Tag Archives: Bournemouth

Bournemouth (Part 2)

Thanks for coming back. I hope you enjoyed the first part on Bournemouth.

Things to do:
Bournemouth has a number of exciting festivals. The Bournemouth Carnival Week was originally known as Bournemouth Regatta Week and has been over a hundred years. Activities take place on the beach, Pier precinct and Pleasure Gardens, where musicians, dancers and actors come to compete and perform.

‘ Bourne Free’, Bournemouth’s annual gay Pride Festival takes places every July and in August you can see the spectacular air displays at the Bournemouth Air Festival.

Go up in the air with the Bournemouth Eye, where tethered balloon flights give you a panoramic view of Bournemouth from 500ft up. If you’d rather keep your feet on the ground, walk along the coast and explore the Chines, curious ravines that have formed in the cliffs. The most impressive are Boscombe Chine and Durley Chine.

If you’re looking for something a little more educational, Bournemouth Oceanarium has ten recreated environments and displays about the ‘Global Meltdown’, along with an interactive dive cage to make this a fascinating place to visit.

There are concerts and exhibitions held regularly at the Bournemouth International Centre, as well as political party conferences.

Getting around:

Bournemouth is very accessible by road and rail. By bus, it takes about two and a half hours from London and there are frequent trains from London, Poole and the Midlands, with trains coming from Manchester via Birmingham New Street, Nottingham and Newcastle.

Shopping:

There are lots of choices for shopping, with all the well-known high street names in the centre, but also many independent shops. Larger stores like Beales, Dingles, Debenhams, Marks and Spencers are all represented. The Castlepoint Shopping Centre is some way out of town, but easily accessible by public transport. The Boscombe area is renowned for antique shops and vintage and designer clothes shops. Westbourne also offers a selection of designer outlets.

So whether you’re looking for something more special like menswear for the larger gentlemen, Hunts Clothing can help you, or for the more ordinary, there’s a good open-air market open Thursdays and Saturdays.


Where to stay:

Bournemouth has a huge choice of accommodation. For the budget conscious, the Whitehall Hotel in the Westcliffe area has had several good reviews. With views over Studland Bay, it has large rooms and is very handy for the town centre and beaches. If you want to splurge, the Boscombe Spa Hotel is only 500 metres from the beach and has comfortable en suite bedrooms and also comes recommended.

Bournemouth

Traditionally a retirement town, Bournemouth has become a thriving centre for students and as a popular seaside town is now attracting many tourists.

Places to see:

Whether you have come for the sandy beaches or some sightseeing, Bournemouth is a good place to visit, especially for families. Bournemouth Pier includes a theatre and Boscomber Pier is found a bit further down.

There are a couple of castles that are well worth visiting. Sherbourne Castle was originally built by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1594, but has since 1617 been home to the Digby family. Much older is Corfe Castle which was built in the 11th century and dominated the gap in the Purbecks. It’s just 14km (9 miles) away from Bournemouth and commands an impressive view across the sea.

If you’re looking for museums, the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum displays art from the last century and Japanese artefacts. The interior of the museum is very attractive and well worth a good look in its own right.  

About 40km (25 miles) away from Bournemouth is Salisbury Cathedral, a fine 13th century cathedral with the tallest spire in Britain.

Eating out:

Being by the sea, it’s no surprise that fish figures highly on the menu. Voted the best chippie in Britain, Chez Fred has traditional fish and chips won’t burn a hole in your pocket. If you want to spend a bit more though, and fancy really good fish, the Atlantic Fish Restaurant comes highly recommended. There’s a wide range of international cuisine, from spicy and cheap southern Indian curries at Dosa World to more upmarket Spanish tapas dishes at Tapas Plus.

Please come back tomorrow to read about things to do, shopping and where to stay in Bournemouth.