Bournemouth is located on the South Coast of England, surrounded by the beauty of the New Forest, the crashing waves of the English Channel and the award-winning seven miles of golden sandy beaches. There are many reasons to visit Bournemouth for your summer holiday.
Things to do in Bournemouth
Bournemouth has an abundance of wonderful locations, events and experiences for visitors and residents alike to enjoy in and around this cosmopolitan town nestled beside the sea.
Journey back to the beginning of time on the Jurassic coast
The Dorset Coastline, known as the Jurassic Coast, is the only natural location in England that has been given World Heritage Site status, and for good reason. The 95 miles of Jurassic rock upon which this coastal portion of Dorset sits holds secrets dating back as far as 185 million years ago. Other World Heritage sites include the Grand Canyon, the Great Barrier Reef, the Pyramids and the Taj Mahal – so this is quite some honour!
Other historical sites of interest when visiting Bournemouth include Hengistbury Head, a local nature reserve which has been designated a protected special area of conservation due to the large variety of wildlife that reside there throughout the year, as well as for the history surrounding the site – ancient settlers dating back as far as 12,500 years ago once lived on this spot though at that time the land extended further into the sea and thus the settlement was located further inland. However, erosion has played its hand and now Hengistbury sits on the very edge of the English Channel.
Reserve at least 2 hours to enjoy Hengistbury Head
The reserve is a beautiful location to visit if you have a spare couple of hours whilst in Bournemouth. Take a walk to the top of Hengisbury Head to enjoy stunning views of Christchurch, Mudeford and the Isle of Wight, and on your way back down the hill stop off at The Hiker Café to enjoy a delicious leisurely lunch or tasty Cappuccino.
The historical town of Christchurch
And finally, a visit to the historical town of Christchurch where one can wander around the wonderful Norman ruins of Christchurch Castle, or visit Place Mill, the Anglo-Saxon Watermill on the quayside.
From the quay one can take a short ferry ride over to Mudeford and Hengistbury Head, and also to neighbouring Wick, – this service being historical itself since it first began transporting villagers around 1880.
In the summer months pack up a picnic to take with you whilst you sit and soak up the rays and enjoy the comings and goings of the Christchurch swans and other wildlife, as well as local sailors and fisherman enjoying Christchurch Harbour.
Return to Bournemouth Beach
After all this gallivanting around Dorset, a little rest and relaxation are in order, so pack up your beach bag and head for the soft sand and glistening waters of the English Channel. Many of the beaches in Bournemouth hold Blue Flag status for meeting high standards of cleanliness in water quality and environmental management.
Enjoy the warmth of the sun and take a stroll from Bournemouth Beach Pier to Boscombe Pier grabbing an ice cream along the way as you pass the vibrantly coloured beach huts that adorn the boardwalk.
Eating out in Bournemouth
And finally, to round off the day following a delicious dinner at one of the many fine restaurants Bournemouth has to offer, there is practically a restaurant with cuisine to suit most tastes, including Indian, Middle Eastern (Charminster), Chinese, Japanese (sushi), Italian, French and modern European fusion.
How about taking in a show at the BIC (Bournemouth International Centre).
Where to stay in Bournemouth
You’ll be spoilt for choice with the many excellent Bournemouth Hotels that stretch from the quiet and less populated beaches of Southbourne and historical Hengistbury Head to the more commercial sea view accommodations scattered along the Eastcliff.
Traditional seaside guesthouses
Head on westwards a short distance and you’ll find yourself in popular Westcliff where you’ll discover a selection of traditional Bournemouth guesthouses. This area is popular due to its close proximity to sandy Bournemouth Beach as well as the busy Bournemouth Shopping Centre, and pretty Bournemouth Gardens.
Is Bournemouth the happiest town to live in the UK?
Well, according to the BBC, a poll of 6,000 people in 2007 say that it is the happiest place. Whether that still holds true is another matter, but one thing for sure Bournemouth is a serious UK destination for a weekend visit or a summer holiday.