Bournemouth’s stunning seaside scenery and exciting activities makes it one of the South Coast’s most appealing destinations. Homes South takes you through why Bournemouth is such a fantastic place not only to visit, but also to live in.
Boasting miles of glorious beaches and some of the UK’s most stunning stretches of coastline, Bournemouth is one of the most must-visit places on the South Coast. Three-time winner of the British Travel Awards’ Best UK Seaside Town award, Bournemouth boasts a wealth of things to do, see and enjoy. Along with the neighbouring Dorset towns Christchurch and Poole, Bournemouth also offers a fantastic quality of life for people looking for somewhere to start afresh.
While the traditional perception of Bournemouth might be that of a sleepy seaside town where people like to settle down and retire, the town has a surprisingly young population and a modern, cosmopolitan outlook while proudly holding onto its rich heritage and culture. Whether you’re looking for somewhere to explore, escape, go wild or just go home, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you will discover here.
Among Bournemouth’s many attractions include a glut of delicious food and drink, fantastic festivals and events, fascinating history and heritage, exciting art and culture, and thrilling outdoor activities and water sports.
Things to do in Bournemouth
To explore Bournemouth is to explore its coastal history. Bournemouth is home to an exciting history of smuggling and pirate heritage, some of it dating all the way back to the 18th century. As a result, visitors to Bournemouth have no shortage of awe-inspiring experiences to discover at its various stately homes, churches, gardens, museums, and castles. The Grade II-listed Russell-Cotes Museum houses a range of historical and contemporary masterpieces, while nearly Lulworth Castle is home to the annual Camp Bestival music festival.
Away from its famous pier, Bournemouth’s reputation as an entertainment hotspot means it has a huge calendar of events and festivals, offering experiences from live music to food festivals and family entertainment. Just a few of Bournemouth’s cultural highlights include the free festive trail Christmas Tree Wonderland which takes over Bournemouth’s Lower Gardens, the Arts by the Sea Festival, and the UK’s largest air festival Bournemouth Air Festival.
Bournemouth’s arts and culture scene is boosted by its large student population. The town has two universities, Bournemouth University and Arts University Bournemouth, with the former overseeing the annual BFX Festival which celebrates the latest in visual FX, animation and games. Music lovers can catch fantastic live music at stunning art deco venues like the Pavilion Theatre and O2 Academy Bournemouth, while the biggest acts and exhibitions often drop by the Bournemouth International Centre. Sports fans can follow the fortunes of AFC Bournemouth at Dean Court or seek out the local rugby and cricket clubs.
Bournemouth is also the place to find a delicious array of fantastic food and drink. Here you’ll find award-winning restaurants and gin distilleries, as well as all the usual family favourite eateries. As you’d rightly expect from any coastal destination, the seafood in Bournemouth is among the best you’ll find anywhere in England as it hosts a range of local farms and fisheries. The demand for all things fishy in these parts is so high that famous seafood ambassador Mitch Tonks recently opened his latest Rockfish restaurant in nearby Poole.
The great outdoors
Bournemouth’s coastal location and temperate climate makes it ideal for embracing the great outdoors. Sailing, surfing, and other water sports are popular pastimes, with Bournemouth boasting England’s third largest population of surfers. If you prefer more relaxing activities, you can grab your hiking boots for a stunning coastal walk or simply relax by the beach. If you’re the sort of person who wants the sting of salt water on your face and wind in your hair, you’re certain to find it here.
Bournemouth is truly blessed with fantastic natural beauty. Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole’s beaches boast nearly 15 miles of golden sand beaches and have won countless Blue Flag awards. These beaches are dotted with fascinating chines – steep-sided gorges unique to this part of England. Dorset is the gateway to the Jurassic Coast World Heritage site, while Poole Harbour is home to Brownsea Island, a local nature reserve. Wherever you go around Bournemouth, you won’t be too far from stunning clifftop vistas and beautiful views of the beachfront.
Living in Bournemouth
Living in Bournemouth offers easy access to some of Britain’s most attractive destinations. With less than an hour’s drive you can reach Areas of Outstanding National Beauty, the New Forest National Park, and historic towns like Dorchester and Salisbury. If visiting larger cities is important to you, then Southampton and Portsmouth are just 40 to 60 minutes’ drive east.
Bournemouth has fantastic railway links with London and the rest of the South Coast with its main rail station on the South Western Main Line between Weymouth and London Waterloo. By train it takes just two hours to get from Bournemouth to London Waterloo. The town also has connections to the Midlands and the North of England with CrossCountry operating services from Bournemouth to Manchester via Birmingham. For those that love an international getaway, Bournemouth has its own airport which offers direct flights to nine different countries including Greece, Italy, and Spain.
You might be more drawn towards living in Bournemouth town centre or in the popular suburbs of Westbourne and Southbourne, which boast an array of independent shops and cafés. No matter what appeals to you, Bournemouth really does offer something for everyone in terms of location. Combining its stunning seaside setting with endless activities, fantastic green spaces, and handy transport links, Bournemouth is the ideal town to visit or move to if you’re looking for a new adventure down on the South Coast.
This article was written using resources from Bournemouth Tourism. To find out more about Bournemouth please visit www.bournemouth.co.uk.