Planning your day

A few hours are all that's needed to have a great day

Most people tell us they really need at least a few hours to get the most out of their visit Hengistbury Head. In this time you can enjoy a beautiful (or bracing, depending on the weather) walk, stop for a cuppa and a bite to eat, and then ride the train back again if your legs are tired.

If you ask the land train guard, the train will stop at the Visitor Centre (it's a drop-off only, no pick ups from the Visitor Centre) for you. Of course if the weather is nice, we fully recommend staying all day and incorporating a relaxing break on the beach.

Allow an hour at the visitor centre to explore the beautiful garden, exhibition and to chat with our friendly volunteers about what's happening on the wildlife cameras at the moment. Before leaving, browse our lovely gift shop for the perfect souvenir or present to take home!

Self-guided visits

Bringing a group? You might like to check out our ‘Information for schools’ page. Even if you’re not with a school, there are lots of tips on how to get the best from the reserve when there are lots of you together.

Exploring on your own, with friends or family? 

The reserve is easy to find your way around (but maps are available for just £1 at the Visitor Centre if you’d rather). With the harbour on one side and the sea on the other, it really is hard to lose your way. Roam along easy-access paths amongst grassland, heathland, woodland and wetland; there’s even a harbourside walk (though this is best done on Spring Low tides if you don’t want wet feet! Check out the day’s tides at the Visitor Centre before you set out). Look out for more than just wildlife- if you look carefully, you might see evidence of 12,000 years of human history on this site. Bronze Age barrows and, of course, the Double Dykes are some of the easier archaeological features to spot.

If you’re less confident about finding your way, or just want some expert knowledge to add a little more to your visit, why not check out our events listings to see if there’s something happening while you’re here?

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