Bournemouth is a delightful coastal resort town situated on the south coast between Plymouth and Southampton in the county of Dorset, together with Christchurch and Poole it makes up the largest conurbation in the county with a population of over 400,000. Its prime coastal location and miles of award winning Blue Flag beaches have been attracting tourists to the area for many decades. It is an exciting cosmopolitan town surrounding by sparking seas and miles of pristine rolling heathland, ideal for gentle walking and a plethora of water sports for the enthusiasts. There is always something to keep tourists occupied; Bournemouth is a thriving regional centre for entertainment, leisure and culture with an energetic youth culture established at the local university. In more recent years the image has changed considerably from one just for the elderly seating on deckchairs on the beach to a place with a buzzing nightlife filled with many great clubs, bars and restaurants all congregated in the town centre.
It is a well maintained town with over 200 listed buildings mainly from the Edwardian and the earlier Victorian ages when the town's popularity soared giving the town a feeling of grandeur. There are countless attractions and amenities to suit all budgets and tastes from popular shopping excursions, surfing, boating to the very popular pier to pier stroll starting at either Boscombe Pier or Bournemouth and reversing your route. There are many scenic walks along the promenade and manicured gardens taking in wonderful vistas of the Isle of Wight and the Purbeck hills. This is a proper beach town destination with its cafes and restaurants, hotels a great place for friends and families to have an ice cream, cake or cup of coffee whilst watching the world merrily pass you by. Nearby is the world famous Jurassic coastline dating back over 185 million years and popular for finding fossils and spectacular coastal rock formations like Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door.
So if you are looking for a holiday destination or just a place for a short weekend break then Bournemouth with its excellent selection of Hotels and guesthouses is the perfect place. See below for a small selection of attractions on offer.
Brownsea Island Nature Reserve
Located in Poole Harbour this dramatic little island offers spectacular vistas across Poole Harbour to the distant Purbeck Hills. It is a national trust reserve with a number of diverse habitats and wildlife far exceeding expectations, it is home to a small population of Red Squirrels, and with its sizeable sheltered lagoon is very popular with migrating breeding birds. It's a beautiful and peaceful place with its lakes, flooded woodland, reed beds, pine woods and five discreet bird hives ideal for spotting the birds in their natural habitats.
Bournemouth's Parks & Gardens
Bournemouth's Gardens bring colour and scent to the town from earlier spring and it's a sheer delight to wonder through the three distinct gardens. The gardens are a wonder of Victorian imagination and careful planning separated into the “Lower Gardens” next to the sea front which hosts many attractions and events during the busy summer period including the Pinewalk Art Exhibition, the Aviary and concerts at the Pine Walk Bandstand. These lead effortlessly to the enjoyable “Central Gardens” in the town centre and then up towards the beautiful “Upper Gardens”.
A real crowd puller are the seven miles of award winning Blue Flag beaches located in the sheltered bay that surrounds Bournemouth with its stunning cliffs and some of the most pleasant sea temperatures in the UK. Whatever you like about beach breaks you will find it here in abundance with deckchairs, seaside piers, beach huts, pristine sea, and tasty seaside specialities alongside miles of breath taking scenery. For ease of access to the miles of beach there are lifts which transport you down to the beach at East Cliff, West Cliff and Fisherman's Walk or simply take one of the zigzag paths. You can also take the Land Train which runs the length of the promenade between Boscombe Pier and Bournemouth Pier.
The Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum
For the culturally minded a visit to the impressive Russell-Cotes Art Gallery& Museum is a must do, this beautifully designed building located just two minutes from Bournemouth Pier is a combination of Scottish Baronial and Italianate Villa constructed between 1897 and 1901 with later additions. The stunning grounds incorporate a delightful Japanese Garden overlooking the Purbecks to the west and the Needles to the east. The museum has a unique atmosphere with a variety of styles between a public museum and a private house and houses many fine works of art of international importance.
Located some 30 minutes' drive from Bournemouth is the ancient “New Forest” England's newest National Park; it is well worth the time to visit this stunning area with picturesque towns and villages. The New Forest is full of open spaces, to spectacular forest glades and tranquil unspoilt walks that have mainly remained unchanged from 1079 when William the Conqueror used it regularly as a royal playground. Visit the Royal manor at Lyndhurst, the capital of the “New Forest” which was once home to the Kings and Queens of England and their accompanying courts.