CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Dorset Magazine today CLICK HERE

10 of the best things to do in Southbourne

PUBLISHED: 12:20 19 November 2014 | UPDATED: 12:20 19 November 2014

Soutbourne Beach - miles of golden sands to explore

Soutbourne Beach - miles of golden sands to explore


As one of Bournemouth’s most lively suburbs, Southbourne offers independent shops, a knitting café and its own eponymous local beer with a dash of coastal inspiration

Gifts from the Seaside

Run by interior designers Rachael Johns and Louise Mitchell, Coastal Creatives (103 Southbourne Grove) has a superb range of unique seaside-inspired gifts, jewellery and art work. Check out their coasters, placemats and cushions made by Dorset-based designer Caroline Tucker, carrying iconic coastal images such as lighthouses, beach huts, ice-creams and VW Camper Vans!

Just down the road Sugar Mango (37 Southbourne Grove) is another great place to shop, offering a wide range of semi-precious stoned jewellery, gifts, bags and home wear items. They also have their very own on site jeweller who can design and make special bespoke items for you.

For vintage fans Southbourne borders Pokesdown Vintage Quarter - head north to the end of Southbourne Grove and turn left onto Christchurch Road. Here you will find a cornucopia of retro treasures include Clobber, What Alice Found, Love From Hetty & Dave and Cotton Candy.


A Toast to Southbourne

If you are looking to sample a local tipple, look no further than Southbourne Ales. Launched in 2013 by local resident Jennifer Tingay, the brewery produces a range of ales inspired by the area’s coastal surroundings including Paddler (a 3.6% light ale), Sunbather (a 4.0% Red Ale), Headlander (a 4.2% bitter) and Beach Comber (a 5.7% brown ale). Try a pint for yourself at Southbourne establishments including The Grove Tavern (27 Southbourne Grove) or the Southbourne Ex-Servicemens Club (21 Stamford Road). You can also take home some bottles to try, which are on sale from The Jolly Vinter Too (1099 Christchurch Road).


A Tight Knit Community

The Close Knit Yarn Café is café at the front and knitting shop at the back. Open from Monday to Friday from 9:30 to 5pm and Saturday from 10am until 4pm, the café offers lunches, cakes, hot and cold drinks and snacks, while three ‘Knit & Natter’ groups are held on Mondays (2-4pm), Thursdays (10am-midday) and Saturdays (2-4pm). Never tried knitting? A beginners’ class takes place on Mondays from 5:30pm to 6:30pm. Visit for more information.


There’s Plenty in the Larder

With a wood-fired oven at its heart, The Larder House (4 Southbourne Grove) is a charming restaurant and bar serving local and European cuisine. Above the restaurant is a new speakeasy cocktail bar called The Library which is open Thursday to Sunday, with live music often on Thursday nights. Visit for more information.


Get Active

Keep active on cold wintery days and nights at St James Institute on Stourfield Road. This not-for-profit organisation offers activities for local residents including dancing, table tennis, snooker and educational lessons. A new extension to St James’ Small Hall - funded by £34,000 worth of funding from Sport England’s Inspired Facilities Fund - has been designed specifically to inspire young and old to get into playing table tennis. For more information visit


Sweet Treats

Something of a Southbourne institution, Sweeties at 25e Southbourne Grove sells a dazzling array of old-fashioned confectionary. Poured from jars, weighed and sold in paper bags, it’s just like the old days! Next door, the Pipe Shop also brings back memories of yesteryear with its quirky range of pipes and cigars.


Take a Stroll

There is nothing better on a crisp winter’s day than wrapping up and taking a walk along Southbourne’s Blue Flag beach or strolling along the cliff top. From Southbourne Grove, head along Grand Avenue to access Southbourne Overcliffe Drive. Fishermans Walk connects Southbourne Grove to the beach via a woodland pathway or head along Southbourne Road and Tuckton Road to explore the award-winning Seafield Gardens - a 2.4 hectare recreational area, which is home to a bowls club, tennis courts and a striking red brick water tower. The eastern boundary of Southbourne ends at Hengistbury Head, a sandstone headland, which is a nature reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest.


Where Creativity Rules

Create It All (154 Seabourne Road) is a craft shop best known for its creative workshops, which include scrapbooking, decopatch and mystery craft nights. The workshops are run by professional tutors on a huge range of different crafts, for all ages and abilities and private courses can be held for birthdays, hen parties etc. In addition to group workshops, one-on-one tuition is also available. Visit for more information.


Staying Locally

There are a host of plush hotels and B&Bs based in Southbourne if you were looking for an extended visit. These include Westcoates House Guest House (9 Southbourne Overcliffe Drive) and Beach Lodge Guest House (61 Grand Avenue). Cliff House Hotel (13 Belle Vue Road) meanwhile has 14 rooms graded into three different categories – Superior (non-garden view), Premier (garden view) and Premium Plus (garden view), all including free Wi-Fi, parking, Nespresso coffee machine and complimentary toiletries. For more information visit


A Little Taste of Italy

Deli Rocks (23 Southbourne Grove) is a perfect place to stock up on gastro gifts for Christmas or some treats for yourself. Browse their mouth watering range of pastas, meats, cheeses, olive oil and sauces. The delicatessen and espresso bar is also a great place for coffee or lunch… their homemade pizzas are phenomenal!


Let’s Move to Southbourne…

Situated to the east of Bournemouth, between Boscombe and Christchurch, Southbourne has a vibrant and mixed property market with families, retirees and first time buyers all looking to embrace its coastal lifestyle. At the top end of the market Southbourne Overcliff Drive has some spectacular penthouse apartments with sea views which cost up to and in excess of £750,000, while a detached character house with the same coastal vista is likely to set you back £1.6m.

Away from the cliff top, there are an abundance of more affordable homes in roads leading off Southbourne Grove. The average price for a two bedroom flat in the area is £190,000, while the average price for a detached house is £350,000.

Pricing information from (average prices correct as of October 2014).


Read on

Behind the scenes at a top secret Royal Naval facility in Dorset

Winter in Dorset - photography, things to do and walks to enjoy

Brad Pitt’s co-star from ‘Fury’ at the Tank Museum


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Dorset visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Dorset staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Dorset account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & About

Friday, December 7, 2018

This easy walk takes us into Hardy territory as well offering some glorious views towards Weymouth and Portland

Read more
Thursday, November 29, 2018

Here are some Dorset walks, easy and challenging, to get you out and about over the festive period

Read more
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

If you’re willing to brave the cold this Christmas Day, check out Dorset’s festive swim calendar for the best organised dips taking place in 2018

Read more
Thursday, November 15, 2018

Confusion reigns on the county’s eastern border

Read more
Thursday, November 15, 2018

From festive light switch-ons and Santa’s Grottos, to German Christmas markets and late-night shopping, we’ve covered what’s on in Dorset this season

Read more
Monday, November 12, 2018

From your first step, you will see superb views from hilltops and farmland footpaths on this walk

Read more
Sunday, November 11, 2018

Martin Clunes and his family have called West Dorset home for over two decades. Here he shares some of their favourite local places

Read more
Monday, November 5, 2018

To mark the centenary of the end of World War One we visit some of the memorials erected across Dorset to remember the fallen in the ‘war to end all wars’

Read more
Friday, October 26, 2018

This lovely walk takes us from watercress beds to a church famous for its life-size carvings of apostles

Read more
Thursday, October 25, 2018

Autumn is a great time to brush up on your gardening knowledge with the help of some experts, as well as see some well known gardens in a different light

Read more
Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The guide to Dorset’s best firework displays and bonfire events happening in 2018

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Prepare to experience the paranormal this Hallowe’en as Visit Dorset reveals some of the county’s most haunted pubs, stately homes, historic buildings and tanks

Read more
Monday, October 15, 2018

Dorset villages are some of the most beautiful in England – think winding lanes, thatched cottages and a cosy pub or welcoming tea room. We suggest ten of the prettiest villages to visit in the county

Read more
Friday, September 14, 2018

Follow in the footsteps of the Romans on this lovely walk that takes in rare habitat, ancient woodland and glorious views

Read more
A+ South & South West

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search