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BournemouthUnited Kingdom

With seven miles of award winning golden sandy beaches, Bournemouth has a holiday atmosphere all year round. 

With boutique hotels and B&Bs attracting more visitors each year, and with plenty to see and do in this gorgeous Dorset seaside town, there’s no shortage of reasons to visit Bournemouth.

Bournemouth’s award winning gardens are split into three areas of Victorian beauty. The Lower Gardens adjacent to the sea, the Central Gardens within the town centre and the picturesque Upper Gardens. The Lower Gardens contain the iconic Bournemouth Balloon, a great place to sightsee, if you have a head for heights.

You may want to visit Bournemouth during one of its many festivals, or enjoy it in the off season and avoid the festival crowds. Notable Bournemouth festivals include the Bournemouth Air Festival, the Bournemouth Bay Run and the annual Food & Drink Festival. A visit to one of these festivals will help contribute to your overall Bournemouth experience.

Take the family to Oceanarium, a great place to visit with lots of animals to discover, including sharks, turtles and otters. With knowledgeable and entertaining visitor guides available to take you around, you’re bound to have a brilliant and educational day out here.

Dorset

Take the opportunity and use Bournemouth as a base to explore the rest of Dorset. Dorset is a county of great beauty; one of the many maritime counties in Southern England located along the English Channel. The Dorset coastline stretches as far as Lyme Regis in the west and Christchurch in the east.

If you are a fan of great literature you will be interested to know that Dorset is the birth place of Thomas Hardy and also his final resting place. Lyme Regis was also a favourite holiday haunt of J.R.R. Tolkien.

Explore Hardy Country

Visitors to Dorset can take in Thomas Hardy country, located within the Dorset Hills. Follow Thomas Hardy’s story from his place of birth, his home and then onto his final resting place. Along the way you will see the landscapes and see what inspired Thomas Hardy in his writing.

Take a Step Back in Time

Located in Bovington is the incredible Tank Museum: a collection of armoured vehicles that includes everything from the first tanks ever built to the latest heavily armoured vehicles. It really is like taking a walk through history. The collection tells the story of armoured warfare from the First World War to the present day. Aside from the vehicles there are talking heads giving first-hand accounts from those who fought in them.

Sculpture by the Lakes in Dorchester is also well worth a visit. The lakes are tranquil and beautiful, with stunning sculptures to match. With picnic areas available, take the opportunity to spend the day relaxing in these incredible surroundings.

Where to stay in Bournemouth

Bournemouth City Centre, Bournemouth, England, United Kingdom

Bournemouth City Centre

4/5Very Good!(1,198 area reviews)

The stunning beaches and fantastic nightlife are just a few highlights of Bournemouth City Centre. Make a stop by Bournemouth Beach or Bournemouth Lower Gardens while you're exploring the area.

Bournemouth City Centre
West Cliff, Bournemouth, England, United Kingdom

West Cliff

4/5Very Good!(6 area reviews)

While visiting West Cliff, you might make a stop by sights like Bournemouth Beach and Durley Chine Beach.

West Cliff

Top hotels in Bournemouth

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Royal Bath Hotel & Spa Bournemouth
Royal Bath Hotel & Spa Bournemouth
4 out of 5
Bath Road, Bournemouth, England
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is £48 per night

Located in Bournemouth City Centre, this spa hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum and Bournemouth Pavillion Theatre. Bournemouth ...

2.9/5 (957 reviews)

"Great location. Friendly staff. Clean rooms. Airy bar area. Lovely gardens"…"

Reviewed on 4 Aug 2020

Royal Bath Hotel & Spa Bournemouth
Hampton by Hilton Bournemouth
Hampton by Hilton Bournemouth
3.5 out of 5
Upper Terrace Road, Bournemouth, England
The price is £85 per night

Located in Bournemouth City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Bournemouth Lower Gardens, Bournemouth International Centre and Bournemouth Beach. ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (955 reviews)

"Great staff friendly and place was clean, breakfast was good and parking was easy"…"

Reviewed on 9 Aug 2020

Hampton by Hilton Bournemouth
The Cumberland Hotel - OCEANA COLLECTION
The Cumberland Hotel - OCEANA COLLECTION
4 out of 5
27 East Overcliff Drive, Bournemouth, England
The price is £64 per night

Located in Bournemouth City Centre, this beachfront hotel is in the city centre and within a 15-minute walk of Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum, Bournemouth ...

3.9/5Very Good! (984 reviews)

"Great staff in the restaurant. The building is old, but the room is nice, very clean."…"

Reviewed on 23 Jul 2020

The Cumberland Hotel - OCEANA COLLECTION

Popular places to visit in Bournemouth

Bournemouth Beach
Image for Bournemouth Beach

Bournemouth Beach

4.5/5(705 reviews)

Stroll along miles of England’s southern coast and stop at the fun parks and activity centers along the way.

Bournemouth International Centre
Image for Bournemouth International Centre

Bournemouth International Centre

4/5(193 reviews)

Go to a performance, conference, exhibition or other event at this large venue, which sits on the beautiful coast of Bournemouth. 

Bournemouth University
Image for Bournemouth University

Bournemouth University

4/5(23 reviews)

Best known for its media programs that have trained Oscar winners, one of the U.K.’s “new universities” straddles Bournemouth with two campuses.

Bournemouth Pavillion Theatre
Image for Bournemouth Pavillion Theatre

Bournemouth Pavillion Theatre

4/5(70 reviews)

Treat yourself to a night of early 20th-century-style grandeur at this opulent and historic theater, where you can see everything from dramas to concerts. 

O2 Academy Bournemouth
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O2 Academy Bournemouth

4/5(9 reviews)

Spend an evening watching a big-name music act or attend a club night or sports event at this live performance venue, housed in a historic building.

Bournemouth Lower Gardens
Image for Bournemouth Lower Gardens

Bournemouth Lower Gardens

4.5/5(421 reviews)

Take in the alluring scents and bright colors of the wide range of flowers in this Victorian park with scenic paths and woods.

Top things to do in Bournemouth

Bournemouth Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour + Boat Tour Options
Image for Bournemouth Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour + Boat Tour Options

Bournemouth Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour + Boat Tour Options

£13
Per adult
84% of travellers recommend
3-Day Amsterdam and Bruges Tour from Bournemouth
Image for 3-Day Amsterdam and Bruges Tour from Bournemouth

3-Day Amsterdam and Bruges Tour from Bournemouth

£195
Per adult
In-Home Private Chef Experience - 5 Course
Image for In-Home Private Chef Experience - 5 Course

In-Home Private Chef Experience - 5 Course

£73
Per adult
3-Day Paris and Versailles Tour from Bournemouth
Image for 3-Day Paris and Versailles Tour from Bournemouth

3-Day Paris and Versailles Tour from Bournemouth

£195
Per adult
4-Day Edinburgh and the Scottish Highlands from Bournemouth
Image for 4-Day Edinburgh and the Scottish Highlands from Bournemouth

4-Day Edinburgh and the Scottish Highlands from Bournemouth

£245
Per adult
Group Dance Lessons and Parties for Hen and Stag weekends
Image for Group Dance Lessons and Parties for Hen and Stag weekends

Group Dance Lessons and Parties for Hen and Stag weekends

£167
Per adult

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Bournemouth

Image for Bournemouth Pier: 8 Things to Do

Bournemouth Pier: 8 Things to Do

Bournemouth Pier: 8 Things to Do
Image for 8 of the Best Beaches in Bournemouth

8 of the Best Beaches in Bournemouth

8 of the Best Beaches in Bournemouth
Image for A Quick Guide to Bournemouth's Top Tourist Attractions

A Quick Guide to Bournemouth's Top Tourist Attractions

A Quick Guide to Bournemouth's Top Tourist Attractions
Image for Explore Essentials: Things to Do in Bournemouth

Explore Essentials: Things to Do in Bournemouth

Explore Essentials: Things to Do in Bournemouth

Cities near Bournemouth

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