Although it was originally little more than barren heathland surrounding the Bourne River, Bournemouth has recorded thousands of years of human settlements, and has grown to be the largest town in Dorset. Located in the South East of the County, Bournemouth borders Poole to the West, Christchurch in the East, and is also close to the charming small town of Wimborne.
Like many towns along the coast, Bournemouth saw significant growth, and the arrival of tourists, when a railway appeared in the town. This has now been joined by Bournemouth International Airport, Transdev Yellow Buses, Wilts and Dorset Bus Services, and an excellent motorway/road network which leads to London, or further along the south coast.
Bournemouth then, is very accessible to tourists, but what awaits them when they arrive in the town? 7 miles of sandy, award winning beaches for starters! Durley Chine and Alum Chine Beaches are both known for being family friendly, with the latter also housing a tropical gardens and play area. There’s also the quieter Fishermans Walk Beach, Southbourne Beach, home to a surf school, and the nearby Boscombe Beach. This beach is somewhat unique, in that it will soon have an artificial surf reef. Other attractions here include a restaurant, Boscombe Gardens, and a mini golf course, along with Boscombe Pier. There’s also the mighty Bournemouth Pier, which hosts regular events such as markets, houses an Oceanarium, and is the stop off point for the Poole to Bournemouth Land Train which runs along the seafront.
Bournemouth is also a university town, and houses a number of language schools, which bring a more diverse population to the area. There’s plenty to entertain students and tourists alike with nightlife and attractions in Bournemouth and the surrounding towns. Bournemouth International Centre and Pavilion Theatre hosts a varied program of ice shows, pop concerts, and comedy nights for all ages. There’s also the Russell Cotes Art Gallery and Museum, Sherborne’s Castle, Beaulieu National Motor Museum and the Museum of Electricity in Christchurch, all within reach.
For something a little different, try Liberty’s Owl, Raptor, and Reptile Centre, Go Ape Adventure Centre, or Adventure Wonderland Theme Park. If you’re in Christchurch, then Snowtrax, an outdoor dry ski slope is also worth a visit. Last, but by no means least, there’s also Bournemouth’s event schedule to consider, which includes The Bay Run, Bournemouth Air Festival, and Bournemouth Christmas Light Switch-on.
As you’d expect from the largest seaside town in Dorset, there’s something for every taste, interest, and budget here, the question is, what will you choose to do when you visit this part of the South coast?