Bournemouth has a huge range of attractions for every age group and every budget. The Littledown Centre is Bournemouth’s best leisure centre with a gym for children, one for adults and an on-site park which has a one-mile running trail, a paddling pool, a duck lake, a high rope course and a miniature railway. From swimming and spa facilities to waterslides and lots of indoor sports, this facility set within 47 acres of parkland is a brilliant place to visit.
For an even bigger high rope challenge, visit the Moors Valley Country Park and Go Ape!, with a junior course for children over four. The Bournemouth Cliff Lifts operate every day during the summer, offering easy travel between the cliff tops and the beach, and are well worth a ride for the far-reaching views. Ride the Fisherman’s Walk lift to the cliff top cafe and play area, the East Cliff Lift for travel to the Russell-Cotes Museum, or the West Lift to the Bournemouth International Centre (BIC). Other Bournemouth attractions include the Genting Casino and the Westover Gallery, both offering very different ways to spend an afternoon or evening. Find Bournemouth accommodation online now and plan your holiday itinerary.
Bournemouth Balloon & Oceanarium
For a different view of Bournemouth and the east Dorset coast take a balloon ride from the Lower Gardens! The giant helium Bournemouth Balloon will take you up to 500 feet for views stretching for 20 miles around Bournemouth, the English Channel and surrounding countryside. The enclosed gondola beneath the balloon holds up to 28 passengers, with space to move around and panoramic views for all. Light wheelchairs can also be brought aboard. Book online and reserve your boarding pass prior to your visit.
Bournemouth Oceanarium is a popular family attraction on Bournemouth’s seafront. You can find out all about the underwater wildlife from all over the world. Different display areas feature animals from their respective watery habitats including the Amazon, The Ganges and the Great Barrier Reef. There are touch screen games, feeding demonstrations and talks and a walk-through underwater tunnel.
Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum
On top of the hill in East Cliff is the imposing Victorian villa that houses the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum. It’s a mix of Italianate villa and Scottish Baronial pile set in landscaped grounds that include a Japanese garden. There is a mix of permanent and regularly changing exhibitions in the art gallery.
The villa was one of the last Victorian buildings to be constructed, and was created and decorated by Sir Merton and Lady Russell-Cotes who were keen art collectors. The villa itself is open to visitors where you can see some of the vastly luxurious decoration including hand-painted stained glass and covings featuring Japanese inspired swallows and peacocks. In the main hall you’ll find the sun design mosaic fountain that reflects the stunning zodiac sign stained glass in the skylight above.