Bournemouth, commonly regarded as one of Britain’s best seaside holiday resorts, is a long established tourist destination, attracting visitors from all over the UK and across the world.
Famous for its 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) of sandy beaches – which have won numerous prestigious awards including the European Blue Flag Award – Bournemouth offers an array of beautiful parks and gardens, quality shopping, a whole host of entertainment and local attractions and a truly cosmopolitan atmosphere.
Offering possibly the best beaches in England, there’s nothing better on a hot summer’s day, than relaxing on one of Bournemouth’s many beaches along the coast.
The town beaches of Bournemouth, Boscombe, Southbourne, Alum Chine and Durley Chine are very convenient and offer facilities such as cafés, water sports, boat trips and deck chair hire.
On some beaches you can enjoy different water sports or maybe a game of volleyball in one of the Game Zones or, if surfing is your thing, then head down to Boscombe beach where you can enjoy Europe’s first artificial surf reef!
If you are prepared to go a little further afield, then visit the beaches out of town too. Water sports fans will love the Sandbanks Peninsula, as the conditions are perfect for windsurfing and jet skiing. Studland Beach, which is owned by the National Trust, is famous for its beautiful clean white sand and local wildlife – you can get there by taking a small ferry from Sandbanks.
Even when the weather is not so great, you can still enjoy a leisurely stroll on the cliff tops of the Purbeck Hills or along the promenade all the way to Poole and back. Enjoy a meal with a fantastic view of the sea at one of the restaurants along the seafront offering the delights of fresh seafood, Italian and of course traditional fish and chips!
Aside from the beach, Bournemouth also offers 2,000 acres of award winning parks and gardens, which provide the ideal place to sit and relax with a good book or newspaper.
There’s also plenty to do and see in the town gardens, where you can take a flight on the Bournemouth Eye tethered balloon which, on a clear day, gives you views of the English Channel and surrounding area for up to 35 kilometres.
Down at the seafront you’ll find the promenade, with its wide range of cafes; Bournemouth Pier and Bournemouth Oceanarium, a huge underwater Aquarium. Or, if you’re looking for a little more culture, there’s the Russell Cotes Art Gallery and Museum with its vast collection of artifacts and paintings and offering stunning sea views.
Land trains run from Alum Chine to Hengistbury Head and there’s also an open top bus tour, which runs in the summer. Both are great ways of exploring of the town.
The shopper is also well catered for in Bournemouth. High street favourites exist alongside independent stores and cute boutiques. There is also a large shopping centre called Castlepoint, just outside the town that offers a wide range of retail experiences.
The town centre is divided into two main streets with a big café in the middle called the Obscura Café that provides an excellent location to sit and watch the world go by.
There are many restaurants in Bournemouth, as well as bars, bistros and cafés, several with fantastic views of the sea and surrounding countryside and the nightlife of Bournemouth is well known throughout the UK as the place to be at the weekend! During the summer months Bournemouth puts on free firework displays which always provides an exciting end to the day.
The Bournemouth International Centre, Pavilion Theatre and the Pier Theatre (which of course is at the end of Bournemouth Pier) attract leading names from the world of entertainment and music. Many London shows come to Bournemouth when they go on tour throughout the UK so you have the opportunity to see world famous plays, musicals and ballets on your doorstep. In nearby Poole, the Lighthouse, one of the largest Arts complexes outside London, is famous for its wide variety of shows, concerts, films and exhibitions.
During the summer, there are many activities that take place in the town centre and surrounding beaches like ‘Sands on the Beach’, which is held in Sandbanks. You can listen to live music concerts, have an evening picnic on the beach and watch spectacular firework displays that light up the sky.
With two cinemas in Bournemouth town centre and a multiplex and arts cinema in nearby Poole, you have a great choice of films from big blockbusters to independent and art films.
Just west of Bournemouth, the stunning World Heritage coastline, with romantic locations such as Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove, attracts admirers from all over Europe and beyond. You can also visit the nearby town of Christchurch with its attractive quay and even venture farther afield to Winchester with its famous cathedral. The historic New Forest National Park and the city of Southampton just minutes away, you have a whole new area to explore and packed full of more exciting things to do and see!
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