Bournemouth – A Coastal Gem in England

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Bournemouth to Hengistbury Head
Bournemouth to Hengistbury Head

Yes, we certainly do have something to be proud of down here on the South Coast of England, surrounded by the beauty of the New Forest, the crashing waves of the English Channel and the award winning seven miles of golden sandy beaches.  All these factors would surely prove that Bournemouth has to be one of the happiest places to live in the UK.

There is an abundance of wonderful locations, events and experiences for visitors and residents alike to enjoy in and around this cosmopolitan town nestled beside the sea.

You’ll be spoilt for choice with the many excellent Bournemouth Hotels that stretch from the quiet and less populated beaches of Southbourne and historical Hengistbury Head to the more commercial sea view accommodations scattered along the Eastcliff.  Head on westwards a short distance and you’ll find yourself in popular Westcliff where you’ll discover a selection of traditional Bournemouth guesthouses.  This area is popular due to its close proximity to sandy Bournemouth Beach as well as the busy Bournemouth Shopping Centre, and pretty Bournemouth Gardens.

Journey Back In Time

The Dorset Coastline, known as the Jurassic Coast, is the only natural location in England that has been given World Heritage Site status, and for good reason.  The 95 miles of Jurassic rock upon which this coastal portion of Dorset sits holds secrets dating back as far as 180 million years ago.  Other World Heritage sites include the Grand Canyon, the Great Barrier Reef, the Pyramids and the Taj Mahal – so this is quite some honour!

Clifftops at Kimmeridge
Clifftops at Kimmeridge

Why not see it for yourself?  Take a drive to Kimmeridge Bay and walk upon these age-old rocks imagining all they have seen and experienced during their millions of years of existence.  Try your hand at fossil hunting for the Dorset area is known as one of the prime spots for fossil hunters in Europe, the best locations being Charmouth and Lyme Regis.

Other historical sites of interest in the Bournemouth area include Hengistbury Head, a local nature reserve which has been designated a protected special area of conservation due to the large variety of wildlife that reside there throughout the year, as well as for the history surrounding the site – ancient settlers dating back as far as 12,500 years ago once lived on this spot though at that time the land extended further into the sea and thus the settlement was located further inland.  However, erosion has played its hand and now Hengistbury sits on the very edge of the English Channel.

Fossil Hunting at Kimmeridge
Fossil Hunting at Kimmeridge

The reserve is a beautiful location to visit if you have a spare couple of hours whilst in Bournemouth.  Take a walk to the top of Hengisbury Head to enjoy stunning views of Christchurch, Mudeford and the Isle of Wight, and on your way back down the hill stop off at The Hiker Café to enjoy a delicious leisurely lunch or tasty Cappuccino.

And finally, a visit to the historical town of Christchurch where one can wander around the wonderful Norman ruins of Christchurch Castle, or visit Place Mill, the Anglo-Saxon Watermill on the quayside.   From the quay one can take a short ferry ride over to Mudeford and Hengistbury Head, and also to neighbouring Wick, – this service being historical itself since it first began transporting villagers around 1880.  In the summer months pack up a picnic to take with you whilst you sit and soak up the rays and enjoy the comings and goings of the Christchurch swans and other wildlife, as well as local sailors and fisherman enjoying Christchurch Harbour.

Return to the BeachBeach Huts at Bournemouth Beach

After all this gallivanting around historical Dorset, a little rest and relaxation are in order so pack up your beach bag and head for the soft sand and glistening waters of the English Channel.  Many of our Bournemouth Beaches hold Blue Flag status for meeting high standards of cleanliness in water quality and environment management.

Enjoy the warmth of the sun and take a stroll from Bournemouth Beach Pier to Boscombe Pier grabbing an ice cream along the way as you pass the vibrantly coloured beach huts that adorn the boardwalk.

And finally, to round off the day following a delicious dinner at one of the many fine restaurants Bournemouth has to offer, how about taking in a show at the BIC (Bournemouth International Centre).

So much more

This is just the tip of the iceberg as there is so much more to enjoy when you visit Bournemouth such as:

  • The beautiful New Forest with vast open spaces and of course the New Forest ponies;
  • Stunning Corfe Castle that sits upon a hill at its most beautiful during sunrise, and sunset;
  • In the summer months, Firework displays can be enjoyed every Friday evening from the cliff-tops above Bournemouth Beach;
  • There’s the Ferry to the Isle of Wight, or Brownsea Island, and finally
  • if visiting in September then take a drive out to Blandford Forum for the Great Dorset Steam Fair – fun for all the family.

So treat yourself to a few days away from the day-to-day and enjoy all the goodies that Bournemouth and Dorset have to offer

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