Bournemouth is superbly situated on the sunny south coast overlooking seven miles of glorious golden sands. It is internationally renowned for its natural beauty as well as its cultural vibrancy and diversity. Situated amongst magnificent gardens and backing onto golden sands, Bournemouth town centre is lively and cosmopolitan with a smattering of foreign tongues adding to the Continental atmosphere.
It is marked by pedestrian boulevards and street cafés. In high summer there is free entertainment, including candle illuminations, firework evenings and live music from the garden bandstands, as well as magnificent concerts from the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. To see the resort from a different aspect, why not take a cruise from the pier, or try the 'Bournemouth Eye', a tethered balloon which rises to 160 metres over the Gardens, giving a bird's-eye view of the town.
Bournemouth lies in close proximity to a number of intriguing landscapes, towns, villages and magnificent cultural sites. The Dorset coastline, marked by its Jurassic rock forms, has been made a World Heritage site whilst the New Forest, an area protected by the National Trust, provides a home for wild ponies, deer and cattle. Salisbury not only boasts one of the oldest and most majestic cathedrals in the country, but the surrounding plain is also home to vast expanses of rolling countryside and of course, the enigmatic Stonehenge.
The Avenue shopping centre is home to a number of department stores and High Street names, whilst Westover Road, affectionately known as the 'Bond Street of Bournemouth', has a selection of quirky boutiques and smaller retailers nestled beside each other along a stylish tree-lined boulevard.
Beach and Gardens
Bournemouth offers seven miles of clean, safe Blue Flag bathing beaches. Bournemouth's award-winning gardens amount to around 200,000 acres of sub-tropical Mediterranean plants and trees, from February catkins and sweet gum trees to palm trees and alpine rock plants. Boscombe's Italianate Gardens, with Roman-style colonnades and the Alum Chine gardens, which occupy a superb cliff-top position are well worth a visit.
Activities and Attractions
Tourist Information Tel:0906 802 0234
An array of marine creatures from every continent. There are extensive interactive displays and exhibitions relating to various species.
Bournemouth Pier is brimming with attractions, including the Pier Theatre, shops, bar, restaurant and mini-funfair.
Bournemouth Eye Tel:01202 399939
A tethered balloon which hovers at 500ft providing panoramic views of the resort.
Bournemouth International Centre Tel:01202 456400
A world-class venue with theatres, museums and leisure facilities and a programme of year-round events.
Tower Park Complex Tel:01202 723671
This entertainment complex in nearby Poole offers all-weather facilities for the whole family, including bingo, bowling and a multi-screen cinema.
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Founded in 1893, the orchestra has worked with many famous composers, conductors and museums.
Museum of Electricity Tel:01202 480467
In nearby Christchurch, the museum is set in a genuine Edwardian power station and houses a fascinating collection of 19th and 20th century electrical appliances as well as a number of vehicles, including a fully restored Bournemouth electric tramcar.
Highcliffe Castle Tel:01425 278807
The 19th century mansion house contains partially restored state rooms featuring a range of exhibitions and galleries. The extensive grounds were originally laid out by 'Capability' Brown.
Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum
National exhibitions by outstanding British and international artists.
Bournemouth Carnival At the end of July, this internationally renowned event is a mixture of processions, parades, competitions and concerts.
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra Enjoy the orchestra's annual concert in their home town.
Bournemouth Live Tel:01202 451195
In June, this is eight days of music ranging from blues to brass.
Bournemouth Air Festival Held in August, the festival provides four days of thrilling entertainment, including aerobatic displays, Forces demonstrations, street entertainment, military brass bands and a hot air balloon show - and it's all free!
Marcus Adams Photography Exhibition is a special collection of portraits by the Queen's official photographer which will be showing at the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery from the end of June until mid September as part of the Queens's Jubilee celebrations.
Wimborne Folk Festival Annual event featuring traditional folk music and dance.
Flowers by Candlelight is held each Wednesday at dusk throughout August in Bournemouth Gardens and features the lighting of over 15,000 coloured candles and a children's procession.
Christchurch Food & Wine Festival takes place in May with events including cookery demonstrations by both local and celebrity chefs, themed meals and the popular Italian Market.
Great Dorset Steam Fair is an annual gathering of steam engines and vintage vehicles.
Seafront Fireworks Every Friday night in summer there is a spectacular fireworks display on the seafront.
Places of Interest
The details below are intended as a general guide only. For specific tour details, first check Availability and then follow the link from the Tour Description.
Weymouth is one of Britain's oldest resorts, made famous by George III whose statue graces the promenade. The town boasts a beautiful sandy beach, attractive seafront and spectacular Jurassic coastline.
Poole A short distance from Bournemouth, Poole has a magnificent harbour and stunning beaches. Enjoy the sights aboard the land train, which leaves on a fifty minute journey from the Quay. Poole is also home to the superb Bennett's Water Gardens, an eight acre garden famous for its amazing collection of water lilies, replica Monet bridge and museum.
Stonehenge Shrouded in mystery, this intriguing circle of bluestones is believed to date from around 3500BC and is one of the country's top tourist attractions.
Beaulieu is home to the National Motor Museum, Palace House and Beaulieu Abbey. Also, take time to explore the beautiful gardens, including the 18th century Informal Wilderness Garden and the Victorian Kitchen Garden.
Salisbury Visit the historic cathedral, which contains the best preserved of only four original Magna Carta and Europe's oldest clock, believed to date from 1386. Other notable attractions include the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum, The Rifles military museum, Edward Heath's Arundells and Mompesson House in the glorious setting of Cathedral Close.
Wimborne Minster is dominated by the magnificent twin towers of the Minster Church of St. Cuthburga, founded in the 8th century. The fascinating Priest's House Museum and Gardens is worth a visit and Wimborne Market is one of the largest open-air markets in the south of England.
New Forest is an enchanting region of ancient woodlands, picturesque villages and historic houses. In the summer months, the open-top bus tour is the perfect way to see the forest in all its splendour. There is also an abundance of walking trails and cycle paths to enjoy for those feeling a little more energetic.
Christchurch is renowned for its fascinating heritage, intriguing history and magnificent 11th century Priory church. It also boasts a spectacular natural harbour and over four miles of beautiful beaches.
Dorchester boasts an abundance of attractions including the Dorset County Museum, Maiden Castle and Roman Town House.