Boscombe is located just east of Bournemouth centre and has a wide sandy beach and beautifully restored seafront spa. Famed for its Chine Gardens, Boscombe is also home to the O2 Academy offering a year round programme of live music concerts and events. There are a selection of art galleries to browse and the town features funky laid back bars including Reef Encounter with a cafe, bar and grill, free Wi-Fi and a sheltered terrace overlooking the beach. Other popular eateries include the informal Urban Reef Restaurant in a fantastic beachfront location on the historic Overstrand alongside the promenade. Take a walk along Boscombe Pier or relax on the beach. Have a go at surfing, or visit the Boscombe Chine Gardens for a game of 18-hole mini golf. You can pick up the mini land train from Boscombe to Bournemouth for a small charge, or explore the Boscombe Arts Trail from the shopping precinct to Boscombe Pier.
Hemingway Design have been at work on the beautiful Boscombe Overstrand building just east of the pier, and within the building sit super cool Beach Pods available to hire which recapture the spirit of 1950s/60s seaside Boscombe whilst also offering modern comforts including fitted kitchenettes, hot and cold running water, table, chairs and microwave. The first modern beach huts were built in Bournemouth in 1909, and this new take on the beach hut joins around 2000 beach huts lining Bournemouth beach and promenade.
Shopping & Vintage Markets
Boscombe is renowned for its bohemian, vintage style shopping scene mostly centred around the pedestrianised precinct. There are two fantastic undercover arcades – the much loved Victorian Royal Arcade which hosts regular vintage markets by the sea, and the Sovereign Shopping Centre with a mix of quirky independent shops and high street favourites. Boscombe hosts the only regular street market in the Bournemouth area and an Open Air Market is held throughout the year every Thursday and Saturday with stalls selling fresh local produce, clothing and arts and crafts. Head to Boscombe’s antique alley where there is a good choice of antique and bric-a-brac shops. These are mainly centred around Pokesdown area.
The Boscombe area around the pier offers some of the best surfing waves on the South Coast. Bournemouth Surf School – Surf Steps – is located on the Overstrand complex alongside the beach, just 500 metres from the pier, with a range of different courses for all surfing levels available. Stag and Hen parties and groups are warmly welcomed, with some great discounts on offer dependent on group size. Surfing equipment hire from wetsuits to surfboards and bodyboards is also available.
Accessible via a southern entrance next to the pier, award-winning Boscombe Chine Gardens is one of the most beautiful of Bournemouth’s four chines. Attractions include an 1890s lodge and terraced Clock Cafe, an 18 hole mini-golf course, a multi use games area for football and basketball and a fully enclosed children’s play area. A replica of an original circular spa shelter with oak shingled roof serves as a stopping off point for the mini Bournemouth land train.
Michelle is an experienced travel writer with iknow and has travelled extensively across the UK, Spain, Portugal and the USA. When she’s not busy writing for iknow she enjoys spending time touring museums and art galleries and seeking out the best independent shops in Manchester and Leeds.