PUBLISHED BY Paula
S un, sea and sand; Bournemouth truly is a haven. Not only does the seaside resort offer spectacular scenery and breathtaking beaches but it is home to a plethora of fascinating points of interest, making this a must-visit location when near the southern coast. This vibrant town is the perfect place for a staycation, either for a weekend or even a little longer. With shops and restaurants galore, as well as some hidden gems that are well worth the visit, discover how to spend 24 hours in Bournemouth with help from our guide below!
Where to walk
Situated on the Jurassic Coast of England, Bournemouth truly is unforgettable. Whether you choose to sit on the pristine white sand, watching as the turquoise waves lap the shore or wander cliffside amongst the flora and greenery, the beautiful backdrop that the town provides you is one that you’ll remember for a lifetime. Fortunately, the resort is home to a number of different walks that people of all abilities can tackle. From avid ramblers to people hoping to grab a spot of fresh air, you’ll be able to find the ideal route for you.
The unspoilt Dorset coastline can be viewed whilst enjoying many walks in Bournemouth. Hengistbury Head towards Christchurch has recently opened a visitor centre where you can observe artefacts. The Jurassic Coast is an important site for archaeology, geology and ecology and here, you can discover more about all three. The Site of Special interest also has a number of trails across the reserve that you can complete, offering views out over the water.
In Bournemouth’s town, there is a number of different gardens which are perfect if you’re looking to enjoy a quick afternoon stroll. The Victorian Garden is split into three sections, lower, central and upper, each providing visitors with something different. Covering 1.5 miles, the gardens are Grade II listed in the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens and a stroll through them can direct walkers all the way to Poole! If you’re looking to stay in the town, however, the Bournemouth Tree Trail is a circular walk through these gardens and takes two hours. Whilst there, stop and devour an ice cream or play a spot of mini golf before heading back through the rockery.
Where to visit
When looking for a place to shop, there are lots of options in Bournemouth. The Victorian-covered arcade is a popular option with a fantastic mix of high street retailers, gorgeous boutiques and quaint gift shops. With the town being home to some of the best short breaks in the UK , you’re bound to find the perfect souvenir whilst strolling through here. Other shopping destinations include the Burlington Arcade, which features some smaller, independent shops, or Castlepoint , boasting the largest shopping park in the country.
If you’re looking for the perfect evening activity, why not consider a trip to the theatre? The Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre opened in the 1920s and features a number of different shows across the year. The gorgeous art deco interiors ooze elegance and the large auditorium can seat over 1500 people in both the stalls and circle.
A trip to Bournemouth wouldn’t be complete without a visit to its gorgeous beach. The seven miles of golden sands are frequently ranked as the best in Britain and it’s easy to see why. With its lovely microclimate, many people flock to the shore to soak up the sun, basking in the warm breeze before heading onto the pier .
Where to eat
After a long day witnessing the best of what Bournemouth has to offer, you will undoubtedly be hungry and on the lookout for somewhere to satiate your stomach. Fortunately, Bournemouth is home to a plethora of incredible eateries, with mouth-watering menus calling your name! Picnic Park Deli is the ideal pick-me-up if you’re feeling peckish whilst in Westover Gardens. Aiming to turn the spot into a hub of creativity, their menu includes a selection of grilled cheese on sourdough sandwiches with toppings such as Gouda, chorizo, brie and avocado. A selection of sweets and ice cream can also be found at the deli or savour a crisp glass of wine whilst watching the entertainment.
Watch the waves crash and the tide come in from the comfort of Westbeach . Situated metres from the beach, the restaurant uses locally-sourced, fresh seafood for you to sample at this beautiful location. Mussels, scallops, clams and cockles, the chefs prepare intricate dishes with incredible flavours, truly showcasing the best of Bournemouth’s seafood.
Fancy a cocktail? The stunning NEO restaurant located in the heart of the town has one of Bournemouth’s chicest lounge bars. Here, you can sip on a luxurious drink carefully mixed with the finest hand-picked spirits whilst relaxing on the sun-kissed terrace. Or you can head inside, where their variety of menus offer culinary delights.
Things to do in Bournemouth
If you’re planning on heading to Bournemouth, make the most of your 24 hours there. From sampling fantastic food to sunbathing on its beaches, check out the list below of our recommendations of places to see, things to do and bites to eat!
• Hengistbury Head
• The Victorian Gardens
• The Bournemouth Tree Trail
• The Arcade
• Burlington Arcade
• Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre
• Bournemouth Beach and Pier
• Picnic Park Deli