Bournemouth in Dorset is a great spot, one of England’s often unknown tourist resorts. Just because it’s touristy doesn’t mean it’s overpacked by holiday makers, in fact this town has a great mix to suit all types of travellers. Having spent 6 years living there it’s time to reflect on that all with a personal top 5 things to do in Bournemouth, Dorset, England.
1. The beach in Bournemouth
Stating the obvious here, but Bournemouth’s award winning beach is probably the town’s most attractive tourist pull. I’ve worked on it, drank on it, played football on it and done a few other things on it…the beach stretches far and is split into many different “beaches” (West Beach, Southbourne Beach, Boscombe Beach, East Cliff etc.). The busiest part is the bit by Bournemouth Pier. On hot summer days this beach is honestly as good as England gets beachwise. You’d be a fool to spend any time in Bournemouth without even visiting the beach, even if it’s just to curb your curiosity and prove the fact that it’s a fantastic beach. It’s also very well kept.
2. Bar crawl in Bournemouth
You will not believe how good a place Bournemouth is for drinking. This town has hundreds of pubs, bars, restaurants hotels and clubs to keep avid drinkers and pub crawl lovers happy. Some streets in the Triangle and all along the Christchurch Road have more bars than you could count. Don’t forget to act responsibly but for sure head out on a pub crawl in Bournemouth and enjoy yourself! The town has endless bar choices!
3. Wave Balloon
Everybody in Bournemouth knows what the “Wave Balloon” is and you should head there in the summer for epic views of the south coast of England. Situated in Bournemouth’s summer gardens, this is unmissable in summer months as it rears itself into the sky. It’s a hot air balloon near the seafront. It’s attached by a huge cord and is as safe as it is popular. Expect queues, but expect good views!
4. Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum
This is actually quite untouristy and unknown even by Bournemouth standards but it is unique and totally worth a visit. Mixing Italian, Scottish and Japanese influences this serves as your art experience in the popular seaside town. Best of all it won’t be too busy and has a view over the beach!
5. Live Football: AFC Bournemouth
Head to the football stadium called Dean Court (and latterly known as the Goldsands Stadium) to watch AFC Bournemouth. Nicknamed the Cherries, Bournemouth are in the third tier of the English League with ambitions to move up the league ladders.
The Cherries are a great family friendly club and the stadium also holds regular events so it’s worth checking out while you’re in Bournemouth.
Getting to Bournemouth
A bus and train journey from London is the best option. Fast, easy and cheap! You’ll be ready to see Bournemouth in a few hours.
But a better fact is that Bournemouth has its own international airport!! Not a lot of people know that, they even had flights to New York at one point, and used to fly to Belfast so check what airports fly into it when you’re about to head and you might get a lucky cheap deal.
I’ve written tons and tons about Bournemouth before and will do again, but don’t want to overload or make things cliches, this is more for those of you who haven’t been there yet. I’d argue if you only ever visit England once, head to Bournemouth (throw in a day trip to Salisbury or Stonehenge though too!).