Bournemouth and Poole: a tourist’s guide
With seven miles of golden sand and frequently warmer than average temperatures, the vibrant, cosmopolitan town of Bournemouth has it all. As well as a vast array of shops, restaurants, bars, high-end hotels and B&B accommodation, the UK’s premier destination boasts historic gardens, an award-winning seafront and a buzzing nightlife. Attracting 6.88 million visitors a year, Bournemouth’s excellent transport links, including an airport and trains direct from London Waterloo, make it the perfect base for exploring the history, heritage and picture-perfect scenery of Dorset.
Surrounded by rolling countryside, Bournemouth also enjoys 2,000 acres of parks and gardens located in the centre of the resort. The Lower, Central and Upper Gardens are Grade II listed and date back to the Victorian era.
Meanwhile, Bournemouth seafront features four Blue Flag beaches, two iconic piers and almost 2,000 beach huts, as well as the resort’s distinctive land trains and cliff lifts. The Fisherman’s Walk Cliff Lift made it into the 2015 Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s shortest funicular!
Bournemouth is now known worldwide for its programme of free festivals and events all year round. In June, Bournemouth Wheels Festival roars into action with displays and demonstrations featuring monster trucks, supercars and stunt bikes. August welcomes the internationally-renowned annual Bournemouth Air Festival, when the skies come alive with four days of day and night air displays as well as on-the-ground entertainment. To top off the season, Bournemouth Arts by the Sea Festival takes place in October, showcasing cultural delights from the world of music, film, dance, arts and performance.
While in Bournemouth, holidaymakers and residents alike have a wide range of attractions on their doorstep. Now a well established world-class venue, the Bournemouth International Centre (BIC) hosts pop concerts, conferences and exhibitions throughout the year, while the Pavilion Theatre hosts West End shows, dance performances and pantomimes. As well as the artefacts and paintings on display at the cliff-top Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum, there is plenty to keep ‘outdoorsy’ types amused — from paddle-boarding and sea kayaking at the UK’s first Coastal Activity Park to more leisurely pursuits on the area’s scenic golf courses and lush bowling greens.
A sublime mix of evocative Victorian history alongside modern living, Bournemouth is a bustling yet picturesque destination with a wealth of accommodation and activities to suit all tastes and budgets.
For more information, visit bournemouth.co.uk.
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