I spent a six years living in the English seaside town of Bournemouth and although my time in Bournemouth came to an abrupt but needed end a couple of years ago, my memories of the town and its suburbs will linger forever. Here is a list of top five things to do in Bournemouth for visitors venturing north from London.
1. Bournemouth Beach
Stating the obvious here, but Bournemouth’s award winning beach is probably the town’s most attractive tourist pull. I’ve worked on it, drank on it, played football on it and done a few other things on it…the beach stretches far and is split into many different “beaches” (West Beach, Southbourne Beach, Boscombe Beach, East Cliff etc.). The busiest part is the bit by Bournemouth Pier.
2. Bournemouth Pub Crawl
I love pub crawls and my quirky bars, promotions and everything that goes with the madness of nights out drinking in Bournemouth especially during the summer months. You will find an endless amount of bars, clubs, pubs and restaurants all meeting your required taste. Some of favourites include the Dolphin (Springbourne), The Moon in the Square, The Goat and Tricycle and in the past Jumpin Jaks.
3. The Wave Balloon
Everybody in Bournemouth knows what the “Wave Balloon” is and you should head there in the summer for epic views of the south coast of England. Situated in Bournemouth’s summer gardens, this is unmissable in summer months as it rears itself into the sky; it’s essentially a hot air balloon near the seafront.
It’s attached by a huge cord and is as safe as it is popular. Expect queues, but also great views!
4. Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum
A bit of a hidden gem here to be honest, this museum is unique in world terms, something a lot of the locals forget. For its quirkiness, history and “off the beaten track charm” it just had to make my list of top 5 things to do in Bournemouth. Featuring Japanese art and mixing Italian with Scottish architecture in design, this is a top spot.
5. Live Football: AFC Bournemouth
Head to the football stadium called Dean Court (and latterly known as the Goldsands Stadium) to watch AFC Bournemouth. Nicknamed the Cherries, Bournemouth are in the third tier of the English League with ambitions to move up the league ladders.
You will get a more authentic and real life English football atmosphere in the lower divisions, and watching 90 minutes at Dean Court will give you a great experience. You might even fall in love and become a fan, like I did .
Getting to Bournemouth
Trains and buses run from London and the trip will only take 2 – 3 hours, so it’s easily reachable if you’re based in the capital for your travels, or you can rent a car. Bournemouth has its own international airport!! Not a lot of people know that, they even had flights to New York at one point, and used to fly to Belfast so check what airports fly into it when you’re about to head and you might get a lucky cheap deal. Here’s the Bournemouth Council Website for reference too, upcoming events to look out for are the Annual Air Show and: Bournemouth Council.
The Bournemouth Wave Balloon: