The largest coastal town in the popular Dorset county of England, Bournemouth is not only popular with the people who live there, a recent survey discovered Bournemouth to be the happiest place to live in the Great Britain, but with the 450 million pounds worth of tourists who visit year after year.
One of the many reasons why people visit Bournemouth is for its fantastic beaches. Stretching for over 7 miles along the Bournemouth coastline, the beaches are a haven for families, with the soft, golden sand making for a family playground day after day. However, the beaches are not only used for sunbathing and relaxing, but for Bournemouths popular pastime activity of surfing. Known as one of the best places to surf in the United Kingdom, Bournemouth brings many surfers, of all ages and abilities to its beautiful waters, particularly in the summer when the sea is warm and the sun is shining.
Bournemouth has an attraction or sight of interest for all types of tourists. For example, the historical or archaeological interested tourists will be in their element, as Bournemouth is a stones through from the aptly named Jurassic Coast, a 95 mile piece of coast that has been completely unspoilt by development and is home to thousands of pieces of Jurassic period remains, with many fossils still being discovered to this day.
Furthermore, Bournemouth caters perfectly for the young student market and has a thriving student scene that is becoming increasingly prominent due to the popularity of nearby Bournemouth University.
Not forgetting those interested in culture and the arts, Bournemouths Russell-Cotes Museum is a fantastically interesting place to visit. Featuring a variety of 19th century paintings, most of which are coveted family collections from distant, eastern countries, the museum was named after Sir Merton Russell-Cotes, an extremely popular Victorian who campaigned extensively for a promenade to be built in Bournemouth.
The popularity of Bournemouth, especially in the summer months, is largely due to its very respectable climate (when compared to other parts of the United Kingdom). Throughout July and August, the daily temperature will peak in the mid 20 degrees centigrade. Whilst not comparable to some foreign holiday destinations, it makes for a fantastic temperature, especially for those who dont particularly enjoy sitting in the sun all day long.
Whilst not known for its shopping district, Bournemouth offers an extensive range of shops to suit everyones styles and needs. The main shopping area in Bournemouth is situated only moments from the beautiful sea front, in an area of the town known as The Square. Almost completely pedestrianised, it provides shoppers with a range of high street labels and local boutiques in a range of buildings from newly built department stores and shopping malls to renovated Victorian properties.
Moving just out of Bournemouth town centre to the west and Westbourne offers a plentiful amount of designer label clothes shops and interior design outlets. The same distance in the opposite direction and Boscombe is located, a place where a much more traditional approach to shopping is found, with many street markets and antique shops open tirelessly throughout the week.
Bournemouth is a coastal town in the county of Dorset with a reputation for providing great days out, relaxing scenery, exciting nightlife and high end shopping.
Consider starting your journey from Poole Harbour. In this traditional and relaxed area, you can spend a morning seeing all the sights. On the shorefront various restaurants, shops and tourist attractions now fill the quaint listed buildings.
From here you can hop aboard a quick ferry to Bournemouth.
The town is reminiscent of a bygone era, with a real sense of historical character and luxury. The beaches are unlike anything else you will find in the country. On a quiet day it's the perfect stretch of land for a long contemplative walk, regardless of the weather.
Notably, most of the in-town attractions are within walking distance, which means you can have a nice weekend outdoors enjoying the fresh sea air, without ever feeling like the next destination is too far out of reach.
Because Bournemouth University has been growing over recent years, the student population has added a new diversity and energy to the town too. This has altered the image of the town from one which was known in the past as a hotspot for retirees.
The atrium gallery at the University is open Monday to Saturday. This is a great place to visit to get an idea of the kind of work happening here. You can see the craft of youthful minds in all their glory, as well as national exhibitions of reputation and grandeur.
There are many traditional buildings in the town, which are punctuated by some more grand structures such as St Peter's Church. Its many interesting features and more unusual elements made it a really interesting place to visit, following its redesign in the mid-1800s. It's a must see due to its unconventional design so don't miss out.
Alternatively if you're after something a bit different you could always take to the skies in the Bournemouth Balloon. You can get a really unique view of the town from this hot air balloon, and take in some of the sights on a route that overlooks some of the main landmarks. Enjoying a glass of champagne whilst absorbing the incredible view can be an exceptionally memorable experience. Unfortunately when we visited, we weren't able to fly. Legally they aren't allowed to inflate the balloon when the wind is over 30 knots. It will definitely be on our itinerary for the next visit, though.
For somewhere to stay on your visit, the Royal Bath Hotel is widely recommended. It provides some really amazing views over the shore, allowing you to enjoy Bournemouth in all its glory. The dining is highly rated and the spa is known to be exceptionally relaxing and rewarding, with a wide range of luxurious treatments waiting to be discovered and indulged in.
The restaurants around the area specialise in seafood, which is great for anyone who enjoys trying out local delicacies. Alternatively, head to one of the many gastro-pubs for some tasty food and regional ales. As with most traditional, quaint historical towns, the standards held in local dining are very high, so wherever you go, you can be sure that the service and the food will be of the highest quality.