Bournemouth is one of England’s most popular south-coast towns. It’s one of the UK’s best seaside resorts, with sandy beaches, a traditional pier, and both traditional and contemporary things to see and do. For anyone who’s visiting London already, Bournemouth is just over two hours away by train. Whether you take a day trip to the seaside town or you decide to opt for a longer stay, Bournemouth is a lovely place to visit.
Before you plan your trip to Bournemouth, here are some of the top reasons to visit and some of the best things to do while you’re there.
1) Bournemouth Beach
When you’re visiting a seaside town, heading to the beach has to be one of the first things that you do. Bournemouth has seven miles of beautiful sandy beaches, including the central beaches accessible from the town centre, Durley Chine Beach, and Boscombe Beach. Bournemouth’s award-winning beaches are well worth a visit, whether you’re relaxing on the sand during the summer or exploring other parts of the seafront.
Bournemouth’s microclimate means that you can enjoy some of the warmest waters in the UK. You could choose to participate in some water sports activities, such as surfing or kayaking, or you might like to explore the seaside parks and gardens. The Coastal Activity Park offers plenty to do too, including sports courts, water sports, yoga, and more. There are even free activities to try, such as bouldering and slacklining.
2) Bournemouth Pier
If you’re visiting the beach, you can’t miss out on taking a look at the pier. Many other piers around the UK, which were very popular during the Victorian era, have fallen into disuse and disrepair. However, Bournemouth’s pier has been kept up to date and offers lots of things to do. While some piers have stuck with arcade games, the pier in Bournemouth offers a mix of high-adrenaline activities, ways to relax, and places to eat and drink.
Try visiting RockReef Indoor Activity Attraction, where you can find activities such as indoor climbing, an indoor cave experience, a vertical drop slide, and a high ropes aerial obstacle course. If you want outdoor activity, there’s the PierZip 250-metre dual zip zipline. For those who prefer to relax, there’s a bar and grill, cocktail bar, coffee shop, cafe, and pasty shop.
3) The Food Scene
Bournemouth is gaining increasing recognition for its fantastic dining scene. It began with the traditional offering of fish and chips and other fresh seafood, but Bournemouth’s restaurant scene now includes cuisines from around the world. Whether you want a traditional breakfast or fresh seafood, or you’re looking for Mexican, Indian, or Italian food, you can find it in Bournemouth. There are plenty of options by the beach or along the promenade for those who want a view with their food too.
You can get Canadian fare from Moose Kitchen, traditional cafe options from The Bay Tree, and European fine dining at Restaurant Roots. Get a succulent steak at Westbourne Grill House or Moroccan and Lebanese at Luxor. There are many different eateries to try, offering a range of cuisines.
4) Bournemouth History and Culture
Checking out the history and culture of a town is always a must when you visit. One of the things that Bournemouth is most famous for is being the site of Mary Shelley’s grave. The author’s final resting place is at St Peter’s Church, a Gothic revival construction with a 200ft spire. Buried next to the ‘Frankenstein’ author is also her husband, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, and her parents, the writer, philosopher and women’s rights advocate Mary Wollstonecraft and journalist, philosopher and novelist William Godwin.
Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum is another essential place to visit if you want to learn some history while you’re in Bournemouth. The building was built in 1901 by Sir Merton Russell-Cotes, who was the Mayor of Bournemouth, for his wife’s birthday. It was gifted to the town of Bournemouth only six years later, to be used as a museum and art gallery.
5) The Nightlife
Something else that draws many people to Bournemouth is the nightlife. Whether you like pubs and bars or you’re the sort of person who prefers to spend the night clubbing, Bournemouth has plenty of places to visit. Bournemouth’s young population means there are lots of ways to enjoy the nightlife. Choose a traditional pub, a luxurious cocktail bar, or a live music venue to make the most of your time out on the town.
Take a trip to Bournemouth and enjoy the beaches, fun activities, and the pubs and clubs while you’re there.
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