Mudeford Sandbank to Bournemouth Pier Walk

A superb coastal walk along 7 miles of golden sandy beaches. Highlights include Christchurch Harbour, Mudeford Sandbank, Hengistbury Head, Southbourne Beach, Fisherman’s Walk, Boscombe Pier and Bournemouth Beaches and Pier. During the summer a new Breezer 70/80 bus service operates between Bournemouth Pier, Tuckton Bridge and Hengistbury Head allowing you you take a bus from Bournemouth to Tuckton Bridge and then take a vintage ferry across Christchurch Harbour to the start of the walk at Mudeford Sandbank. It’s then an easy 3 hour walk back along the coast to Bournemouth. For alternative starting options see details below.

Distance: 7.0  miles one-way
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated time: 3 hours
Total ascent 167ft, Highest point 131ft
Starting point: Mudeford Sandbank Jetty (Google map)
OS Map: Explorer OL15 Purbeck & South Dorset
Date of Walk: 30th May 2023

Mudeford Sandbank to Bournemouth Pier Walk Map 7 miles one-way
Mudeford Sandbank to Bournemouth Pier Walk Map 7 miles one-way

Route Map & GPS Navigation

Starting Options and Logistics

There is a new bus service operating between Bournemouth Pier, Hengistbury Head (main car park), Tuckton Bridge, Christchurch, Stanpit and Mudeford (5 min walk to Mudeford Quay) which opens up a whole realm of possibilities and makes arranging this walk much easier than before.
For details see Morebus Beach Breezer 70/80 bus service timetable at

There is also a ferry service connecting Mudeford Quay to Mudeford Sandbank: and another ferry service connecting Tuckton Bridge, Christchurch Quay and Mudeford Sandbank 

On the walk described below we parked the car in one of the residential roads close to Tuckton Bridge and took the vintage ferry from Tuckton Bridge to Mudeford Sandbank. We then followed the route as shown on the map along the coast to Bournemouth Pier. We then took the Breezer 80 service bus from Bournemouth Pier back to Tuckton Bridge. There are plenty of places to stop for an ice cream, snack or drink along the route so on a sunny day you can make a full day of it.

Alternatively you could start in Bournemouth and take the Breezer 80 bus to either Tuckton Bridge (and then vintage ferry to start of walk), or take the bus to Hengistbury Head (and walk 25 mins to start of walk), or take the bus to Christchurch town and walk 15 mins to Christchurch Quay and take the vintage ferry to the start of the walk) or take the bus to Mudeford and walk 10 mins to Mudeford Quay and take the ferry across to Mudeford Sandbank, or any number of other permutations.

Route Description and Photo Gallery

The vintage ferry service starts near Tuckton Bridge (Google map) and goes to Christchurch Quay and then on to Mudeford Sandbank which is the start of the walk. Visit  for prices and timetable.
There is a cafe/restaurant at Mudeford Sandbank and public toilets. You can see the Ferry Pier from where ferries run to Christchurch Quay, Tuckton Bridge and Mudeford Quay.
View across the entrance to Christchurch Harbour to Mudeford Quay.
Mudeford Sandbank is famous for it’s very expensive beach huts some of which are valued at more than £250K. The owners can sleep in the huts between May and September so there is quite a community village-like atmosphere in the evenings as everyone has BBQs and drinks.
Just follow the beach to the end of the beach huts and you’ll see some steps.
Go up the steps on to Hengistbury Head
View of Mudeford Sandbank from Hengistbury Head
Mudeford Sandbank
Follow the path along Hengistbury Head
To your left you can see the Isle of Wight and the Needles Rocks with the Needles Lighthouse at the very end (about 7.8 miles away)
View from Hengistbury Head looking west along the coats towards Bournemouth.

The pink wild flowers that you can see all along the coastline are Thrift which is also known as Sea Pink (flowers can be seen from late spring through summer)

to your right you can see across Christchurch Harbour to Christchurch. You can see Christchurch Priory in the distance. In the foreground is the Hengistbury Head Land Train which runs between the main car park and Mudeford Sandbank.
View back to Hengistbury Head and Hengistbury Head Beach
Looking west towards Southbourne Beach. You can walk along the sand or follow the path along the back of the sand dunes which drops down to the promenade just before you get to the house shown in the photo.
The path now follows the route of the promenade all the way to Bournemouth so you won’t get lost.
Approaching Southbourne Beach
Southbourne Beach
Walking towards Fisherman’s Walk Beach
Approaching Boscombe Beach and Boscombe Pier
Boscombe Beach
There are plenty of cafes and restaurants near Boscombe Pier.
View along Boscombe Pier. Entry is free.
View from Boscombe Pier towards Burnemouth
This is a bar/restaurant along the Undercliff Drive between Boscombe and Bournemouth Pier. El Murrino Beachside which I hadn’t seen before and probably just a summer pop-up. We stopped for a quick drink and the atmosphere was really good but it was a fantastic hot day with blue skies so just about anywhere would be great.
Bournemouth Pier – the end of the walk.
View from Bournemouth Pier looking west towards Sandbanks Beach.