We are always on the lookout for family friendly adventures, whether this be in preparation for our world trip next year or for an adventure closer to home. I was very excited to have discovered Bournemouth Beach Lodges. We’ve never stayed in a beach hut before and with Bournemouth being so close to home (just a 40 minute drive from The New Forest) we thought we would give it a try.
Bournemouth Beach Lodges offer self catering accommodation for up to 4 adults, 2 children and a dog! You can book for 3, 4 or 7 night stays throughout the year and prices can start from as little as £275 in the winter, £450 in the spring and £625 in the summer. We enjoyed a 3 night stay (Friday – Monday).
There are 15 beach lodges located on a raised platform off of the Seafront promenade. Just a few steps away and you will find yourself on the beautiful beach. Boscombe pier is a 5-10 minute walk away and after a further 20 minute walk you will reach Bournemouth pier. Therefore, technically speaking I would consider the lodges to be located on Boscombe beach. Prior to our stay, I had heard of Boscombe beach but had never visited and never considered it to be as beautiful as Bournemouth beach. How wrong was I? It is absolutely stunning!
Even though you can walk to both Boscombe and Bournemouth pier from the beach lodges you don’t have to. There is a complimentary Land Train service for guests. Lodge guests have unlimited use of the Land Train during their visit which can take you on a leisurely seafront journey from Boscombe pier to Bournemouth beach. It is important to note that this is subject to weather conditions and time table change.
Our stay coincided with Storm Brian. The UK Met Office issued a yellow warning for strong winds and heavy rain across Southern England. Unsurprisingly, this meant the Land Train was not in use during our stay. As a result of this, we either used Taxi’s or drove ourselves. Fortunately, it was easy enough to order taxis and they could collect/drop us off at Overcliff drive (5 minute walk to lodge) or at Boscombe pier (10-15 minute walk to lodge). It cost roughly £8 to get from Boscombe pier to Bournemouth pier by taxi. There are also plenty of car parks around Bournemouth so driving was easy enough.
Undercliff carpark (BH5 1BN)
This car park is located on the seafront near Boscombe pier. You will be issued with a free parking ticket because you are staying at Bournemouth Beach Lodges. However, it is important to note that in order to get to the Lodge you would need to walk (10-15 minutes) along the promenade or you get the Land Train. Bournemouth Beach Lodges operate a complimentary service for guests on both arrival and departure days leaving from opposite The Overstrand building at 3.15pm and every hour at 6.15pm for departure days it will depart the Beach Lodges at 9.50am (Mondays and Fridays).
Overcliff drive car parking (BH5 1LN)
Parking here is free and although we had no trouble parking during October, I imagine this could be trickier in the summer. In order to gain access to the lodges you need to use the Manor steps zig zag walkway. This takes just a few minutes and brings you out directly at the Lodges. In our opinion, we found this to be the easier option (although the windy weather played a part in this decision).
As previously mentioned, you can gain access to the lodges via the seafront or from Manor steps zig zag walkway.
It is also possible to gain access to the Promenade at Boscombe Pier Gate daily at certain times. This allows you to drive up to the Lodges and unload/load your vehicle. Be sure to ask about this prior to your arrival.
When leaving or returning to your lodge there will always be some walking required. Either along the promenade to Boscombe pier in order to use the Land Train, collect your parked car or a taxi (10-15 minutes). Or, you will need to use the manor steps zig zag walkway to collect a taxi or your parked car (5 minutes). The zig zag walkway lights up at dusk with solar panelled lights.
Upon arrival, you will need to head to check in at the Beach Lodge Office. A member of staff will then take you to your lodge.
All the lodges are located on a raised, gated platform. There are steps to your lodge which take you directly onto your south facing deck with incredible views of Bournemouth bay, the Isle of Wight and Isle of Purbeck. There is also a small table and 2 deck chairs.
The entire front of the Beach house has bi-fold doors allowing you to have your beach lodge completely opened up to the deck area. If you choose to have them shut you have blinds which can be raised fully, left closed or slightly open while allowing light in but ensuring privacy. We spent most of our time with the blinds completely open as we couldn’t stop admiring the view.
The downstairs living space is contemporary and chic and decorated in beautiful shades of blue to complement the spectacular scenery. There is a table, chairs and 2 bench seats (both of which can be turned into beds by removing the table (1 double and 1 single). Under these beds there is ample storage. We used one as a toy draw for the children’s bits and bobs.
There is a compact bathroom with WC, basin, heated towel radiator and shower. Towels provided. Our children aren’t overly keen on showers however; being able to remove the shower head to hose them down made the process a lot easier!
There is a fully equipped galley kitchenette with hob, integrated fridge and surprisingly good storage considering we were in a beach hut. Do not make the mistake we did. We brought pastries to bake in the oven – obviously forgetting there would not be one. We cooked dinner in our lodge one night and found it was well stocked with everything we needed. They also provide washing up liquid, hand wash, sponges, dish cloths and tea towels!
There is also a TV with Freeview and free Wi-Fi. Access to the stairs is protected with a stair gate and there is also another wall heater here. Do be warned that the heaters can get very hot when on! We found the lodge to be warm enough and barely used them.
A set of small stairs takes you to the upper level. Both the top and bottom of these stairs are protected with a stair gate. However, it is important to note that these are very narrow and very steep stairs. If you have a problem with this you could make use of the ground floor alone (depending on how many are occupying the lodge). We loved the space upstairs and being able to leave the downstairs as living space so we resorted to very carefully supervising the children up and down the stairs, or having them cling onto out backs like a monkey as we carried them down (they loved this).
Upstairs you will find more storage space, a double bed and a single bed. Those of you who have young children will probably love the fact that these beds are located on the floor. We always find this a bit of a relief as removes any worry of the children falling out of bed. There are obviously ways around it and we cope easy enough; however, having the bed low to the ground and enclosed meant the children could top and tail in the single bed and we could use the double bed. The beds were comfy enough. The mattresses were a little on the thin and hard side but the duvet and pillows were very comfy. There is also a window near the double bed which has restricted opening and a lock to ensure it is safe with children around.
I would also like to add something I am very surprised by. Noise. You would think that noise may be an issue with 15 beach lodges all in a row. This was not the case. We don’t recall hearing our neighbours once. Not only this, we stayed in a beach hut during a storm with heavy wind and rain; however, when snuggled up warm and cosy in the beach lodge you wouldn’t have known.
- Laundry room which is free of charge for guests: washing machine, tumble dryer and ironing facilities.
- 2 hot BBQ plates located on the terraced area. These can be used between 9am and 9pm. You can hire utensils for a refundable deposit of £5.
- There are also a number of items you can burrow including: highchair, cot, hair dryer, beach toys and more!
Places to eat near by
There are many many restaurants in the centre of Bournmouth which can be accesed by car, taxi or land train.
Within walking distance we enjoyed a delicious breakfast at Urban Reef Restaurant. This is a stunning restaurant which offers panoramic beach views and is very child friendly. They are also open for lunch and dinner. To find out more read our full review here.
There is also a Harvester restaurant which offers a variety of menu options and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
One of our favourite places to dine was in our Beach Lodge. We had everything we needed to cook our own food; however, the option to get a take away delivered to your door was too good an opportunity to miss. So good in fact that we did it twice! The first time we ordered pizzas from The Wood Oven – they were delcious! The second time we made use of Deliveroo which gives the option of ordering from an array of cuisines in the local area.
Attractions near by
There is so much to see and do nearby but on this particular visit we enjoyed:
The Oceanarium: Bournemouth’s Aquarium (read our full review here).
All Fired Up – Ceramics Café (read our full review here).
Hengistbury head and a land train ride to Mudeford Spit.
There is also miniature golf available on Boscombe pier and in Bournemouth gardens. We would have loved to have done this however sadly the stormy winds meant they were not open.
Then of course, just steps from your beach lodge you will find yourself on the beautiful, sandy beach.
To read all about our weekend in Bournemouth, which included the Arts by the Sea Festival, make sure you read our post:
Our brilliant and blustery weekend in Bournemouth.
On our last night we were left a feedback form and some of the tastiest salted caramel fudge I have ever had. Check out was very simple and straight forward. We simply ensured the lodge was left tidy; we drove the car down to load it up and then left the key at the beach lodge office. A member of staff happened to be walking past as we were leaving our lodge and she kindly helped my daughter down the stairs and offered further assistance should we need it.
If visiting with a dog…
Bournemouth Beach Lodges are dog friendly. Only 1 dog is permitted per lodge and there is a £20 charge (you must make them aware at booking). Also you must not leave your dog unattended in the lodge. However, with it being self catered accomodation, delivery options from The Wood Oven and Deliveroo and the dog friendly Urban Reef restaurant along the promenade you have lots of dining options. It is also important to note that dogs are not permitted on the beach directly opposite the lodges between 1st May – 30th September. During this time, the nearest dog friendly beach is a 10-minute walk (less than 1mile) at Fisherman’s Walk beach.
So how suitable was Bournemouth Beach Lodges for families with young children?
We had the most incredible stay and made some truly special memories. However, as a family with young children there are a few things to consider and a couple small changes which could make the stay even better.
- The stairs are very steep. We supervised our children on these or carried them on our backs which they found great fun however if you were staying with an even younger child or baby this would be very difficult to do. We were very happy to see stair gates at either end but I did feel a little nervous every time we had to use the steps. An alternative to this (depending on how many people are staying in the lodge), would be to make use of the downstairs space only and converting the sofas to beds.
- Probably obvious but something to consider: don’t bring your pushchair, use a carrier instead if need be. There are steps up to the lodge and to the raised platform. Also there just isn’t the space to store a pushchair (leave it in the car).
- A few extras which I think would be a lovely touch: non slip mat in the shower, plastic tableware and small utensils for children. This wouldn’t need to be in every lodge but simply available when young children are visiting.
- If you choose to explore further afield you do need to walk to Boscombe pier or to Overcliff drive which despite being not too far could be a little challenging with very young children. We managed fine (our children are 2 and 4) however, when rating suitability for families with young children we always try to consider families with younger children than ours too.
We had the most brilliant time at Bournemouth Beach Lodges and although we did a lot of exploring we would have happily stayed in the Lodges the whole time as well. With the beautiful beach on your door step, a cosy and stunning self catered beach hut to call home and endless takeaway options you wouldn’t even need to leave! We would love to return in the summer because I would love to have the bi-fold doors completely open, make use of the BBQ’s and being able to walk a few steps and be in the ocean. Would we return to Bournemouth Beach Lodges? In a heartbeat!
To read all about our child friendly weekend in Bournemouth, click here.
Big World Little Explorers were the guests of Bournemouth Beach Lodges and Bournemouth Tourism but all opinions are our own.