If you are looking for something unique to do in Bournemouth, how about a trip on PierZip, the first pier to shore zip wire in the world?! PierZip is a 250m dual zip line that starts on the end of Bournemouth Pier and finishes up on Bournemouth Beach. Flying over the sea is pretty cool! In this post, I share everything you need to know about visiting the Bournemouth zip line!
Bournemouth Pier Zip Wire
🗺Pier Approach, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH2 5AA
💰Prices start from £15 in winter season | From £20 in summer (April – Sept)
📅Open Year Round (dates and times may vary during winter season)
PierZip Tickets: Walk-In vs Pre-Book
Like any attraction, if you want guaranteed entry, it’s best to pre-book tickets online in advance. During the summer season, pre-booking will also save you money! Between April and October, Bournemouth Pier has a ‘pier toll’ which is £1.30 for an adult. When pre-booked, zip wire riders receive free entry to the pier, simply show a printed ticket or an e-ticket at the toll booth. Also, in the school summer holidays, walk up tickets are £22 (plus the pier toll), when booked online, they remain at the £20 summer rate!
If booking and riding as a pair, you will receive a slightly cheaper rate per person. They also have a family and friend rate for 4 people. Being a dual zip line it would be fun to ride with someone as you can then race them to the beach and see who gets there first!
Pre-booked tickets also get priority over walk-ins, so you may have to wait around until the pre-booked riders have been sorted out first!
You can either print the ticket out or have an e-ticket on your phone. I actually pre-booked my ticket on my phone while standing in front of the pier. I showed the email to the pier toll and when I checked in for the zip wire I was only asked for my name.
Things To Know Before You Go
There are a couple of height and weight requirements for zip wire riders. PierZip has a minimum height requirement of 1.3m/4ft2, a minimum weight of 30kg/4st7 and a maximum of 120kg/18st9. All riders are weighed before being harnessed up (weights aren’t announced or anything, just checked by the staff).
The zip line also runs in most weathers, so be prepared to still ride in various conditions! Things like storms and high winds may affect opening times, but it will still run in rain.
In peak times PierZip is open from roughly 10.30am – 5.30pm during peak times, such as the school summer break. During the off peak times, it’s open from 11am – 3.30pm but they will sometimes extend sessions on days that are in high demand. Make sure to check the website for full details. At the moment, only weekend dates in September are available, so keep this in mind too if you happen to be travelling midweek!
What To Wear
Make sure to be dressed for the weather. Close toed shoes are a must and riders can not wear skirts or dresses. Shorts are OK but just be aware of where the harness may sit on the body. It’s best to wear shorts that have legs long enough to cover the skin where the harness sits. I wore shorts but you can see that they are long enough to come below the harness. I did still get a bit of a wedgie at the end, it’s quite an abrupt stop! The harness is full body, so it will go over the shoulders too, a t-shirt may be more comfortable than a vest top. Helmets are provided and it’s best to tie long hair back.
PierZip is part of RockReef, however the office is in its own separate location on the right hand side of the pier. There are signs leading up to it, so you won’t get lost! As a pre-booked ticket holder, you simply get called up to the desk where loose items and bags are stored in big numbered plastic tubs. Pockets must be emptied. You will be given a wristband with a number that corresponds to the number on the tub. No one but the staff have access to the tubs, they are kept well out the way behind the desk, but as always valuables are left at your own risk.
From here you are then fitted with the harness where the staff will tighten all the straps for you to make sure it is secure. As mentioned, children over a certain height and weight are able to ride, but they are obviously expected to carry their own harness and equipment too and from the zip wire. During my visit, several of the kids were complaining that it was heavy, so if travelling with children, this may be something you’d like to prepare them for!
To The Zip Wire
While being fitted for a harness, you are given a code to remember for the gate at the bottom of the stair tower. It’s a short walk along the pier to get to the zip tower. Punch in the code for the gate and start heading up. Word of warning, the stairs are made of vented metal so they are see-through, plus being a spiral, it does make you a little dizzy. If you are scared of heights, this may be an unnerving feeling! The tower is 25m above the sea.
Once at the top, the staff will call you forward onto the platform. As I was a solo rider, I got to choose which of the 2 zip lines I wanted to go down. Essentially they are the same but I picked the one furthest from the pier. Harnesses are re-checked and then you are attached to the zip line.
You will need to physically step or jump off the edge of the platform yourself, while holding on to both of the static lines. Once you’re flying, you are then free to let go, spread your arms, superman pose, whatever you feel like doing! they say on the website that you can pretend you are ‘zip surfing’ over the waves! You are still pretty high up above the water so you won’t touch the water, but it’s fun flying over the top of people’s heads while they swim!
There’s a red barrier on the beach, when you reach this section you are told to hold back on to both of the lines attached to the harness and move your head to one side. This stops you from getting smacked in the face! As mentioned above, it’s quite an abrupt stop and it doesn’t matter if you hit the beach backwards or facing forwards. One of the staff will grab the line and pull you up the ramp, until your feet are able to touch the floor again.
They disconnect you from the line and then you have to walk back to the start of the pier and head back towards the office where you were first harnessed up. This was where some of the younger riders were complaining about the weight of the harness, as it is a little walk to get back to the start!
Here you are unharnessed and can then collect your belongings that were stored in the tub during the ride. The staff at all the points were all very friendly and chatty, they done a great job of calming nervous riders or asking experienced zip-liners about their past adventures!
RockReef and Bournemouth Pier
You are then free to explore the rest of the pier before heading back onto the land. In normal times people can fish off the end of the pier. There are a few little kid attractions: such as a Helter Skelter slide and mini cars (there’s also a pressed penny machine for those that collect them!).
The largest attraction on Bournemouth Pier is RockReef, an indoor climbing centre with a ‘Clip N’ Climb‘ (link reviewing the Chelmsford location), PierCave and a high ropes course. During off-peak times, RockReef is open Thursday – Sunday, during school breaks it’s open 7 days a week.
The Key West Bar & Grill is a popular indoor and outdoor eatery for its sea views. They have all-day food, cocktails and events such as ‘The Fawlty Towers Dining Experience’.
Free entrance to the pier is also included with RockReef and Key West Bar & Grill reservations.
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