With 7 miles of clean sandy beaches tucked beneath its cliffs, Bournemouth is said to enjoy some of the country's warmest sea temperatures. You can descend to the seafront either by taking the zigzag paths through the public gardens near Bournemouth Pier (where there's a family-friendly amusement arcade) or by taking the three outdoor elevators from the cliffs. If you're not tempted to swim, you can stroll along the nearby promenade. Book well in advance, you can hire a beach hut (from £12–45 per day, £40–180 per week) or innovative beach pod with kitchenette on Boscombe Beach (from £70–315 per week) to provide a restful viewing spot or shelter from the changeable English weather. Europe's first artificial surf reef attracts surf fans as well as creating an area of calm water that's perfect for children—surfers, however, have reported that the reef is more suitable for bodyboarding than standing up. Windsurfing, sailing, and other water sports are also big here. Amenities: food and drink; lifeguards; parking (from £1 an hour); water sports. Best for: walking.
Westover Rd., Bournemouth, BH1 2BU, England