Perched along a gorgeous seven mile beachfront on the majestic Dorset coast, the town of Bournemouth boasts an eclectic mix of Victorian architecture, laid back beach vibes and some of the country’s best nightlife. Add in an abundance of hip restaurants, eye-catching scenery and countless attractions, and it soon becomes clear why this southern jewel attracts upwards of five million visitors every year.
Up until its foundation in 1810, Bournemouth had been little more than an occasional shelter for fishermen and smugglers. The emergence of several health resorts, however, soon helped the town establish itself as a tourist destination – putting it on the path to becoming the bustling resort town it is today. The mild Dorset climate makes it a popular choice all year round, whilst its palm tree-fringed beachfront attracts thousands of visitors on those sunny summer days.
Bournemouth Beach is a natural starting point for any tour of the town; its golden sands attract joggers, surfers, swimmers and sun worshippers at all times of day. It’s also home to the marvellous Bournemouth Pier, which invokes that classic English seaside feel, complete with an arcade, restaurant and captivating coastal views. If you feel like unleashing your inner daredevil, however, then head to the top of the pier, where an exhilarating zip wire ride awaits – enabling you to shoot over the ocean waves on to shore.
The start of the pier is also home to an array of other activities suitable for all ages. Test your skills on the climbing wall, explore Pier Cave or strap yourself into a safety harness and take on the indoor obstacle course.
From there, make your way into town via Bournemouth Gardens: a three kilometre long park complete with playgrounds, mini golf, ice cream stands and large open green spaces. Venture east of the Lower Gardens and you’ll soon find yourself gazing up at the majestic St Peter’s Church, one of the town’s primary landmarks. Continue on the culture trail by taking in the Russell-Cotes Gallery & Museum: a striking beachfront house containing a fascinating art gallery, wonderfully landscaped gardens and elegant interior.
Follow the Bournemouth Gardens back into the centre of town, where you can embark on a spot of retail therapy. The town centre is awash with a mix of high street stores and independent boutiques; check out The Triangle, The Square and Commercial Road for some of the best shops in town.
Bournemouth’s nightlife is equally impressive, with hundreds of cosy pubs, trendy bars and restaurants spread throughout the town centre. For great food, cocktails and ocean views, head down to Aruba Restaurant & Bar by the pier, where you can take in the sunset from the outdoor terrace.
Ready to explore Dorset’s premier resort town for yourself? Book your hotel in Bournemouth with Marriott and start planning today.