While it isn’t one of England’s most famous seaside towns, Bournemouth is still very much worth a visit. Dorset’s coast presents many opportunities for explorers, sports fans and visitors looking for unique experiences. From exploring Brownsea Island, to enjoying Kings Park, to taking afternoon tea aboard a double-decker tour bus, you’re sure to find some pleasant activity a bit different than your standard urban attractions.
Below are a few more words on the specifics of some of the highlights you can experience while discovering Bournemouth.
If you’re in the mood for some exploration, Brownsea Island is the place to start. The Brownsea Island Nature Reserve covers the entire island, where you can encounter a variety of wildlife including wild peacocks, sika deer and the island’s main attractions, rare red squirrels. Other highlights include Brownsea Castle, which was built in the 16th century, and live shows at the Brownsea Open-Air Theatre, which hosts performances throughout the summer. And if you want to extend your stay on the island by staying overnight, you can enjoy camping under the stars! Just remember as you plan your visit to the island that vehicles are not permitted – so you’ll need to get from one point to the next either on foot or via bicycle.
The Kings Park area in Bournemouth has many attractions to offer, but it’s most famous for being home to AFC Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium at Dean’s Court. While currently on a brief break, the club will be playing friendlies later in the summer, and back in English Premier League action soon thereafter. The atmosphere for matches is electrifying, fuelled by excellent play and the fact that many fans get in on the competition by betting on their favourite teams. A range of providers in the bookmaking business has only made said business a bigger part of the UK sports scene, and even if betting isn’t your thing it only adds to the palpable enthusiasm you can enjoy at a high-end stadium like this one. Thus, if you’re a sports fan at all, Dean’s Court should be a priority – though again, there’s more to see and do in Kings Park as well.
Relaxation & Tea Time
If you’re looking to just relax and unwind in this seaside town, then you’ll want to pay a visit to the Lower Gardens. While the Upper and Central Gardens are still great places to see, the Lower Gardens also host an aviary, and are generally easier to access. Alternatively, if you’d like to relax on the go, you can hop on Freida’s TeaBus, which roams along the seafront between Bournemouth Pier and Boscombe Pier, and where passengers sit and enjoy three-tier afternoon tea. With delectable treats like scones, cakes and jam, you can feel free to indulge while partaking in this splendid afternoon tradition. Along the way you’ll see some lovely beachside views – though if the roaming tour isn’t for you, we’d also recommend Hengistbury Head Beach as a nice spot for coastal sightseeing.
These should serve as some excellent highlights to plan your getaway around. Some may also enjoy visiting the vintage Library of Liquor (ideal for the liquor buffs, of course), and the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery is a must-see for history enthusiasts. The city is also home to hundreds of restaurants, cafés, and bars, many of which are historic in their own right, and several of which afford excellent views up and down the coast.
With all of this in mind, you’ll be all set to discover what’s ultimately one of the UK’s most pleasant cities.