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Bournemouth – A UK Getaway Guide

From as early as the 1800s, English residents and international travellers alike have held the seaside resort town of Bournemouth in high regard. Originally founded in 1885 as a spa resort, Bournemouth has since kept its Victorian influences, but has blended them with an interesting, modern seaside façade.

The local airport, catering to flights from within the United Kingdom and Europe, remains busy throughout the warmer months of the year. However, Bournemouth Airport transforms into a lonely place in comparison during the winter months.

Tourism is a major economic influence on the town of Bournemouth. During the summer months, the settlement is abuzz with wandering tourists. However, similar to the airport, Bournemouth becomes a different location altogether when the cooler months of the year roll in and many hotels shut.

To ensure a smooth stay, have a read of our frequently asked questions before holidaying in this marvellous settlement of the Dorset coast.

When is the best time to visit Bournemouth?
Bournemouth shouldn’t be visited at anytime of the year, despite what anyone says. The reason why Bournemouth is so popular is because it boasts a tremendous beachfront and an exciting atmosphere. Well, in the winter months, this beach becomes desolate and cold, and the exciting atmosphere hibernates until the coming spring. It is best to visit the city in the warmer months from May to September, with June through August the peak season.

How can tourists get there?
From most major cities in England, visitors can reach Bournemouth and the rest of the county of Dorset by bus, train or car hire. From London, tourists can travel from Waterloo Station by train directly to Bournemouth. In addition, the M27 links to several A and B roads that pass through Dorset. Driving to Bournemouth is a convenient way to travel to this beach destination.

Where to stay?
There are plenty of Bournemouth hotels found within the town. Remember, this settlement was built on tourism, so it is only natural that Bournemouth contains an abundance of accommodation options to choose from. A range of budgets and ratings can be found in the city.

Is the Bournemouth Beach area suitable for swimming?
There are more than seven miles of beaches hugging the Bournemouth shoreline. The beaches are perfect for swimming in the warmer months (May to September), but are too chilly for most swimmers in the winter time. The sandy beaches see the most beach-goers in the peak summer season of June through August.

What is the shopping like?
Shopping is a popular attraction within Bournemouth. Debenhams, Marks and Spencer and Beales are some of the large shopping complexes found in the city. For boutique retail stores, the Boscombe district is the place to explore.

What are the major landmarks?
Even though the beaches of Bournemouth are the number one landmarks of the town, there are other sites of note. In the middle of the city’s stretch of coast is Bournemouth Pier. It boasts an arcade, a restaurant, shops and a wonderful boardwalk. The Russel Cotes Museum and Art Gallery is worth an afternoon and the Atrium Gallery at the local university will impress art lovers.

What can tourists do after dark?
Bournemouth contains a renowned nightlife which is memorable for its lively atmosphere. Four to five dozen clubs are open every night of the week, and more than 40,000 people can be seen out at night during some summer weekends. Be sensible when drinking and avoid Old Christchurch Road and Boscombe High Street late at night.

John is a guest writer who usually blogs at Holidays in the UK – see his blog for more tips on UK getaways! Image by george.schon