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Overview

With two piers full of gaudy attractions and a string of sandy beaches dotted with deck chairs and backed by rainbow-colored beach huts, Bournemouth is the living image of the English seaside. This famous Victorian resort sprawls along the Dorset coast, merging into neighboring Christchurch and Poole. It's a far cry from St. Tropez, but the beaches are golden, the seafront is lined with amusements, and the whole town has a gently fading Victorian charm. By day, visitors crowd the beaches, and by night, the action shifts to variety shows and nightclubs full of stag parties. However, the resort is not entirely stuck in the past. An artificial ...

With two piers full of gaudy attractions and a string of sandy beaches dotted with deck chairs and backed by rainbow-colored beach huts, Bournemouth is the living image of the English seaside. This famous Victorian resort sprawls along the Dorset coast, merging into neighboring Christchurch and Poole. It's a far cry from St. Tropez, but the beaches are golden, the seafront is lined with amusements, and the whole town has a gently fading Victorian charm. By day, visitors crowd the beaches, and by night, the action shifts to variety shows and nightclubs full of stag parties. However, the resort is not entirely stuck in the past. An artificial reef is producing some impressive surf offshore, and Sandbanks is a great place to windsurf, in sight of the palatial mansions of some of England's most famous footballers. Bournemouth also has a cultural side, thanks to the fascinating Russell-Cotes Museum, and Mary Shelley, of Frankenstein fame, who was buried in St. Peter's Church. For a break from the seaside sprawl, you'll find peaceful nature in the Compton Acres gardens and the nature reserve on Brownsea Island.

Joe Bindloss
About the Expert

Joe Bindloss has written more than 30 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, Time Out and other publishers, with a focus on Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and island nations.

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Joe Bindloss for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Located in South West England, 107 miles south west of London.
  • Language: English
  • Currency: Pound sterling
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    April to October, but the Boscombe surf break performs best during winter storms.