Alum Chine

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On advice from the government regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19), some services have changed. Find our latest information and advice on using our Beaches in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

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Meander down to our world-class seafront

We have four Chines in Bournemouth and Alum Chine is the largest.

Find out about the history of Alum Chine and Argyll Gardens which is at the top of the Chine, on West Overcliff Drive.

Walking down through Alum Chine is a nature ramble in itself as you wind your way down to the beach. Why not also visit the tropical gardens? 

Where Alum Chine reaches the seafront, there is plenty to do, with a popular play park, cafes, kiosks and of course Bournemouth's golden sand.

Alum Chine Play Park


The ‘treasure island’ themed playground at Alum Chine is based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous book and features an impressive pirate ship set within a rugged, natural seaside landscape.

Alum Chine Cloisters

1925 Alum Chine Beach west

Photo of Alum Chine with Cloisters in the background, from around 1925.

Built by 1909, Alum Chine Cloisters is one of two covered shelters on Bournemouth’s seafront. It is used by visitors to shelter from the sun, rain and wind.  These elegant shelters were built as Bournemouth's beaches became popular for 'taking the sea air'. They were made up of twelve arches - a number of private beach huts were added to the roof a few years later.

Using an early form of concrete construction, the building includes a thick concrete back, side and arched walls with some stonework and stone facing on the front.  The roof is made of a concrete slab.  In 2019 following a routine inspection, Alum Chine Cloisters was found to have some significant structural defects.  This included a number of cracks through the arches and roof.  As a result the building and access to the site is now closed to the public. 

The structure has been propped up internally and further inspections are planned to better understand the extent of the issues.