Bournemouth, in the county of Dorset, is a long-established tourist destination and as Britain's premier seaside holiday resort, attracts visitors from all over the UK and beyond.
Famous for its 12 kilometres of sandy beaches, beautiful parks and gardens and a cosmopolitan atmosphere, Bournemouth blends a traditional British seaside resort with a busy and thriving town.
Bournemouth is situated on the south coast of England and is less than two hours from London. With a population of just over 163,000, it is large enough to have all the facilities of a big town but small enough that you never feel lost.
It has some of the best beaches in the UK and has won numerous prestigious awards including the European Blue Flag Awards, which are recognised internationally as a sign of clean, well looked after beaches. On some beaches you can enjoy different watersports or maybe a game of volleyball in one of the Game Zones. With 2,000 acres of award-winning parks and gardens, you can always find somewhere to sit and read a book or newspaper, or even study. There are cafés on the promenade and during the summer, free firework displays provide an exciting end to a hard day's sunbathing.
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.
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. We hope you will never be bored in Bournemouth! It is a great place to live and study.
Bournemouth by Day
On a hot summer's day, there is nothing better than relaxing on one of the 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, watersports, boat trips and deck chair hire.
You can also go further afield and spend some time on the beaches that are out of town. Watersports 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 very famous for its beautiful clean white sand. There is also an information display explaining local wildlife at the visitors' centre. You can get there by taking a small ferry from Sandbanks; the beach is only a few minutes across the causeway. The rock formation called Durdle Door is one of the most photographed and famous parts of Dorset 's coastline and is very popular with both tourists and people who live in the area.
Even when the weather is not so great, you can still enjoy a leisurely stroll along the clifftops of the Purbeck Hills or along the promenade all the way to Poole and back. You can also 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!
In the town gardens, 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. As well as the traditional English pier, there is also an Oceanarium and a funfair. If you are more of a culture fan, the Russell Cotes Art Gallery and Museum has a vast collection of artifacts and paintings and also has stunning sea views.
Land trains run from Alum Chine to Hengistbury Head. There is also an open top bus tour, which runs in the summer. Both are great ways of discovering the history 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.
There are many restaurants, bars, bistros and cafés, several with fantastic views of the sea and surrounding countryside and the nightclubs and bars of Bournemouth are well known throughout the UK as the place to be at the weekend!
Bournemouth by Night
In the evenings, the town comes alive with bars, nightclubs, restaurants and concerts, and throughout the year, special events are put on to attract you into the town centre.
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. There are many places along the clifftop to watch the fireworks as well, or you could enjoy them whilst you are eating al fresco in one of the many bars, bistros and restaurants.
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.
Of course with the city of Southampton just 30 minutes away on the train, you have a whole new area full of opportunities to explore as well!