Bournemouth from Sandbanks Beach by Len Williams ©

Dorset BH1

Bournemouth is a large seaside town in south-west England. From small beginnings the town has stretched along the Dorset coast to its border with Poole.

Bournemouth’s economy mainly relies on tourism and education while Poole with its busy port is the commercial and industrial focus of the region.

The town centre is slightly inland from the beaches and is called The Square. From the Square the upper and lower Bournemouth Pleasure Gardens, created in the mid 19th century, descend to the seafront and Bournemouth Pier. Several wooded valleys break through the chalk cliffs giving access to the sandy beaches below and these valleys are called chines.

Cliff Railways & Eye Balloon
Three Bournemouth Cliff Railways also operate giving easy access to the 7 miles (11 km) of beaches and promenade. For the really energetic, popular water sports such as kite-boarding, windsurfing, kayaking, sailing and surfing are conducted along the beaches.
The Bournemouth Eye Balloon is a tethered helium filled balloon viewpoint. Passengers are accommodated in an enclosed gondola and taken up to a maximum of 390 feet (119 metres) depending on weather conditions.  Web:   Bournemouth Eye Balloon
A further attraction is the artificial surf reef created offshore at Boscombe.
Russel Coates Art Gallery
Bournemouth’s major Art Gallery and Museum is at East Cliff Hall near the Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre and next to the Royal Bath Hotel. It contains the Russell-Cotes collection and is a free attraction. For opening hours and more information go to:
Accommodation - Search & Book through Agoda here: 
St Peter's Church Graveyard
St Peter’s Church graveyard is famous for being the burial place of the Frankenstein author, Mary Shelley. Legend has it that her husband’s heart is also interred in the family tomb.
The Bournemouth TIC is conveniently located near the Bournemouth International Centre and Pavilion Theatre and Ballroom on Westover Road. These venues provide much of Bournemouth’s entertainment. Westover Road is lined with upmarket shops and likes to refer to itself as Bournemouth’s ‘Bond Street’.
Bournemouth is a typical Victorian seaside resort – charming and relatively quiet. It is close to the New Forest in Hampshire with all its attractions and the Isle of Wight. A great way to enjoy the area is to take a boat trip.
Boat Trips
Dorset Cruises offer ferry trips from Bournemouth Pier. For more information contact them on
Telephone  +44 (0)1202 558 550. See Poole Pleasure Boat Cruises in this website.
Several festivals are held during the summer months. Over four days in August, the Bournemouth Air Festival thrills onlookers with displays by the Red Arrows aerobatic team, wing walking, flypasts from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight including Lancaster, Hurricane, Spitfire and Vulcan planes. Modern aircraft are not forgotten.
The ancient settlement centred on Poole and Bournemouth did not develop until 1810.

The first holiday villas for rent were built in 1812 by retired army officer Lewis Tregonwell. Hundreds of pine trees were planted on the sparse heath land to provide shady walks to the sandy beaches. So began the establishment of Bournemouth as a holiday destination.

The coming of the railway in 1870 and Queen Victoria’s well known passion for sea bathing and the benefits of fresh air led to seaside holidays becoming fashionable and Bournemouth thrived.

The discovery of a mineral spa and the pine-laden air made it a popular destination for people with health problems, particularly authors such as Robert Louis Stevenson and Percy Byshe Shelley. His heart was reputedly brought back from Italy and buried with his wife in St Peter’s Church graveyard. The truth is that recent investigations have established that ashes from Shelley's cremation were placed in the family vault alongside his wife's body.

Bournemouth was the home of J R Tolkien, and Thomas Hardy called it Sandbourne in several of his novels.

Accommodation - Search & Book through Tripadvisor here:

Local Transport

- Local buses

These buses are provided mainly by two companies, Services run along the coast servicing the Christchurch – BournemouthPoole conurbation as well as Wareham, Corfe Castle and Swanage. Services for areas further afield incorporating Blndford, Lymington and Salisbury, are provided by More Bus. Services to Wiltshire are provided by Salisbury Reds.

Contact for these two bus companies is:

More Bus Company Wilts & Dorset   Web:  Morebus

Salisbury Reds Wiltshire Buses         Web:  Salisbury Reds 

- Local Transport - Land Trains

Beach-side transport links Alum Chine with Bournemouth Pier and Boscombe Pier. Another route connects Boscombe Precinct with Boscombe Chine Gardens. Web:  Bournemouth Council/ Land Trains

- Sandbanks Ferry

The Bournemouth-Swanage Motor Road and Ferry Company runs regular pedestrian and vehicle ferry services across Poole Harbour mouth. The ferry takes 48 vehicles each time and is economical when considering the price of fuel.

For up to date timetables and tariffs check the website

Website   Sandbanks Ferry

Sandbanks Ferry reports they have experienced delays due to heavy demand during the summer months.

Plan Your Visit
Accommodation - Search & Book through Expedia here:
Contact & Further Information

The official website Bournemouth is:

Website   Bournemouth Website 

Getting There

Bournemouth is 105 miles (169 km) southwest of London.

- By Car From London

At Junction 12 on the M25 London Ring Road take the M3 south west towards Basingstoke, Winchester and towards Southampton. At Junction 14 (restricted junction with exit to M27 only) exit to M27 westward and around Southampton and continue on towards A31 to Ringwood then on the A338 dual carriageway to Bournemouth.

- Parking in Bournemouth

Be sure to park only in designated parking areas – CCTV enables an instant response from Parking Officers on any breaches of the regulations.

- By Rail

South West Trains runs a comprehensive service from London Waterloo to Bournemouth with journey times of 1 hour 50 minutes. For timetable, fairs and tickets go to National Rail Website

- By Coach

National Express coaches connect London Victoria Coach Station with Bournemouth. Direct services also connect the West Country, Brighton & Eastbourne in Sussex, Bristol, Birmingham and the Midlands, North West and Edinburgh and Glasgow. Go to National Express Website

Flightlink serves Heathrow Airport with connections to Gatwick and Stanstead Airports.

- By Air

Bournemouth can be reached by air services from Europe and within the UK. Go to Bournemouth Airport Website The airport is on the periphery of the town at Hurn. It is approximately a 30 minutes taxi journey from the town centre. There is an hourly bus service to the town centre which also calls at the main hotels.

Google Map - Bournemouth


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