Bournemouth Guide

Bournemouth is a delightful seaside town on England’s south coast. In comparison to towns around it, like Dorset and Hampshire, Bournemouth is relatively new. Until the 19th century it remained unoccupied heathland and its only guests were fisherman, turf cutters, hunters, and pirates. In 1805, the Enclosure Commissioner’s Award transferred ownership to Sir George Ivison Tapps, who then divvied it out to a few close friends including army retiree Lewis Tregonwell. The Tregonwell’s were the first to build a home here as well as a handful of villas for friends and family to enjoy. Under Tapps supervision, Tregonwell also planted dozens of pine trees so that his wife could enjoy a shaded walk to the water. The trees still stand and are known as the Invalids Walk today. By the time Tregonwell passed away in 1832, the heaths had a smattering of homes and the tiny village was showing a lot of promise as a future resort town.

When Tapps died, his son Sir George William Tapps-Gervais took over development in 1835. The town grew rapidly as a seaside resort town like its coastal counterparts Weymouth and Brighton. By the mid 1800s the fields were drained and many paths, walkways, and small rest areas were laid out. Today they are known as the Square, Pleasure Gardens, Winter Gardens and the Pier. By the time all plans were completed in 1880, Bournemouth was attracting thousands of visitors; many prestigious at that including Frankenstein novelist Mary Shelley, famed writer Oscar Wilde, and plenty of royalty.

Modern Bournemouth is still a pleasurable place to stay with its many gardens, stunning wildlife sanctuaries, cultural activities, and relaxed ocean town atmosphere.

When to go

Bournemouth does not experience dramatic changes in temperature but rather a mild, temperate climate. December is the coldest month at about 3° C (37°F) and July is the warmest at 22°C (72°F).

Spring and summertime are the best times to come to Bournemouth. In the spring all of the lush gardens in the area are just bursting with fragrance and color. By summer, the weather peaks with near perfect days. Bournemouth suburb Boscombe will soon be the recipient of England’s first artificial surf reef, making an even better argument to come here during the summertime.

These months also brim with additional activities like the handful of sports clubs located here and several festivals; the newest being the Bournemouth Air Festival that began in 2007.

Getting there

Bournemouth is well connected to the rest of the world.

Drivers can access the town by way of several main roadways including the M27 which connects it to the rest of southern England and the M3 which leads to London. There are also plenty of coach trips to and from the Victoria Coach Station in London.

Two major bus companies provide area access. They are Wilts and Dorset and Transdev Yellow Buses.

Bournemouth station serves London Waterloo, Southhampton, Winchester, and Basingstoke in the easterly direction and Poole, Wareham, Dorchester, and Weymouth to the west. Virgin trains take travelers to the Northern towns of Reading, Oxford, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Manchester, Yorkshire, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow. People can also make their way southbound by riding the “West Coastway” services and changing over at the Southampton Central station to get to Chichester, Worthing, Hove, and Brighton and then further onward to Gatwick Airport and London Victoria.

The Bournemouth International Airport is actually located in nearby Hurn. Passengers can snag direct flights to any major city in Europe from here. The airport also provides taxis and a 20 minute ride to the town center is roughly £15.

Bournemouth can also be reached by ferry and several companies including Condor, Brittany and P&O Ferries have regular trips and all dock less than an hour from Bournemouth. Each port contains direct access to Bournemouth.

Getting around

The Bournemouth and Pokesdown stations are the main railways that took travelers to local destinations in and around Bournemouth.

If you are driving and need a place to park your vehicle, there are several public car parks situated near the Talbot and Lansdowne campuses. 

There are also many pedestrian streets and beautiful pathways throughout Bournemouth.

Bournemouth is also a great cycling location that offers secure bike locks for travelers.

Taxis can be called upon request.

However, the best way to get around is by coach or bus. There are stations and car parks at King’s Park, Queens Road, Westover Road, Bournemouth International Centre, Exeter Road, and the Travel Interchange. The bus company Wilts & Dorset also operates a service called Unilinx. Though it is aimed at students, it runs between the campuses and makes stops in Bournemouth, Poole, and Boscombe.


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