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Bournemouth Visitors Guide


The seaside town of Bournemouth is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the south coast of England. This Bournemouth Visitors Guide will hopefully answer any questions that you might have as to where Bournemouth is located, or what there is to do and see there.

Before we go any further, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the town that I grew up in, I will answer the question "Where is Bournemouth?"

The town of Bournemouth is situated in the east of the county of Dorset, close to it's border with Hampshire. It's located more or less in the centre of the south coast of England, making it very easy to find on the map. There are good road connections in and out of Bournemouth, and it's within easy reach of many tourist locations in the south of England, and therefore a great place to use as your base if you decide to holiday in the Hampshire / Dorset area.

Bournemouth is one of the finest seaside towns in England, and yet it's not very well known outside of the UK, so if you live overseas, chances are that you have never heard of Bournemouth.

To the British public, however, Bournemouth instantly makes you think of the seaside, the twin piers (Bournemouth Pier and Boscombe Pier), the fine golden sand of Bournemouth's Beaches, or maybe a stroll through The Pier Approach Pleasure Gardens.

The beaches at Bournemouth are not made up of coarse sand or pebbles like those at places like Southsea or Brighton further along the south coast. Bournemouth beaches are made of the finest golden sand, making them some of the best in Britain.

Bournemouth Beach is one of the Top 100 Tourist Attractions in the UK according to Trip Advisor, and it is also the only place in the UK where you can have your Wedding Ceremony right on the beach.

Since it's birth in Victorian times, Bournemouth has been a place for older people to retire to or to visit on holiday. Since the 1970s Bournemouth has also been home to a number of International Language Schools and so has also a large population of students from all over the world.

Bournemouth is also home to some famous people, with a number of celebrities living in places such as Westbourne and of course Sandbanks which is the UK equivalent to Malibu. You might be amazed at just how many famous connections there are with Bournemouth, including musicians, actors, authors and famous spies.

All images on this page that are not individually credited are the intellectual property of Tony Payne and may not be used without the author's permission.

Bournemouth On The Map - You can always find Bournemouth on a map of England. It's right in the middle of the South Coast.

Bournemouth is a great place to visit, being on the eastern side of Dorset and just a few miles to the west of Hampshire. Both of these counties have wonderful scenery, and within two hours you can experience places such as Stonehenge, The Purbeck Hills, Corfe Castle, Weymouth, Portland Bill, Lyme Regis, Salisbury Cathedral, the Roman baths at Bath, Christchurch Priory, The New Forest, Southampton or Winchester.

Bournemouth On The Map

Have You Heard Of Bournemouth Before?

Have You Been To Bournemouth?

This is a tongue-in-cheek video that was produced along the lines of a recent television commercial that promotes California. The video features local celebrities (including Alex James of Blur and Harry Redknapp) showing just a few of the things that make Bournemouth special, and it's going viral. It's even been featured on CNN. If you want to know more about Bournemouth - come pay a visit.

Take The Bournemouth Quiz

Well you stayed with me this far, but just how much of what you have read about Bournemouth have you digested and remembered I wonder?

Take my Bournemouth quiz and see just how much you know (or don't know) about this amazing place on the south coast of England.

Bournemouth Quiz

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. Where is Bournemouth located?
    • Lancashire
    • East Sussex
    • Dorset
    • New Hampshire
  2. What is the beach at Bournemouth made of?
    • Yellow Sand
    • Black Sand
    • Pebbles
    • Mud
  3. What are the cliffs at Bournemouth called?
    • Sandstone Cliffs
    • East Cliff and West Cliff
    • North Cliff and South Cliff
    • Cliffhaven
  4. What is Bournemouth town centre called?
    • Bournemouth Circle
    • Bournemouth Square
    • Bournemouth Oval
    • Main Street
  5. What made Bournemouth popular?
    • Nightclubs
    • Seawater
    • The Pier
    • Cruises
  6. In what era did Bournemouth develop?
    • Elizabethan
    • King Charles II
    • Jacobite
    • Victorian
  7. What are the two piers called?
    • North and South
    • Bournemouth and Boscombe
    • Boscombe and Southbourne
    • Bournemouth and Sandbanks
  8. What are the shelters called at the beach?
    • Beach Shelters
    • Beach Cabins
    • Beach Huts
    • Beach Belles
  9. What causes the water to be warmer at Bournemouth?
    • Pollution
    • The Gulf Stream
    • The English Channel
    • Radiation
  10. What famous author lived in Bournemouth?
    • Robert Louis Stevenson
    • Jane Austen
    • Conan Doyle
    • Thomas Hardy

Answer Key

  1. Dorset
  2. Yellow Sand
  3. East Cliff and West Cliff
  4. Bournemouth Square
  5. Seawater
  6. Victorian
  7. Bournemouth and Boscombe
  8. Beach Huts
  9. The Gulf Stream
  10. Robert Louis Stevenson

Click to buy this from Allposters.

This is a great picture of how the Bournemouth seafront looked in the 1960s when I used to go to school there.

The flyover by the pier had not yet been built and pedestrians walking from the Lower Gardens to Bournemouth Pier had to cross the road using pedestrian crossings, which in the busy summer months used to cause horrible traffic jams.

Scroll to Continue

Beyond the pier is the Pier Approach Baths where I used to go swimming. It was demolished and replaced by the IMAX Theatre, which has always been an eye-sore and which is itself in the process of being replaced.

In the centre of the picture is the Bournemouth Pavilion where I used to work, so as you can see, this image holds a lot of memories for me.

Memories Of A Visit To Bournemouth

If you have been to Bournemouth, fond memories might come flooding back of the splendid views of the Cliffs, or the many Chines along the Bournemouth coastline. Your memories might include days spent soaking up the sun on the golden sandy beaches, or sheltering from the wind on a not so nice day.

If you like to go to concerts, shows or the Pantomime, or if you have attended one of the major conferences that are held in Bournemouth, you might instantly think of the Bournemouth Pavilion, the now demolished Winter Gardens or the more modern Bournemouth International Centre (known locally as the BIC) which has become a renowned centre for conferences throughout the UK

If you are a railway enthusiast, you might even recall the grand old Bournemouth Belle which used to bring visitors to the town in the good old days of steam.

Football supporters will be well aware of AFC Bournemouth who are currently in the Champions League.

Whatever your memories of Bournemouth are, they are hopefully good ones. If you haven't been to Bournemouth yet, I hope that you will read on and learn more about this wonderful town on the south coast of England.

Places To Stay In Bournemouth

Whether you visit Bournemouth on vacation or on business, there are a lot of places to choose from if you are looking for somewhere to stay in the area.

There are many Hotels, Guest Houses and Properties To Rent in the Bournemouth area, and Bournemouth Hotels has a great selection of places to stay, as well as discounts on Hotels and Rental Properties.

What Makes Bournemouth So Special?

Bournemouth is thought by many people to be the finest seaside town in England, with it's miles of golden sandy beaches, some of the finest beach sand in the world, the beaches stretching from Christchurch in the East to Sandbanks in the West.

It's not just the golden sandy beaches that make Bournemouth a great place to visit though. Bournemouth has natural features such as it's towering sandstone cliffs that give the visitor great views over Bournemouth Bay to the Purbeck Hills and the Isle Of Wight.

Then there are the Chines, valleys where streams once flowed, that lead through gaps in the cliffs to the beach. It's also the warm waters, the result of the Gulf Stream. All these things make Bournemouth the perfect place for a summer vacation.

Bournemouth is situated towards the eastern end of the county of Dorset, right in the middle of the South Coast of England. The town gets it's name from the fact that the centre of town lies at the mouth of the Bourne Stream, hence Bourne-Mouth.

With the English Channel being warmed by the waters that the Gulf Stream brings from Florida and The Caribbean, the climate here is warmer than it would otherwise be for it's latitude, making the area a very attractive alternative for holiday makers than going overseas to Southern Europe.

Bournemouth developed in the Victorian era when it became fashionable to spend time at the seaside, and it grew over the next century into one of England's finest seaside resorts.

It is also different to the typical English seaside resort, in that the sea frontage isn't lined with small hotels and guest houses, there is no funfair with arcades, fish and chip shops, people wandering around wearing "kiss me quick" hats etc...

Bournemouth has always been a bit more reserved and had a lot more style than many of it's counterparts like Southend, Margate and Blackpool to name a few.

Bournemouth has many hotels and guest houses to suit all budgets and needs, plenty of interesting pubs and bars, casinos, concert venues, and night clubs for the night owls.

So please read on to learn more about Bournemouth and the area on the South Coast of England where I was born.

A History Of Bournemouth - Part I

The early days of Bournemouth, from heathland to seaside villas in pre-victorian times.

The Bournemouth area has been settled for thousands of years, but even as recent as 1800 it was mostly a remote and barren heathland.

The only regular visitors to the area around the mouth of the Bourne River were a few fishermen, turf cutters and occasional gangs of smugglers until the 16th century.

The area was used as a hunting estate from Tudor times until the late 18th century, but with the exception of the estate, most of the Bournemouth area remained common land until 1802.

In 1812, the first residents, retired army officer Lewis Tregonwell and his wife, moved into their new home, built on land he had purchased. Tregonwell began developing his land for holiday rentals by building a series of sea villas. He also planted hundreds of Pine trees, providing a sheltered walk to the beach (later known as the 'Invalids walk'). The town would ultimately grow up around its scattered pines. In 1832 when Tregonwell died, Bournemouth had become a small community with a scattering of houses, villas and cottages.

The Invalids Walk is still an integral part of Bournemouth Gardens today. For many years the walk has featured cages with exotic birds, as well as regular exhibitions by local artists at the weekends.

The following photograph has been used with permission from

Bournemouth Gardens - Invalids Walk

Bournemouth Gardens - Invalids Walk

Bournemouth Gardens - Invalids Walk

A History Of Bournemouth - Part II

The development of Bournemouth from Victorian times through to the 1950s.

In the 1830's, Bournemouth started to grow at a faster rate as the seaside village became a resort similar to those that had already grown up along the south coast such as Weymouth and Brighton. In 1841, the town was visited by the physician and writer Augustus Granville. Granville was the author of The Spas of England, a book which described health resorts around the country. As a result of his visit, Dr Granville included a chapter on Bournemouth in the second edition. This publication, as well as the growth of visits to the seaside to seek the medicinal use of seawater and the fresh air of the pines, helped Bournemouth to develop as an early tourist destination.

In the 1840s, the fields south of the road crossing the river, the site that is now The Square, were drained and planted with shrubberies and walks. Many of these paths including the Invalids Walk remain in the town today, forming part of the Bournemouth Pleasure Gardens which run for several miles along the Bourne stream. The Pleasure Gardens were originally a series of garden walks created in the fieldsin the 1860s.

During the late 1800's the town continued to develop. The Winter Gardens were finished in 1875 and the cast iron Bournemouth Pier was finished in 1880. With the arrival of the railways there was a massive growth of seaside and summer visits to the town, especially visitors from the Midlands and London. In 1880 for example, the town had a population of 17,000 people. By 1900, when railway connections were at their most developed the town's population had risen to 60,000.

During this period the town also became a favourite destination for visiting artists and writers, including Mary Shelley.

The town was improved greatly during this period through the efforts of Sir Merton Russell-Cotes, the Mayor and a local philanthropist. He helped establish the town's first library and museum. The Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum was created in his mansion and after his death it was given to the town.

As Bournemouth's growth increased in the early 20th century, theatres, cafés, art deco cinemas and more hotels were built in the town. Other new buildings included the War Memorial in 1921 and the Bournemouth Pavilion, the towns concert hall and grand theatre finished in 1925.

The town declined somewhat as a seaside resort in the 1940s, but by the late 1950s visitors began to flock to Bournemouth once again, as the post war popularity of holidaymaking at the beach became affordable to more of the population.

The following photograph has been used with permission from

Bournemouth Square 1948

Bournemouth Square 1948

Bournemouth Square 1948

Growth As A Major Commercial Centre

Decentralisation of business from London helps turn Bournemouth into a major commercial centre.

With the growing trend in the 1970s for companies to move their headquarters outside of London, the Bournemouth area was a prime location for relocation, being relatively close to London, yet with lower prices for land, and all the benefits that go along with being in this beautiful part of the country.

The Bournemouth Technical College grew into Bournemouth University, which is now one of the countries top universities.

Bournemouth tops the league of the UK's 50 largest towns and cities for the biggest growth in the number of new businesses in 2007 according to UHY Hacker Young, the national accounting group.

The town is home to some of the largest financial companies in the UK, including JP Morgan Chase, Nationwide Building Society, Liverpool Victoria and Standard Life.

The Bournemouth International Centre (known as the BIC) is a major conference centre and hosts regular national conferences. Across the other side of the Bournemouth Gardens, the Pavilion is a conference center in it's own right, hosting the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democratic parties national conferences (but not all in the same year).

Bournemouth is now also home to the first officially recognised chiropractic college in the European Union, the Anglo-European College Of Chiropractic.

Click to buy this photo from Allposters.

Click to buy this photo from Allposters.

Click to buy this photo from Allposters.

Click to buy this photo from Allposters.

A Video Guide To Bournemouth - This is a nice compilation of short clips taken around Bournemouth - the pier, the beach, the gardens, the shops, the cliffs etc.

Frommers Best Day Trips From London

If you are visiting Bournemouth, London, or anywhere in the South of England, this popular book is one of the best guides as to what you can see in this historic part of the country, and most of these are easily within reach of the Bournemouth area for a day trip, or even better to combine over 2 or 3 days.

Bournemouth's Cliffs

The sandstone cliffs that tower above Bournemouth's beaches are one of the most impressive natural features of the Bournemouth area.

The cliffs on this part of the coast stretch for miles and are one of the natural features in Bournemouth. They make a very pretty background to the sea, beach and the promenade.

The cliffs at Bournemouth are comprised of sandstone, and are home to a wide variety of plants and wildlife. There are many rare plants, birds and butterflies, and the cliff area is protected for conservation interest.

In the Bournemouth area, the cliffs rise gradually to the east averaging a height of 24m (80 feet) to 27m (90 feet).

From Canford Cliffs in the west to Alum Chine in the east, the cliffs are broken by these valleys, allowing access to the beach. Either side of Bournemouth Pier however, the cliffs are unbroken, and the only way up or down is by either taking the zip-zag paths, which snake their way down the cliffs, constantly changing direction, or the lifts, which run on rails straight up the side of the cliff.

From the age of 7 to 11, I attended a school that was close to the West Cliff. This was a boarding and day school, and daily the whole school had to go on a walk at lunchtime, often along the West Cliff and sometimes if we were lucky, down to the promenade below. It was fun walking down the zig-zag path, but walking back up was a different matter. I am sure that anyone who has had to do this while loaded up with beach gear having spent a day at the beach will know what I am talking about.

For more information on Bournemouth Cliffs and for some stunning photographs of the area, CLICK HERE. This is an article on The Eocene Cliffs With Leaf Beds of Bournemouth, Dorset by Professor Ian West of Southampton University. The geology of the area is very detailed, but it is the maps, diagrams and above all the photographs that make me highly recommnend this site.

The following photograph has been used with permission from

Bournemouth - East Cliff Zig Zag Path

Bournemouth - East Cliff Zig Zag Path

Bournemouth - East Cliff Zig Zag Path

The Chines

One Of Bournemouth's Natural Features


The word chine means a deep, narrow ravine cut through soft rocks by a water course descending steeply to the sea. The word is peculiar to Dorset and the Isle of Wight, chines being very much a unique natural feature of this part of the British coast.

There are various chines, the most notable being Alum Chine in the east and Branksome Chine in the west.


Alum Chine has a number of family oriented hotels on the cliffs, and of interest are the Tropical Gardens that were first planted in the 1920s. These have a number of tropical plants, palms, yucca's etc, and make for a great evening walk.

To the west of Alum Chine is a suspension bridge that was built in 1903 and that crosses a ravine between two sections of the cliff top and makes an interesting diversion when taking a walk along the West Cliff. It was on a bridge across this chine (now gone) from which Winston Churchill fell when he was a child, breaking both legs and damaging his kidneys.

There is a plaque between the two bridges near the top of Alum Chine that commemorates Robert Louis Stevenson (author of Treasure Island and Kidnapped) who came to Bournemouth sufering from Tuberculosis in 1884 and lived there until 1887. His house was called Skerryvore after a lighthouse built by his family's company. The house was destroyed during the Second World War and the site in Alumhurst Road is now a commemoritive garden.


Branksome Chine is said to have been a regular route for smugglers in the 18th century as they headed inland to the Kinson area.

The Avenue is a straight road that runs south from County Gates in Westbourne down to Branksome Chine, and provides a great first view of the sea for many visitors on their way from Bournemouth to Sandbanks. The Avenue does a U-turn when it reaches the shore at Branksome Chine, the road then turning west and climbing up into the village of Canford Cliffs. Until the 1960s the Avenue used to be lined with lovely large homes and rhodedendron bushes, but sadly most of those houses have been replaced by blocks of flats.

Like Alum Chine, it also has a link with a great literary character, John Betjeman. This former Poet Laureate once wrote - walk the asphalt paths of Branksome Chine, in resin scented air like strong Greek wine.

The chine has numerous tree species such as pines, maples and beech as well as a variety of shrubs. many different kinds of birds can be seen throughout the year, including jays, woodpeckers, thrushes, tits and summer warblers. During the summer many insects can be seen including butterflies and dragonflies, the latter being attracted by the stream.

THE CHINES OF BOURNEMOUTH AND POOLE has wonderful details of the various chines, what to see, and detailed walks along the many pathways. I truly recommend a visit.

The following photograph has been used with permission from

Bournemouth - Durley Chine 1930

Bournemouth - Durley Chine 1930

Bournemouth - Durley Chine 1930

Bournemouth Pier

Promenades And Piers

With the Victorian era came a desire to spent time at the seaside, and along with this a love of promenades and piers. These allowed the visitors to stroll along the waterfront without having to walk on the sand, and to walk far out into the sea, enjoying wonderful views back towards the shore. In the latter half of the 19th century, these structures appeared in many of the seaside resorts around the coast of the British Isles.

Both Bournemouth and Boscombe, several miles to the easy, have piers, and these are just as popular today as they were back in the Victorian era when the concept was born.

The First Pier

The first pier in Bournemouth was a short wooden jetty that was completed in 1856. This was replaced by a much longer wooden pier, which opened in 1861 amid much pomp and ceremony, including a 21 gun salute.

The new pier cost the Bournemouth Board of Commissioners £3,418 to construct, and it was decided to charge an annual admission fee, based on residents rateable values, to try to recover the cost.

Because of attacks by Teredo Worms the wooden piles were replaced by cast iron ones in 1866, but even with this improvement, the life of the pier was short lived. Just a year later it was rendered unusable when the 'T' shaped landing stage was swept away in a gale.

The Second Pier

The remaining part of the pier was repaired, and it continued in use for a further ten years until November 1876 when another severe storm caused further collapse making it too short for steamboat traffic. The pier was demolished, and replaced in 1877 by a temporary one. During the next three years a new pier was completed.

The new Bournemouth Pier was opened by the Lord Mayor of London on 11th August 1880. It featured an open promenade and with the addition of a bandstand in 1885, military band concerts took place three times a day in summer and twice daily throughout the winter. Covered shelters were also provided at this time. Two extensions, in 1894 and 1909 respectively, took the pier's overall length to more than 1000ft (304.8m).

In common with most other piers in the south and east of the country, Bournemouth Pier was split into two sections by an army demolition team in the spring of 1940 as a precaution against German invasion during the Second World War. The pier was repaired and re-opened in August 1946.

Refurbishment of the pier head was carried out in 1950, and ten years' later the structure was reinforced with concrete to take the weight of a new pier theatre.

The Current Pier

A structural survey in 1976 found major corrosion, and in 1979 much of the pier was demolished and rebuilt in concrete, giving it the 'bridge' like appearance that it retains today, the work being completed in two years.

The new pier has a new theatre as well as other entertainments, and it ranks amongst the best piers in the country.

Pleasure Cruises

In 1868 the first recorded pleasure excursion from Bournemouth Pier was by the steamer 'Fawn'. She was chartered for a trip to Spithead, where a review of the fleet was being held in honour of the Shah of Persia.

Since 1871 there has been a long association between Bournemouth Pier and pleasure steamers.

Even now the tradition continues with regular seasonal visits by the paddle steamer 'Waverley', and her motorised companion the 'Balmoral'.

Many other local boats offer day trips along the lovely Dorset coast from Bournemouth Pier to Poole Quay and to Swanage.

With thanks to The Heritage Trail - English Seaside Piers for a history of Bournemouth Pier

The following photograph has been used with permission from

Bournemouth Pier Approach in 1910

Bournemouth Pier Approach in 1910

Bournemouth Pier Approach in 1910

Bournemouth Beaches

Bournemouth is renowned for its excellent tourist attractions, none more so than its beaches. Bournemouth boasts seven miles of golden sands and clear blue water, stretching from Hengistbury Head in the east all the way to Sandbanks and the mouth of Poole harbour in the west.

Bournemouth beaches have consistently won Blue Flag awards. These are only given to those beaches in the UK that have achieved the highest quality in water, facilities, safety, environmental education and management. CLICK HERE for more information about Blue Flag Awards.

The prevailing wind constantly strives to drive the sand westwards, so at regular intervals along the beach you will find groynes or breakwaters, designed to slow the erosion of the sand. These make for interesting views as well as bathing, since on the eastern side of a groyne you will find the sand much higher than on the west. The water level and depth is often many feet different between the two sides of a groyne.

The stretch of beach from Southbourne and Boscombe in the east all the way to Bournemouth, and beyond as far as Shore Road at Sandbanks is almost entirely walkable on the promenade.

Bournemouth Beach Huts

Much of the Promenade is also lined with beach huts. The original huts were made of wood and for intended for changing out of cumbersome Victorian or Edwardian clothing. Nowadays many of them are made of brick and serve to hold a family's beach acoutrements - chairs, towels, beach toys, and many also have electricity, so you can cook and have a refrigerator.

Beach huts are a typical feature at many English seaside resorts and are not usually found in other countries. The origin probably stemmed from the late 1800's when most beaches had little to offer in the way of facilities for changing etc, and regular beach-goers could have somewhere to keep their necessities, to make their day at the beach more comfortable.

In recent years the cost of renting or leasing a beach hut has shot up enormously, in line with the price of other property close to the beach.

If you are interested in more information about beach huts, or in renting a beach hut in Bournemouth, the following sites have more information:

Click on this to buy it from Allposters.

Click on this to buy it from Allposters.

The Old And The Young In Bournemouth

Bournemouth is a great place to retire, and so the town has traditionally over the years had a higher than average population of older or retired people than most of the country.

However, since the 1970s and the growth of international language schools, Bournemouth has become renowned for it's language schools, and for much of the year has a high population of foreign language students from all over the world.

Bournemouth Nightlife

With it's many pubs, bars and nightclubs, plus other places to gather, and a thriving younger generation, Bournemouth has become a popular place to go for a great night out.

The concert venues, which include The BIC and The Pavilion hold regular concerts for major bands and musicians and are included on many national tours.

Sir Merton Russell-Cotes was a Mayor of Bournemouth and also a local philanthropist who helped establish the town's first library and museum. The Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum was created in his mansion and after his death it was given to the town.

The Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum is one of the most fascinating and unique museums in the world. It comprises art galleries and a museum as well as a children's area and is an ideal place for learning, exploring and socialising.

The museum is situated on the east cliff in the centre of Bournemouth, over-looking seven miles of award-winning beaches and is housed in one of the last Victorian villas in Bournemouth, East Cliff Hall.

The museum is open most days throughout the year, and is somewhere that every visitor to Bournemouth should see.

For more information, visit the official web site for the museum - CLICK HERE

The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

The Bournemouth Municipal Orchestra was founded in 1893 by Sir Dan Godfrey as a small group of wind players. The band quickly expanded to become a full orchestra, gaining a reputation for championing contemporary British music. Elgar and Holst (among others) conducted the orchestra in their own works. The Bournemouth Municipal Choir, founded by Godfrey in 1911,sang regularly with the orchestra.

The orchestra changed to its present name in 1954,and developed its present role of giving concerts at more venues in the south west of England. The choir was re-named The Bournemouth Symphony Chorus in 1979, when it entered into a closer relationship with the orchestra.

The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra currently gives around 150 concerts a year. An up to date list of these is given on their web site

You can find more information about The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra on Wikipedia

Bournemouth Area Hotels And Accommodation


Being a seaside resort as well as a commercial and finance centre, Bournemouth has a good range of hotels, ranging in price from the cheaper family hotels to the more exclusive five star hotels. There are also a number of properties to rent, from houses and flats to mobile homes, which are ideal for families that plan to spend a week or more in the area, as well as for those travelling to Bournemouth on business.

Up to the 1970s the East Cliff area (east of Bournemouth Pier) had more up-market hotels than on the West Cliff, but with recent growth and the redevelopment of many of the older hotels, this is not as marked as it once was. Still, the West Cliff does have more budget family friendly hotels.

One of the best places to find details of hotels in Bournemouth together with hotel descriptions, prices and visitor reviews is Bournemouth Hotels And Accommodation. This is a comprehensive guide that also includes Guest Houses and Rental Properties.

You can also find a detailed selection of Hotels in the Bournemouth area on Hotels.Com, which also has some great discounts, especially outside of the summer season.


If you are looking for a place to stay in the Bournemouth area and would prefer to rent a property instead of staying in a hotel, are the Self Catering Holiday Cottages experts and have a wide range of properties to choose from.

Famous People From Bournemouth

I knew that Bournemouth was connected to a handful of famous people ever since I was young, however it was only when I created this page and began searching for famous people from the area that I came to realise that the list is huge.

Not only has Bournemouth been linked to many Authors and Musicians, it's been home to famous Actors and even has it's share of Spies.

For a fully comprehensive list of people that were born in the area, or who lived and dies here, I invite you to take a look at:

Famous People From Bournemouth


Holidays Honeymoons And Weddings Abroad

If you live in the UK and are looking to book a special holiday, maybe going to an exotic location, or thinking about a honeymoon or even a wedding abroad, let Holidays Please be your advisor and provide the perfect trip for your special occasion.

To ensure the perfect holiday abroad, each of the Holidays Please expert travel advisors has already booked an average of £5m holiday packages in their career. By choosing Holidays Please you will get unrivalled holiday advice on the latest luxury holidays at the best value.


Although a lot of information contained in this page has come from my own personal knowledge, this lens would not be complete without giving credit to my other sources, allowing me to include a detailed history of Bournemouth as well as the splendid photographs and news items that I have been able to use.

Please show your appreciation for the following by visiting their web sites.

About The Author

Tony is a freelance writer who lives on the South Coast of England with his wife Debbie.

He has worked in the IT Industry all his life, and has been writing on various sites for the last 10 years, and although you might expect that he writes about technical topics, it's anything but that.

He enjoys writing about many different topics, often writing about something that grabs him impulsively at the time. Ancient History and Humor are just two diverse topics that he has a passion for, and he also likes to write about his travel experiences and to share his love of photography.

Tony has traveled extensively, both for business and leisure, and has lived in New Zealand and the USA, becoming an American Citizen before returning to his native England.

Please Leave A Comment

Tony Payne (author) from Southampton, UK on March 02, 2014:

@evelynsaenz1: I do hope you get to England one of these days Evelyn. It's lovely here on the south coast. I would also love to get to Vermont sometime, New England is lovely too.

Evelyn Saenz from Royalton on March 02, 2014:

Someday I would love to see the golden sand at Bournemouth Beach. Thanks for the introduction to this part of England.

Tony Payne (author) from Southampton, UK on January 29, 2014:

@IanTease: Thanks. It was one of my earliest ones, still one of my favourites. I grew up there, lots of fond memories.

IanTease on January 28, 2014:

A fabulous lens, can't believe how much is on here. Am going to have to come back a few times to take it all in i think

Andrew4M on August 09, 2013:

Good one.

Tony Payne (author) from Southampton, UK on June 28, 2013:

@othellos: Thanks. It is a great place to visit, I hope you make it one day.

othellos on June 25, 2013:

Excellent lens. I've never been there but I will some day. Correct decision for LOTD and Purple star and... many more... Thanks for sharing:=)

Namsak on June 13, 2013:

My wife and I went to Bournemouth for our honeymoon nearly 40 years ago. We have never been back but this lens rekindled some memories - thank you.

SheilaMilne from Kent, UK on June 09, 2013:

It's a good few years since I was in Bournemouth last and unfortunately that time was for work so I didn't get to see much. I've made up for it today!

mrknowitall54321 on February 14, 2013:

This is a great lens, i've never been to bournemouth but I would like to now I've read this lens.

Tony Payne (author) from Southampton, UK on February 04, 2013:

@goughquarters: Well you never know, if the sea levels rise Sandbanks could become an island one day. There was a proposal years ago to make the Isle Of Purbeck independent - not too serious though. Of course if has a castle (albeit in ruins) and some great military equipment (between Bovington and the Lulworth Ranges).

goughquarters on February 03, 2013:

Love Bournemouth..apart from when some people try and annex Sandbanks from Poole! Great lens!

Tony Payne (author) from Southampton, UK on January 31, 2013:

@Loretta L: That happens so often to me too. Oh well, you got an honorary 100% :)

Loretta Livingstone from Chilterns, UK. on January 28, 2013:

Aw, I thought I clicked the pier on my iPad but the screen moved and I clicked the seawater! I would have got 80% without the slip. I knew it was the piers! Darn!

Tony Payne (author) from Southampton, UK on January 22, 2013:

@StephenJackson2: I haven't really paid Bournemouth a good visit in more years than I care to remember, and intend to try and get back this summer to take more photos to add to my pages on the town. I much prefer to use my own rather than other people's.

StephenJackson2 on January 22, 2013:

I love Bournemouth, and better yet, its not too far from me! Excellent lens

Tony Payne (author) from Southampton, UK on January 13, 2013:

@suepogson: I'm pleased my Bournemouth lens helped to bring back memories - aaahhh sherbet pips - I used to love them too. I see you are out in El Salvador? There is another Brit lensmaster there, Casacikak (think I spelled it right). I was there in 1999 a week before the revolution, working for one of the oil companies. Would love to go back.

suepogson on January 12, 2013:

Aaaaaaaaaaah - my dad took me there once when I was a kid. just me! No sibs - I felt really special ... and he bought me a whole 1/2 lb of sherbet pips! That's a LOT of sherbet pips. Mum would have killed him ! Okay - back from memory lane. Thanks for posting!

traveldestinations on January 10, 2013:

Very complete lens about Bournemouth.

RaintreeAnnie from UK on January 09, 2013:

Always enjoyed this page about Bournemouth, back to leave a blessing :)

webhostingrevie on December 03, 2012:

love the beach man.

maryLuu on September 07, 2012:

Interesting lens! Thanks!

Trixiesmom2u on August 29, 2012:

I've been to Bournemouth and enjoyed your lens. Lovely community.

halloweenprops on August 27, 2012:

I've been to Bournemouth. Fantastic beach!

OrlandoTipster on August 15, 2012:

Thanks for the sightseeing tour.

I'll be beach bound one of these days.

chas65 on July 26, 2012:

Wish I would have had more time to enjoy the sights of the city when we on the search for antiques when were there.

kevin-collins on July 26, 2012:

This looks like an awesome place to go for vacation. Who knew! Thanks for sharing.

FashionMommy on July 20, 2012:

Great lens with a lot of helpful information for anyone who wants to plan a vacation in Bournemouth.

Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on June 14, 2012:

Your love for Bournemouth shows!

Zebedee32 on June 12, 2012:

I have been to Bournemouth a few times as I live in Weston super Mare.

dellgirl on June 05, 2012:

I really learned a lot here,that I didn't know. This sure will help a lot of people wanting to know more about Bournemouth! Youâve done a wonderful job on it.Thank you for sharing.

Going to pin this on Pinterest so I can find it again and to share it with others.

antoniow on June 04, 2012:

Enjoyed reading this lens, well done!

Thomas F. Wuthrich from Michigan on June 03, 2012:

Sounds like a terrific place in which to have grown up and a great place to visit. Thanks for the tour. An excellent lens, well deserving of that Purple Star!

cynthiannleighton on May 28, 2012:

Wonderful tour! Thanks. Nice lens.

Millionairemomma on May 27, 2012:

This place looks like it has everything...Forests, beaches....I can see why you picked it.

ogrote on May 23, 2012:

Great lens. I haven't been to Bournemouth - but will definately visit when I am in the U.K. again.

Virginia Allain from Central Florida on May 22, 2012:

Wow, you've really packed this page with information. I bet many found it useful to plan their holiday in Bournemouth. Well done!

natashaely on May 18, 2012:

Bournemouth is a beautiful place and you have such an amazing collection of information here, I go there quite a lot although I still prefer Poole. The South is a gorgeous part of the world and this inspires me to see it in a differetn light, when I am stuck in traffic in Bournemouth at 5.30, I am often not that positive about it! Excellent page :)

trendydad on May 16, 2012:

Bournemouth seems to be very beautiful which I could visit

clouda9 lm on May 15, 2012:

Well gosh! I love this Bournemouth tour, I've visited several times thinking I so gotta go stay in one of those colorful beach huts and had not angel-kissed it, hmm...done now! :)

Bill Armstrong from Valencia, California on May 15, 2012:

Ah brings back fond memories ;)

Marc from Edinburgh on May 15, 2012:

I'm flabbergasted...such a fantastic lens. Hours and hours of work and dedication have gone into it! I adore Bournemouth, so I enjoyed reading through. Bournemouth will always hold a very dear place in my heart...many childhood memories spent there. Top job, sir :)

Winter52 LM on May 15, 2012:

We haven't been back for a holiday in positively ages... it's time!!

Ruthi on May 15, 2012:

What an amazing and wonderful view of the town you grew up in! You are a great travel guide to touring Bournemouth. The little beach huts are a delightful addition to this sunny location. Adding my blessings and a bit o' sunshine to the tour.

WorldVisionary3 on May 15, 2012:

What a nice lens, chock full of information and photos! Thumbs up!

RaintreeAnnie from UK on May 15, 2012:

An amazing page on Bournemouth! You have clearly put a lot of work into this. It is a great guide to the area and beautifully presented.

JanieceTobey on May 15, 2012:

I'm back today to leave you a little angel dust!

rachelscott on May 08, 2012:

I learnt too much from your lens

JoyfulReviewer on April 27, 2012:

Charming lens ... full of helpful information and inviting photos. ~~Blessed~~

melissiaoliver on April 24, 2012:

This is an amazing lens, thank you for all of this great information about Bournemouth! Despite being English I've never been there alas, I must head down there someday! I've created a lens guide to Oxford if you'd like to have a gander at it - another wonderful place to visit in the UK!

Thanks again for this wonderful read!

Angela F from Seattle, WA on April 23, 2012:

Looks like I definitely need to add Bournemouth to my bucket list. Great lens!

Deadicated LM on April 22, 2012:

Loved it; made me want to visit.

Karen from U.S. on April 15, 2012:

We're planning on visiting Great Britain within the next 2 - 3 years, and after reading this, I'm putting Bournemouth on our itinerary!

MaggiePowell on April 14, 2012:

Fantastic lens... love all the information, love all the photos (the beach huts are my favorite). Great Job.

macmaki on April 14, 2012:

Bournemouth reminds me of the Oregon Coast. We just visited the coast this Easter weekend and it just shows how attractive the Sea is to all of us. Excellent Lens!

BestRatedStuff on April 14, 2012:

Very comprehensive lens, enjoyed it a lot. Something for everyone who might want to visit.

fish-oil-expert on April 14, 2012:

Wow, pretty cool. I had never heard of Bournemouth. I'll have to check it out next time I'm there. I'm used to beaches in Florida, though, so it probably won't be able to live up to those! :)

MarionElodie on April 14, 2012:

What a wonderful lens! I've been living in London for three and a half years but never really travelled away from the capital. Bournemouth has now been added to my list of places to visit. Thanks a lot for all the information and pictures.

John Dyhouse from UK on April 13, 2012:

After reading this I am even more adamant about going back to see a little more of this great British holiday resort, thanks for a great lens. Full of information and very useful

linkreggie on April 12, 2012:

Awesome lens and congrats to you because your lens is featured as lens of the day. I will look forward to see more of your great lens.. thanks for sharing your thoughts!

MarcellaCarlton on April 12, 2012:

I really enjoyed my visit.

dellgirl on April 11, 2012:

This is a great lens, itâs very informative! Thank you for sharing, I learned something new here. I like this so much, Iâm Pinning it on Pinterest!

Matt Warren from Cheshire, UK on April 11, 2012:

Great lens!

cameras14 on April 11, 2012:

very nice lens. Infomation so detail,love that.Thanks you for write about Bournemouth

anonymous on April 10, 2012:

Great lens I particularly like the old photos of Bournemouth. It's also great to see a fellow person from the UK sharing thier area with others. A lot of local and relevant information.

srsddn lm on April 10, 2012:

Very elaborate. Looks like a beautiful place to visit.

CCTVwebmaster on April 10, 2012:

Thanks for a fantastic lens, I absolutely LOVE Bournemouth although I've sadly only managed to visit once. But have ever since planned my next visit. I thoroughly enjoyed reading every single word of this lens!!!

goldenrulecomics from New Jersey on April 09, 2012:

nice lens!

anonymous on April 09, 2012:

What a delight to return to congratulate you on front page honors...I was able to take the polls and 90%! Wishing I could bless again but the last round hasn't worn off.

Katie Harp on April 09, 2012:

blessed by a squid angel :) <3

AJ from Australia on April 09, 2012:

It is a while since I was here - literally and to your lens. I love the black and white photographs. Blessings.

tyrosine on April 09, 2012:

the scenery looks really beautiful! I would love to visit some day!

suzy-t on April 09, 2012:

What a great lens. Truly deserving of the Purple Star and LOTD... I was not familiar with Bournemouth before I read your lens but it looks like a lovely place to visit. I hope I can get there some day.

allenwebstarme on April 08, 2012:

Looks like a beautiful city, added in my wishlist.

PaulRyan on April 08, 2012:

A lovely lens. Brought back some memories of my childhood, spending time there (visiting family).

lasertek lm on April 08, 2012:

Great place!

sherioz on April 07, 2012:

You took my breath away with this gorgeous lens. The photos are superb and your explanations so informative. Felt almost like being there.

Lisa Morris on April 05, 2012:

You have put together an amazing guide for Bournemouth. You have been blessed.

SewingMama on April 04, 2012:

Beautiful work! We will add this to our list of places to visit. Thank you!

Risteard O'Marcahain from Wales on March 30, 2012:

Love the new forest and Bournemouth

CruiseReady from East Central Florida on March 28, 2012:

Oh my - what a lovely and thorough presentation of the beautiful resort town of Bournemouth. It certainly makes one want to pay a visit there.

Tamara14 on March 19, 2012:

So well presented. Made me wish for some instant packing and traveling :) Great work!

crstnblue on March 13, 2012:

Very nice, informative and complex lens.

Thanks for sharing!

Annamadagan on March 09, 2012:

It looks like a beautiful place to visit - or live! Nice lens. Blessings!

MelonyVaughan on March 01, 2012:

Extremely detailed and well-researched lens! Bravo!

Kathy McGraw from California on February 24, 2012:

If I ever get to the UK Bournemouth sounds like a place full of history and great sites. I love looking at old architecture so this looks like a fun vacation.

BenJacklin LM on February 18, 2012:

Love Bournemouth! Great lens, didn't know Alex James was a local

Bob Black from East Midlands, England, UK on February 11, 2012:

This is such a great lens, Tony. I've learned so much from it. Thanks. I've been to and stayed in Boscombe may times starting in the 1960s. It's still one of my favourite places.

Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on February 03, 2012:

Popping back by this great page about your town of Bournemouth

grannysage on February 03, 2012:

I really need to get a map of England. I never know where these places are in relation to other places. Bournemouth looks simply wonderful and it must have been fantastic go grow up there. I feel like I've been there now, but I want to stay longer!

Frankie Kangas from California on February 03, 2012:

Wowzers what a lens. I love that it's the "go to" place for all things Bournemouth. I'll have to come back though to read more later. Blessed with bear hugs, Frankie

Peggy Hazelwood from Desert Southwest, U.S.A. on January 30, 2012:

Oh, I want to visit Bournemouth! Great job giving us a virtual tour! I recently wrote a lens about Mary Anning (from Lyme Regis). Nice to see more about this area of Southern England.

wyrm11268 on January 28, 2012:

Loved my tour of Bournemouth - lots of lovely memories. Thanks

Edutopia on January 26, 2012:

You are right, I am not from England and have never heard of Bournemouth. That said, after reading this lens I sure do want to go visit it! Great job!

Cheryl Kohan from England on January 25, 2012:

This is a fabulous lens, Tony!! I can certainly see why it was a Lens of the Day and the Purple Star is perfect. I would love to visit Bournemouth...maybe someday.

Christine Hulme from SE Kent, England on January 24, 2012:

Wow! A lot of work has gone into this lens- an excellent info about this famous town.

pearltower on January 18, 2012:

Nice lens of you.

Surreymagic on January 12, 2012:

Wow- what a massive lens! The detail and care shown in your Bournemouth lens is amazing- a little overhwelming, in fact, so I'll read it over several visits! I fonly remember visiting Bournemouth in my childhood several times.

Ben Reed from Redcar on December 12, 2011:

Love the lense. Had our honeymoon in Bournemouth some 34 years ago... This brought back some memories...

TrentAdamsCA on December 01, 2011:

Great armchair travel. I enjoyed all the pics, history and details about Bournemouth's features and landscape. I grew up near a seaside town in California -- Santa Cruz. The railroad and early health spas played a role in our history over here, too.

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