Find out what there is to see and do at one of our most important local nature reserves
As well as being home to over 500 plant species, 300 types of birds, a superb variety of insects, reptiles and small mammals, Hengistbury Head is also a Stone Age and Iron Age archaeology site.
The reserve has a number of different habitats for wildlife including woodland, heathland and saltmarsh. From the Head there are amazing views across Bournemouth and beyond to the Purbecks and the Isle of Wight.
We have a wonderful visitor centre in the old thatched barn, which is open from 10am to 4pm daily (except Christmas Day) and until 5pm in the summer. You can see displays of archaeology artefacts that have been found at Hengistbury Head.
There are different themed exhibitions in the centre, as well as talks and events throughout the year. The centre also has a delightful wildlife garden and shop. Visit the Hengistbury Head website for news and events.
A land train runs from the Hiker Cafe to the Beach Cafe on Mudeford spit every day (except Christmas Day) and is a great way to take in the sights.
If you liked the dramatic scenery at Hengistbury Head you might enjoy exploring the countryside habitat and wildlife at Wick Fields, between the golf course and the harbour. You can find out where all these wonderful places are by looking at our parks and countryside map.
Caring for Hengistbury Head
Because of the delicate balance of our habitats we use animal grazing to manage the grassy areas and keep down unwanted scrub growth.
We have several different cattle breeds at Hengistbury Head and ask visitors to keep their dogs under close control when passing these animals.
Hengistbury Head has been awarded a number of special conservation designations, including:
- Site of Special Scientific Interest
- Scheduled Ancient Monument
- Local Nature Reserve
- Special Area of Conservation
- Special Protection Area
- Environmentally Sensitive Area
- Site of Nature Conservation Interest
- Green Belt