Bournemouth is renowned as one of the most fashionable holiday destinations in Europe and is certainly the largest holiday resort in Dorset. With seven miles of sun-kissed beaches, beautiful parks and gardens, an excellent choice of attractions and vibrant nightlife, holidays in Bournemouth promise something for everyone.
Accommodation in and around Bournemouth is amazingly diverse with something to suit everyone’s taste and budget.
Bournemouth Dorset’s popularity as a holiday resort started during Victorian times and has continued to grow so that it now attracts millions of visitors of all ages and nationalities every year. In recent times, Bournemouth has been extensively developed to incorporate casinos, clubs, pubs and an international conference centre. Bistros, bars and family friendly restaurants are much in evidence along the mainly traffic free promenade, and Bournemouth also has a new-look square, with palm trees and mosaics, giving the town a touch of continental chic.
Nestling in a sheltered, pine-fringed bay, Bournemouth is the perfect location for beach and activity holidays for all the family. Several of Bournemouth’s beaches do not allow smoking, four miles of the sand are completely dog free and there are designated areas for watersports. Bournemouth’s excellent leisure facilities also make it a firm favourite with sports enthusiasts, including those interested in watersports, fishing, horse riding and cycling.
Shopping and Nightlife
Bournemouth has a lively cosmopolitan street scene, with interesting shops and boutiques, and a variety of nightlife and theatres. So whether you like seeing West End shows, stand-up comedy or classical concerts, or dancing the night away at one of the numerous nightclubs, Bournemouth holidays have something for everyone.
There’s a fully packed calendar of events all year round in Bournemouth, from spectacular fireworks displays to heritage fairs and classic car rallies. Bournemouth’s Kids Family Fun Festival offers free entertainment for all ages during the summer school holidays plus there are Flowers by Candlelight on Wednesday evenings during August and fireworks every Friday night during the summer.
Bournemouth is made up of several distinct neighbourhoods, each with its own unique character: Alum Chine and Westbourne, the town centre, Boscombe and Southbourne.
Alum Chine and Westbourne
Alum Chine lies on the western side of the town and has grown up around a wooded chine that leads directly to the sea. Even though it is a suburb of Bournemouth, it has a village-like atmosphere with many family-owned hotels and bed & breakfast accommodation. There are beautiful cliff top views, a sandy beach, a paddling pool and a children’s play area. By contrast, Westbourne offers excellent shopping as well as an assortment of lovely tearooms, pubs and restaurants.
Bournemouth town centre lies in a valley between West Cliff and East Cliff. The majority of the shopping and leisure facilities are located here, along with a vast selection of restaurants, bars, theatres and nightclubs. East Cliff is home to the award-winning Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum and West Cliff offers wide, grassy cliff top walks.
Boscombe has glorious sandy beaches and a wooded chine leading to the seafront. This area has many antique shops, a street market, a shopping centre and nightclubs.
Southbourne, to the east of Bournemouth, is a lovely, quiet area within easy reach of the town centre. It has a Blue Flag beach and is close to the riverbank and countryside area of Hengistbury Head.
Holidays in Bournemouth make an ideal base for exploring the rest of Dorset. To the west is Dorset’s Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site with spectacular rock formations and breathtaking coastal scenery. Inland are the rolling hills of the Dorset countryside laced with picture-postcard villages, historical monuments and stately homes. To the east is the ancient New Forest where you can wander among grazing ponies and enjoy a traditional cream tea.
BOURNEMOUTH HOLIDAY FACT FILE
Visitor Information Bureau, Westover Road, Bournemouth, Dorset BH1 2BU
Tel: 0845 051 1701
How to reach Bournemouth by public transport
Bournemouth is accessible from any part of Great Britain and most of Europe. There is continuous motorway or dual carriageway from London and along the South Coast and the A34 provides good access from the Midlands. Bournemouth has a good rail service and coach and bus service with South West Trains, Virgin Trains and National Express. Bournemouth International Airport services routes from Glasgow and Belfast and a multitude of routes from international destinations with Ryanair, Thomsonfly and easyJet.