With seven miles of golden sand, stunning scenery, fabulous walks, great food and a buzzing nightlife, Bournemouth is the perfect destination for a break away
Why visit Bournemouth?
Where else will you find seven miles of award-winning sandy beaches on the edge of a vibrant, cosmopolitan town? Its range of attractions mean short breaks in Bournemouth can be as fast-paced or relaxing as you choose, so why not ease yourself gently into your stay, hire a deckchair and chill out on the beach. Take a stroll on the iconic Bournemouth Pier – where you can enjoy stunning views of the bay, the Isle of Wight and Purbeck Hills – or take a leisurely ride on the land train along the promenade. Admire the brilliant floral displays of the town’s Lower Gardens and walk through a mile-and-a-half of stunning Victorian gardens. You can spend a few hours watching the sea life at the Oceanarium or discovering Japanese treasures at the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum.
Bournemouth weekend breaks with family or friends can be packed with all kinds of exciting attractions and activities, so no one will ever get bored. Go caving at the Rock Reef Activity Centre on Bournemouth Pier or soar over the sea on the pier-to-shore zipline. And while you’re on the beach, why not learn a new skill such as paddle boarding or surfing?
With the beach only a few minutes’ walk from the town, it’s easy to enjoy a bit of retail therapy in its largely pedestrianised centre. You’ll find department stores, high street favourites, designer brands and independent boutiques.
Bournemouth’s food scene is thriving and offers everything from traditional seaside favourites to international cuisine and fine dining. Enjoy lunch at a beachside cafe with friends or a romantic dinner with your partner at a cliff-top restaurant.
Heading into the evening, there’s a real buzz in the town with its many bustling bars and pubs. Relax while watching the sunset from one of the beachfront bars or sit back and enjoy live music or comedy at one of the town’s impressive concert venues.
A brief history
George William Tapps-Gervis started its transformation from the existing village into a seaside resort. Spa towns and health resorts promoting the health benefits of fresh air, mild climate and the medicinal use of seawater were becoming increasingly popular at the time. Bournemouth fitted the bill perfectly and its inclusion in the book The Spas of England prompted a massive growth in tourism and the town began to flourish. With the arrival of the railways in the late 1800s, Bournemouth became an established tourist destination and by 1880, the Winter Gardens and the pier had been built. At around the same time, Sir Merton Russell-Cotes, the town’s mayor, helped to establish the original library and museum, and soon after, new hotels, cinemas and theatres followed. Today, Bournemouth is one of the UK’s biggest attractions and holds blue, green and purple flag accreditations for its wonderful beaches, green spaces and excellent nightlife.
The best time to visit
Summer is a wonderful time to visit Bournemouth – after all, what could be better than long sunny days spent on golden beaches? But don’t just stick to high season… Bournemouth has much to offer throughout the year and plays host to a wide range of fabulous festivals and events.
Food lovers will not want to miss the Bournemouth Food Festival. Taking place in June, the festival features cookery demonstrations, street food stalls, and a farmers’ market showcasing fine quality local produce. With live music and entertainment taking place throughout the festival, it really does make for a fabulous day out.
The Bournemouth Air Festival takes to the skies at the end of autumn and features incredible air displays, as well as many land and sea-based events. The festival is free and has been voted one of the best 10 air shows in the world.
October sees the arrival of the annual Bournemouth Arts by the Sea Festival, which features an eclectic mix of music, film, literature, visual art and comedy with events taking place in a variety of venues across the town.
Bournemouth transforms itself into a winter wonderland during the festive period, making it a great destination for a pre-Christmas trip. Visit the alpine market or enjoy a spot of open-air ice skating in the illuminated Victorian gardens. Festivities begin at the end of November and run throughout December.
Bournemouth’s main pedestrianised shopping area and seafront are fairly flat and easy to explore on foot. You’ll find many walking and cycling trails in and around the town and a choice of several cycle hire shops. There are plenty of frequent local buses available, as well as regular services to the surrounding areas. The town also has three local train stations with regular services.
Take a look at our hotels in Bournemouth and experience the beautiful beaches and top nightlife spots for yourself.