Sea Glass Hunting at Southbourne Beach, Bournemouth

Green sea glass at sunset, found on Southbourne Beach, Bournemouth

Southbourne is a suburb of Bournemouth in the southern English county of Dorset. It sits to the east between Bournemouth and Christchurch, boasting a wonderful stretch of ‘Blue Flag‘ beach.

The beach at Southbourne is very easy to reach by public transport. During the winter there is plenty of parking, but the first glimpse of sun sees visitors flock to the sand. There is little point trying to search for sea glass when this happens as you can see below!

Crowds flock to Southbourne Beach, Bournemouth, Dorset at the first sign of sunshine.

Sea Glass at Southbourne

This is definitely not the best beach for finding sea glass. However, when you do come across a piece it brings a huge smile to your face! There’s something hugely satisfying about finding glass after a long search, never giving up, keeping the faith and all that good stuff.

Finding a heart-shaped rock too? Well, that’s just a bonus!

Red sea glass and heart shaped rock found at Southbourne Beach, Bournemouth

Two hours of searching for two pieces of sea glass. Red is fairly rare though, so it was well worth the time spent looking.

Red and green sea glass found at Southbourne Beach, Bournemouth


In the videos below, you will see wooden structures stretching out into the sea. These are called ‘groynes’ and they help to prevent coastal erosion along Bournemouth’s seafront.

Erosion is a huge problem in this area and the coastline is currently being lost at around one metre per year. Seawalls and groynes have been built for more than 100 years to protect the cliff and beach replenishment has been used as a form of coast protection for 45 years. This is when huge construction vehicles dump more sand onto the beach during the winter, only for much of it to be washed away during the summer months.

With such powerful currents, it’s amazing to me that there is not more sea glass being washed up onto the beach. Perhaps it is found futher down the coast. I’ll have to investigate and report back!

Bournemouth Air Festival

The Bournemouth Air Festival is held each year in the summer and, if you want to escape the worst of the crowds, Southbourne beach is a great place set up your camera.

And yes, the heart was ‘painted’ in the sky by two Red Arrows jets and their red smoke!

Red Arrows RAF jets at Bournemouth Air festival forming a heart with red smoke.

Where is Southbourne?

Waves crashing onto Southbourne Beach, Bournemouth


I have been gathering sea glass for many years. I can never resist a stroll along the beach and the opportunity to add some more beach treasure to my collection!

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