The Alum Chine and Argyll Gardens area of Bournemouth contains an excellent selection of accommodation options, many dating back to the Victorian period when the great Chines of this stretch of the Dorset Coast came to the fore. Chines, distinctive to the Dorset and Isle of Wight coastline, are beautiful steep river valleys featuring shady coastal pines and footpaths usually leading down to beaches. Alum Chine is Bournemouth’s largest Chine, one of four in the area, with an award-winning sandy beach flanking it and a host of attractions onsite, some of which date back to the 1920s.
The site of Alum Chine has a rich history stretching back to the 16th century when locals made an unsuccessful attempt to mine alum and copperas in the area. The mixed woodland of evergreen and deciduous trees were planted in the 19th and early 20th century. Bridges were built and gardens opened along with a croquet lawn, pavilion and tennis courts. The Chine’s magical tropical gardens date from the 1920s.
Things to do & see
Bournemouth’s Alum Chine is brimming with attractions to suit all tastes. Take a stroll along the charming woodland walk through the Chine valley or a tour of the famous tropical gardens. The Argyll Gardens with cafe, pavilion with wc and bowls club is also adjacent. Towards the southern end of the Chine near the seafront is a children’s play area with popular Treasure Island themed rides, slides and activities. There are spectacular sea views from the Chine towards Old Harry Rocks and the Isle of Wight. Sit back and relax in nearby restaurant Vesuvio with bar and outdoor terrace affording magnificent coastal views.
Find Alum Chine in the Westbourne area of Bournemouth at the bottom of Alumhurst Road. Ample public parking is onsite, with further parking available around West Overcliff Drive. Regular bus services also run direct to the Chine from Bournemouth centre.
Where to stay
Historic accommodation situated around the coastal Chine is brimming with elegant character and charm. Stay in a sea view Victorian hotel just metres from the beach or opt for a luxury contemporary apartment on an exclusive development. The Alum Chine area of Bournemouth is renowned for its luxury apartment accommodation – the perfect flexible and peaceful self-catering base with parking included and often restaurants and leisure facilities within the complex. Alum Chine is within walking distance of top attractions like the Pier Theatre, Oceanarium and the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery. The Chine is also conveniently situated near Poole beaches, the harbour and boat trips to off shore Brownsea Island.