Bournemouth on the Dorset coast is one of the UK’s most popular seaside resorts situated just east of the Jurassic Coast – a World Heritage Site. The largest settlement in Dorset, it dates largely from Victorian and Edwardian times, and retains much of its Art Deco architecture. Attractions include fabulous award-winning beaches, a stunning pier, coastal chines, balloon rides and an aquarium. The resort is popular with families and party groups, offering a vibrant nightlife and a variety of accommodation options.
Things to Do
With its seven long miles of golden sandy beaches, and stunning pier, Bournemouth is a superb location for watersports holidays, and features an award-winning aquarium and gardens, a modern shopping centre, an impressive arts scene centred around the Russell Cotes Art Gallery & Museum, and a packed programme of year round festivals and events. Around Bournemouth are the watersports capitals of Dorset, Poole to the West and Christchurch to the east – where you can try your hand at sailing, surfing, windsurfing, kite surfing and powerboating. Long stretches of family-friendly beaches string along the coast from Sandbanks in Poole all the way along to Highcliffe east of Christchurch, and there’s so much to do with activities ranging from premier golf to indoor world Splashdown, family theme parks and high ropes adventure. The Bournemouth International Centre hosts exhibitions and conferences from all over the world as well as international rock and pop acts. Across the way is The Pavilion Theatre where entertainment includes comedians, rock, pop and classical concerts including those performed by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
Bournemouth Airport with flights to and from many European destinations is a fast, easy route in for international visitors. It’s easy to leave the car behind and reach this popular Dorset resort by coach or train. National Express operate coaches to Bournemouth from a variety of locations in the UK, and once in Bournemouth you’ve access to an excellent bus network including many fast hop on/hop off tourist bus routes running from Bournemouth centre to Poole and Christchurch. Rail links to Bournemouth’s two stations – the central Main Station and Pokesdown to the East – are extensive, operating from numerous locations across the UK including London Waterloo with a journey time of just 97 minutes. Ferry services at Poole, Southampton and Portsmouth are within easy reach, and if you are arriving by car, it’s a pleasant drive via the M3, the M27 and across the New Forest via the A31 to Bournemouth.
Where to stay
Seaside accommodation in Bournemouth caters for all tastes and budgets. The resort has hundreds of classic hotels, friendly seaside B&Bs, luxury coastal apartments, lodges and cottages, and a good choice of family friendly holiday parks. Around the seafront Chines you’ll find a selection of stunning Victorian and Edwardian hotels and guest houses, or opt for a cliff top apartment with terrace and glorious sea views. Luxurious contemporary town houses ideal for families are widely available either side of the centre near Poole and Christchurch, and in the heart of the resort you’ll find an excellent choice of modern apartments near shops, attractions and beaches. Many Bournemouth apartment complexes feature onsite spa leisure facilities and restaurants.