Christchurch beach guidelines
Report an issue on the beach
If you discover an issue with overnight camping, open fires and barbecues, unauthorised encampments, please contact the Tourist Information Centre at 01202 123 800 or in writing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guidelines for these and other beach front issues can be found below.
Respect, protect and enjoy our beaches
To keep our beaches and seafront clean, safe and enjoyable, there are some beach guidelines to follow. Familiarise yourself and don’t fall foul of the rules.
Anyone who fails to comply risks a fine or prosecution.
Know before you go
Plan your trip to the area with the latest information:
Download the beach check app
Before you arrive, get up to the minute information on how busy the beaches and car parks are, by downloading our beach check app.
Tow away in operation
When you visit, park responsibly. Cars parked on double yellow lines, causing an obstruction or blocking access may be towed.
Respect our staff
Our staff and everyone we work with are key to making Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole an award-winning destination to live, work and visit. From Seafront Rangers to car park attendants, cleaners to the RNLI, look after them so they can look after you.
To keep our beaches clean, 400 triple sized bins are being installed across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole seafront. Littering threatens other people’s safety and our local wildlife. Put rubbish in the bins provided or take it home. Leave only footprints or risk a maximum fine of £150.
Recycling on the seafront
Very frequently, recycling bins along the seafront are contaminated and therefore need to be treated as general waste. It only takes a few items to contaminate a whole bin or even an entire vehicle if the contamination is collected.
More about recycling on the seafront.
No overnight sleeping or camping is allowed on the beach, seafront, cliffs or car parks. Camping in any unauthorised space is dangerous. Be prepared to be disturbed as a 24-hour beach patrol will repeatedly be visiting to gather evidence for prosecution and you could face a £1000 fine.
Instead, why not stay at one of the lovely camp sites in the area.
Open fires, fire pits and fire bowls are not permitted at any time on our beaches, promenades, cliffs, cliff tops or woodland areas.
Our beaches are surrounded by unique cliff habitats which are Sites of Special Scientific Interest and provide a home to many of the UK’s rare species of reptiles, birds and insects. Their dry nature means they are vulnerable and sparks from open fires can cause horrific damage. Protect the environment – don’t risk a fine of £1000.
Disposable barbecues are only permitted at the following beaches between 6pm and 10:30pm.
- Gundimore Beach
- Avon Beach
- Friars Cliff.
Gas barbecues are not permitted at any time.
Use your disposable barbecue responsibly, safely and respectfully, ensuring that they do not cause a nuisance to others.
When you’ve finished with your barbecue, please extinguish it carefully with water and leave it next to the bins on the promenade for collection by our waste teams. Do not bury or put hot BBQs into bins.
In Christchurch, cycling is not possible in all areas as the promenade can be very narrow.
- at all times give way to pedestrians as they have right of way
- keep your speed below 10mph and slow down
- when it’s busy, please be responsible - dismount and walk.
It is illegal to use privately-owned e-scooters on the promenade, paths and public roads at any time. Failure to comply, risks confiscation and prosecution by the police.
Dogs on the beach and seafront
Owners must clean up after their dog. Failure to comply risks a fine of up to £1000.
From 1 May to 30 September, dogs must be kept on leads on the promenades, piers, zig zags and footpaths, and are only allowed on the following dog friendly beaches.
We have produced a map for dog friendly beaches in Bournemouth and Poole and a separate map for Christchurch.
Bournemouth dog friendly beaches:
- from Alum Chine Beach Office to Branksome Dene Chine
- Middle Chine to Durley Chine
- East of Fisherman’s Walk beach to Southbourne
- Hengistbury Head.
Christchurch dog friendly beaches:
- Mudeford Sandbank
- Gundimore Beach
- Friars Cliff Beach (only between the wave wall and Groyne H4 at Highcliffe Beach)
- Highcliffe Beach (no dogs between groynes H4 and H8 from 1 May to 30 September).
Poole dog friendly beaches:
- eastern side of Branksome Chine beach office to Alum Chine Beach Office, Bournemouth
- western end of Sandbanks beach to Haven Point by the chain ferry
- Hamworthy beach.
Our sand dunes are a Site of Special Scientific Interest site and are a delicate ecosystem. Stay off the dunes to help us maintain this unique site and protect their fragile habitats.
Lectures, sermons or any kind of performance are not permitted on our beaches.
Paddleboards, kayaks and personal watercraft
Christchurch Harbour and the harbour channel (known locally as “the Run”) are busy with personal watercraft. Please be aware that due to the water depth, boats can only use the deeper marked channels. Where possible all personal watercraft users should stay out of these areas. Should you need to cross, please do so at 90 degrees to the channel.
Visit Christchurch Harbour for more information plus details of slipways, moorings and Mudeford Dingy Park.
We want you to enjoy the sun safely. Here are some useful tips:
- spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm
- wear a t-shirt, hat and sunglasses
- use factor 15+ sunscreen.
You can’t give lectures, sermons or any kind of performance on Bournemouth, Christchurch or Poole beaches.
Ball games must be kept on the beach and not on the promenades. Please consider other people when playing games on the beach.
Begging and busking
You cannot beg, busk or ask for money on any part of the seafront, either verbally, by handing out leaflets or requesting donations.
Please consider other people and keep any music to a reasonable volume. If your music can be heard within fifty feet of its source, a Seafront Ranger will ask you to turn it down.
Generators are not permitted to be used at any time on any part of the seafront.
Climbing on walls, fences and cliffs
You can’t climb any walls or fences by the seafront and promenades.
You also can’t climb on any cliffs.
Many cliff areas are Sites of Special Scientific Interest and can be unstable. Stay safe by not climbing and help us to preserve these areas.
You cannot put up any posters or notices by the beach.