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.
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.
- Local buses
These buses are provided mainly by two companies, Services run along the coast servicing the Christchurch – Bournemouth – Poole 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
- 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
Sandbanks Ferry reports they have experienced delays due to heavy demand during the summer months.
The official website Bournemouth is:
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
- 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.