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BournemouthUnited Kingdom

From a golden beach and Victorian-era architecture to award-winning gardens and a buzzing nightlife, this is one of England’s most-loved beach resorts.

Bournemouth is the epitome of a classic English beach town, offering sweeping coastline, grand Victorian architecture and lively nightlife. Until the early 1800s, Bournemouth was a remote heathland used mainly by fishermen and smugglers. Today, the town attracts a mixture of daytrippers, family vacationers and bachelor parties.

Bournemouth’s focal point is Bournemouth Beach, a 7-mile (11-kilometer) bay of golden sand stretching along England’s southern coast. Stroll along the waterfront promenade to find cafés, bars and barbecue areas. Check out the colorful beach huts, symbols of an English tradition that began in Bournemouth in the early 1900s. Rent sun loungers and watersport equipment, including kayaks, surfboards and Jet Skis.

Walk to Boscombe Pier, a 19th-century structure with excellent coastline views. Visit the Coastal Activity Park, a recreation area offering over 30 beach and water activities. Take a boat trip to Brownsea Island to spot endangered wildlife.

Explore 2,000 acres (809 hectares) of gardens in the town center and surrounding region. Wander through the picturesque Victorian-style Lower Gardens. Watch free concerts at the bandstand or play a round of miniature golf. Enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the town and beach on the Bournemouth Balloon. Follow trails past colorful roses and rhododendrons in the pristine Central Gardens. Discover Asian, American and European trees in the Upper Gardens.

Bournemouth has abundant indoor attractions, too. See hundreds of aquatic creatures at the Oceanarium. Study 19th-century art at the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum. Watch concerts, musicals, ballet and opera at the Pavilion Theatre. Go to St. Peter’s Church, which houses the tomb of Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein.

Enjoy Bournemouth’s famous dining and nightlife. Choose from more than 250 restaurants, bars and nightclubs, many inside Victorian-era buildings located in the largely pedestrianized town center.

Bournemouth is just a 2-hour drive from London and easily reached via trains, buses or rental car. Come in summer to enjoy festivals, watersports and sunbathing or visit in winter for long walks on an almost deserted beach.

Where to stay in Bournemouth

Bournemouth City Centre

Bournemouth City Centre

4/5Very Good!(51 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
Looking out towards Sandbanks from the Beach at Bournmouth

West Cliff

If you're spending some time in West Cliff, Bournemouth Beach and Durley Chine Beach are top sights worth seeing.

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
The price is $61 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 (973 reviews)

"Lovely hotel nice rooms and very friendly staff pity about the facilities not open but theirs nothing you can do about that I would recommend this hotel and I look forward to staying there again"…"

Reviewed on Jul 31, 2020

Royal Bath Hotel & Spa Bournemouth
Hampton by Hilton Bournemouth
Hampton by Hilton Bournemouth
3.5 out of 5
Upper Terrace Road, Bournemouth, England
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $117 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! (980 reviews)

"This is a gem of a hotel. Clean, light and amazing location for town centre and beaches. Staff are excellent and lovely breakfast"…"

Reviewed on Jul 31, 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 $67 per night

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

3.9/5Very Good! (986 reviews)

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

Reviewed on Jul 23, 2020

The Cumberland Hotel - OCEANA COLLECTION

Popular places to visit in Bournemouth

Bournemouth Beach
Image for Bournemouth Beach

Bournemouth Beach

4.5/5(50 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

4.5/5(12 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(5 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

4.5/5(2 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
Image for O2 Academy Bournemouth

O2 Academy Bournemouth

4/5(4 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

5/5(8 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

Multi-Venue, Bar & Nightclub VIP Party Pass in Bournemouth
Image for Multi-Venue, Bar & Nightclub VIP Party Pass in Bournemouth

Multi-Venue, Bar & Nightclub VIP Party Pass in Bournemouth

$13
Per adult
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

$16
Per adult
84% of travellers recommend
In-Home Private Chef Experience - 5 Course
Image for In-Home Private Chef Experience - 5 Course

In-Home Private Chef Experience - 5 Course

$92
Per adult
Full Day Tour to Cardiff and Wales from Bournemouth
Image for Full Day Tour to Cardiff and Wales from Bournemouth

Full Day Tour to Cardiff and Wales from Bournemouth

$44
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

$245
Per adult
Jurassic Coast: Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door half day trip
Image for Jurassic Coast: Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door half day trip

Jurassic Coast: Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door half day trip

$40
Per adult

Reviews of Bournemouth

4.4

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
16
5 - Excellent 47.05882352941177%
4 - Good
15
4 - Good 44.11764705882353%
3 - Okay
3
3 - Okay 8.823529411764707%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

4/5 - Good

Latinbabe

Jan 25, 2020

Very cute city that has beautiful views of the ocean on a sunny day.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jul 31, 2019

Wonderful time even with tons of other beach goers on the beach tillplenty of space to spread out. There was always staff on hand keeping not only the beach but also the promenade and facilities clean. Well done all

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Jun 8, 2019

Pleasant seaside resort that attracts a younger crowd than it used to. Variety of shopping options, but could use more restaurants. Excellent public transportation.

5/5 - Excellent

rachelkdbrown

May 31, 2019

Love Bournemouth. Nice seaside town.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jan 17, 2019

Great restaurants, shopping and all in walking distance.

4/5 - Good

Carol

Oct 15, 2018

It was such a shame to see the round-about in the square that used to be planted up beautifully - the jewel of the square, GONE and replaced with a paved over area and what looked like a very ugly fast food type round building. That was a shock.

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