Bournemouth – seven miles of golden sand from Hengistbury Head to Sandbanks, overlooking Poole Bay and the Isle of Wight. A sight to behold on a beautiful summer's day.

Spring, autumn and even a winter's day can also be a delight to be alive in this lovely city.

Bournemouth Gardens in the autumn

Bournemouth Gardens in the Aurumn
Photograph © Chris Downer

Pleasant winding walks up or down the Chines with lovely views over the bay. Alum Chine in particular.

The Pleasure Gardens provide attractive shady walks in both summer and winter along the Bourne as it wends its way to the sea. Or walk in the Winter Gardens among the lawns, trees and colourful flower beds in all its seasons. Perhaps play miniature golf.

The Upper Gardens hold the Tree Trail – a boardwalk around a wet meadow with wild flowers. Arguably best in Spring.

An attractive idea for visitors is the beach hut – and what a delightful idea that is in Bournemouth. A home from home on the beach – well at least during the day. They are booked out early so get in quickly.

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There are several really lovely sandy beaches in Bournemouth and it would be very hard indeed to pick a favourite.

The central beaches are perhaps the best known with the pier striding out to the sea. Boat trips run from the pier. The Oceanarium is in this area. At the end of the pier you will find the RockReef Activity Centre and its climbing challenges.

Westbourne with the attractive Alum Chine is a delight. If you want to combine the beach with some shopping, Westbourne itself is a good spot with eateries as well. Robert Louis Stevenson is a famous resident.

Durley Chine Beach, this one is a kids favourite! Ice Cream, sun, sand, sea!!! A Blue Flag beach which certainly says a lot.

Boscombe. Take the children down the walk to the beach through gardens where grey squirrels will greet you with delight hoping you have nuts for them. The beach has a Coastal Activity Centre where there are lots of sports and stunning views!

Southbourne, an old favourite and another Blue Flag beach ideal for kids. There is a lift to the top of the cliff.

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Accommodation in Bournemouth

Bournemouth beach from the Pier

Bournemouth Beach from the Pier
Photograph © Pierre Terre

The city is one of the most popular on the south coast so best to book early for summer breaks! Definitely!!

A few suggestions. There are no affiliate links. Your own research is a good idea, what suits one does not suit another and it is so important to get your choice of a hotel exactly right for you!

Laguna Hotel, 6 Suffolk Road South, Bournemouth. Just a short walk to the Upper Gardens and a delightful walk down through the gardens to Bournemouth Pier.

The Grove Hotel   2 Grove Rd, East Cliff. Excellent wheelchair access. Not far from Boscombe Beach.

The Applewood Hotel, Durley Road. Run by a dedicated family. Not far from the town centre or the beach. 

Royal Exeter Hotel.  Exeter Road. Party Time.

Perhaps you fancy a pretty cottage in the lovely Dorset countryside, believe me Dorset is beautiful, then you could try where you will be spoiled for choice! Just for starters

Kingston Country Courtyard Kingston, . Walking, cycling, fishing, golf. family fun.

The New Inn, Cerne Abbas. In the middle of the Dorset countryside.

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Coming to Bournemouth

The city has been a popular holiday destination for over a century and so access is very good. by road, rail and air.

The city has an International Airport and details can be found here

Bournemouth Travel Interchange

Road and rail transport can be found at the Bournemouth Travel Interchange where there is also a bus to the airport.

The railway station is adjacent with links to London, the rest of Wessex as well as the rest of the country. National Express coaches are available at the interchange. Local buses run to all parts of the city and the surrounding area.

See right hand column.

Hire cars and Taxis can be easily found.

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What to see

View from the Bournemouth Eye

View from the Bournemouth Eye with St Andrew's Church in the foreground
Photograph © Keith Edkins

The Russell Cotes Museum has stunning views of the bay. Good spot for the very hot day! It started life as one of the big Victorian houses on the cliff top, home of Sir Merton and Lady Russell-Cotes. Now it houses a fascinating museum and art gallery. Entry is free.

A really good view is from the Bournemouth Eye, a giant helium balloon with room in the gondola for 20 to 30 passengers. It is firmly tethered so there is no chance of finding yourself crossing to the Isle of Wight. Soars 500 ft above the town and the beach. Views for 20 miles along the coast – breathtaking. There are illuminated night flights too for the romantically inclined.

For a fascinating aquatic experience the Oceanarium is a must. Under the sea creatures from all over the world, eight different areas from the Great Barrier Reef to the Amazon via Africa. The most intriguing exhibit is the Interactive Dive Cage – absorbing, mesmerising, captivating. Allow a while for this one – partlcularly if you have the children with you! One excellent idea for a wet day on the holiday.

Cruises are available from Bournemouth Poole and Swanage. A wild life cruise along the Jurrassic Coast perhaps.

Europe's first artificial reef  at Boscombe. After many delays, opening and reopening it was finally opened in April 2014. It adds to the surfing pleasures of the area. Part of the regeneration to liven up the pier section of Boscombe beach.

Try the walk down to Boscombe beach through the gardens and feed the squirrels on the way. Great fun, they will even look in your pocket!

The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra is one of the most famous in the world and is based in Poole.

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Other pages that may be of interest


Bournemouth International Airport




Events in Dorset

Getting to and around Wessex

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Bournemouth Pier and beach

Bournemouth Pier and beach on a sunny afternoon
Photograph © Malc McDonald

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Useful Information

Things change. Always check out the external links for the latest information.

These are just helpful suggestions only.

There is only one affiliate link, SBI.

Travel Wessex is a Guide.

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This is a developing map. Some areas have better coverage.

To find the nearest Electric Vehicle Charging Point please click here.

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Public Transport

National Express

If you do decide the leave the car at home and help the environment too, why not go National Express. They run coaches all over the country. Some pretty good fares too.

Just imagine - sit back and relax, no hassling with the traffic!!!

Do you know that you can book on your mobile phone and they will send the ticket as a text!!!!

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National Rail Journey Planner.

For train journeys all over the United Kingdom connecting the places you want to go efficiently and quickly.

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Traveline is a very useful resource for public transport throughout Wessex, even local buses. In fact all over the United Kingdom.

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