center of Bournemouth, nice paths through Bournemouth Gardens.

 

Essentials
  • Promenade is up to 7.1 miles (11.4 km) one-way. Good options for variety and add-ons
  • Fairly flat
  • Any point along the promenade. East end is Southbourne Beach; West end is at Sandbanks. Good access in Boscombe, Bournemouth
  • Numerous access points. Also note the three 'Zig Zag' paths in Boscombe! A bus runs along the way

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Essentials
  • Promenade is up to 7.1 miles (11.4 km) one-way. Good options for variety and add-ons
  • Fairly flat
  • Any point along the promenade. East end is Southbourne Beach; West end is at Sandbanks. Good access in Boscombe, Bournemouth
  • Numerous access points. Also note the three 'Zig Zag' paths in Boscombe! A bus runs along the way