Being the largest town in Dorset, with a vast selection of sandy beaches, Bournemouth is also known as a popular seaside retreat, with stunning gardens and parks, great shopping and a vibrant nightlife scene. The neighbouring town of Poole now largely forms a concurrent settlement, and is home to Europe’s largest natural harbor.
Along the stunning coastline, there are blue flag beaches, a bustling quayside and historic old properties. The towns have merged together with Christchurch to create one of the UK’s most popular holiday destinations, and one of the largest conurbations in the south.
Beneath the magnificent cliffs of the Westbourne and Eastbourne areas of the town is Bournemouth’s award-winning beach and traditional seafront that has been welcoming holidaymakers since the rise of tourism at the turn of the 19th century.
The name itself has existed since at least the 15th century, when a monk described a sizeable fish being caught at the mouth of the Bourne, the name of the small river that has over time carved its way into the landscape. It now forms the central feature in the Upper and Central gardens that are at the heart of the town. The development of Bournemouth itself was a much later occurrence, happening due to tourism, experiencing something of a boom after the railway was built in 1870.
As well as a fantastic place to live, Bournemouth is a popular choice of destination, due to a range of family attractions and historic buildings through to picturesque walks and outdoor activities. The town boasts a programme of events throughout the year, so whatever the season, there is always something to enjoy.
Bournemouth is easily the largest resort in the county of Dorset and as well as boasting seven miles of sandy beaches, the town also features an array of beautiful parks and gardens.
In 2005, despite only existing for 7 years, Bournemouth’s Waterfront complex, containing a cinema and leisure facility, was voted to be the most hated building in England by a poll of 10,000 people conducted by Channel 4. It was pulled down in 2013 after playing an unloved part of the town’s story for just 15 years.
Other key structures in Bournemouth are the two piers. Bournemouth Pier itself was originally just a wooden structure until the 20th century, when a cast iron frame and Pier Theatre made more of an attraction that its neighbor in nearby Boscombe. The curved entrance was built in the 1950s, and led to it winning the coveted Pier of the Year award in 2010.
From music concerts by big named artists in venues such as the international centre, to theatrical performances in the Pavilion and sporting events such as the annual Bay Run, there are a wide variety of things to do. It is also important to highlight the ever-popular Bournemouth Air Festival, providing entertainment and air-based thrills for people of all ages.