Bournemouth Guide

Welcome to our Bournemouth Guide


Do the Pier to Pier walk and enjoy the gorgeous coast

Explore the tropical gardens at Alum Chine

Be brave and try some exciting watersports

Hit the International Centre for a great show

Take an evening stroll along the promenade

Have a laugh at Funnybone Comedy Club


Travelling to Bournemouth

Bournemouth Overview


Set on England’s south coast Bournemouth has excellent transport links throughout the country. With good train links, road connections and an airport it’s easy to get to no matter where you are travelling from.

By Rail

By Rail

Bournemouth has great train links throughout the UK, with several train providers offering services to the town. It is just an hour and a half from London and is superbly located for exploring Dorset and the South West.

By Road

By Road

Centrally located on the Dorset coast, Bournemouth is at the heart of a network of roads. With motorway access from the M3, and a host of A roads, including the A31 and A35, travelling to Bournemouth by road is simple.

By Air

By Air

Bournemouth Airport and Southampton Airport both provide excellent links to the town. With over 30 destinations internationally via Bournemouth Airport and 50 domestic & international destinations through Southampton Airport.

Getting Around in Bournemouth

Bournemouth Overview


Bournemouth’s compact town centre is easy to navigate. From the beautiful beaches to the Victorian Gardens there is plenty to explore. With superb bus services and picturesque bike paths getting out and about couldn’t be easier.

By Bus

By Bus

Bournemouth operates a great bus service offering easy access throughout the area plus with a Night Bus service running on Friday and Saturday through until 5am it’s the perfect way to get about.

By Taxi

By Taxi

From airport transfers to local taxi journeys, Bournemouth has a great selection of taxi firms to keep you on the move. To avoid un-reliable services check with your hotel in Bournemouth for their preferred service or have them book you a taxi.

By Bike

By Bike

There are plenty of beautiful cycle routes to enjoy in Bournemouth. From the beach promenade to the New Forest and the Poole Heritage Cycle Route there are plenty of reasons to get on your bike.


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The Norfolk Hotel

The Norfolk Hotel is a beautiful Edwardian building in the heart of Bournemouth. Just a short walk from Bournemouth’s picturesque gardens and award winning beaches the hotel provides a luxurious haven. Blending an elegant exterior with stylish rooms and friendly service the Norfolk Hotel is an ideal base for your break.

Getting to Bournemouth

Located on the south coast of England, Bournemouth boasts excellent transport links throughout the country. With good train links, road connections and an airport it’s easy to get to no matter where you are travelling from. Most road journeys will be taken via the M27 passing through the New Forest. It is strongly advised to either get there very early or even arrive the evening beforehand otherwise you will be sitting in traffic for a considerable length of time on the A31. There are frequent trains running from London, Manchester and Birmingham.

By Rail

By Rail

Bournemouth is well served by the rail network with two railway stations in the Borough - the main Bournemouth station and Pokesdown to the East. Crosscountry trains provide an excellent train service to and from various locations around the UK. Many train operators provide a comprehensive service to London Waterloo with a journey time of as little as 97 minutes. Other train lines serve destinations to the North with direct trains to Reading, Oxford, Birmingham & the Midlands, Manchester and the Northwest, Yorkshire (Sheffield, Leeds, York), Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow in Scotland. Bournemouth is accessible from all parts of the UK by train - check your local station for the best route to take.
By Road

By Road

Bournemouth is easily accessible by car, however why not consider leaving the car at home and making the most of Bournemouth's fantastic transport links? If you do decide to travel by car to the South Coast's premier resort make sure you plan your journey ahead of time and look into visiting the surrounding areas like the New Forest, Stonehenge and Salisbury. All of these places can also be visited by local tours, bus and coach services. Bournemouth is at the heart of a network of roads with motorway access from the M3, and a host of A roads, including the A31 and A35
By Air

By Air

Bournemouth Airport is a key national and international gateway to Southern England, annually serving around 600,000 passengers and 36 destinations. Bournemouth Airport and Southampton Airport both provide excellent links to the town and surrounding areas, and following a recent £45m makeover, the customer experience is of a high quality.

Getting Around Bournemouth

Thanks to its compact town centre, Bournemouth is easy to navigate. Whether it’s walking around on foot along the stunning promenades and beaches, or hiring a bike for a picturesque ride through the country, travelling around Bournemouth is a treat. With superb bus services and reasonable taxi fares, public transport isn’t the hassle it is in some cities. Make the most of what’s available and see as much of this beautiful destination as you can.

By Bus

By Bus

Bournemouth operates a great bus service offering easy access throughout the area plus with a Night Bus service running on Friday and Saturday through until 5am it’s the perfect way to get about. The two bus companies that operate in Bournemouth are run by Yellow Buses and Wilts and Dorset. Most of their services are every half an hour and serve Christchurch, Wimborne and Poole.
By Taxi

By Taxi

From airport transfers to local taxi journeys, Bournemouth has a great selection of taxi firms to keep you on the move. To avoid un-reliable services check with your hotel in Bournemouth for their preferred service or have them book you a taxi. Taxi services in Bournemouth are cheap for short journeys, with an initial charge of approximately £2. It is best to call for a cab, or queue at a rank near Holdenhurst for the best fare.
By Bike

By Bike

From scenic flats to strenuous hill rides, Bournemouth and the Dorset area is a magnet for cyclists. There are also several bike hire options if you haven’t got your own, making life easy. Bike hire and cycling is great for groups and can easily be catered for if organised in advance. There are plenty of beautiful cycle routes to enjoy in Bournemouth. From the beach promenade to the New Forest and the Poole Heritage Cycle Route there are plenty of reasons to get on your bike.

Shopping in Bournemouth

Bournemouth offers the shopper a fabulous day out full of great options for some retail therapy. Most of the town centre is pedestrianised with shops, boutiques, restaurants, cafes and coffee shops, so why no dip into the Avenue Shopping Centre to check out the latest in music, games, perfume and fashion, or venture into the old town centre, set against award winning gardens? Westbourne is an elegant district of Bournemouth located on the way to Poole and known affectionately as “The Village”. Offering a mix of design specialists, beauty stores and delicious delis and restaurants. Boscombe is another area of Bournemouth that should be explored for the quirky gift or bargain.

Top 5 Specialist Shops in Bournemouth

Fashion Shops


Giggi Gelateria, 10 Burlington Arcade, Bournemouth BH1 2HZ, England

Boasting what is claimed to be the best ice cream in England, Giggi Gelateria draws in thousands of visitors every year.


What Alice Found, 805 Christchurch Road, Bournemouth, BH7 6AP

An unusual vintage boutique, offering both men's and women's fashions, accessories and homeware, What Alice Found is a real treasure trove.


Up & Running, 442, Wimborne Road, Winton, Bournemouth, BH9 2HB

Bournemouth’s leading running and fitness shop, Up & Running can offer shoppers and informal but informative insight into what’s the best route for them.


Hollywood, 35 Castle Lane West Bournemouth, Dorset BH9 3LH

With an amazing ray of costumes and fancy-dress, Hollywood is the perfect place for some fun and laughter on your stay.


Russell & Bromley, 13-14 Westover Road, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH1 2BY

As one of the most successful British family brands Russell & Bromley and heralded as a leading force in luxury footwear and handbags.

Top 5 Best Shops in Bournemouth

Gift Shops


Coastal Creatives, 103 Southbourne Grove Southbourne BH6 3QY

Enjoy the recycled and unique arts on show or even commission your own piece. From seaside pottery to colourful jewellery, there’s lots to explore here.


House of Fraser, 24 Old Christchurch Road

With a huge host of brands available throughout the department store, there’s lots to keep everyone buy. In the centre of town it’s easy to reach too.


Westbourne Arcade, Poole Road

A wonderful mix of fashion boutiques and quirky gift stores, book shops and toy shops, this is the perfect retail destination for those bored of the high street chains.


Boscombe Vintage Market, The Royal Arcade

Showcasing some of the best vintage fashion, art, crafts and collectibles from local businesses in and around Bournemouth, this great market is held under two marquees at The Crescent, Boscombe.


Castlepoint Shopping Park, Castle Lane West, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH8 9UZ

The largest shopping park in the UK with many of the biggest stores in the region. It’s home to dozens of large High Street brands as well as restaurants and cafes.

Eating out in Bournemouth

As one of the UK’s most beautiful seaside destinations, you’d expect the seafood to be of the highest quality – It doesn’t disappoint. Fresh from the coastlines of Britain, crab, mussels and a whole host of fish is available daily. Alongside the delicious catch of the day is a great range of local restaurants, well-loved chain eateries and tasty take-out food to enjoy as you stroll the promenades. With over 250 restaurants covering all corners of gastronomic tastes, there’ll be something to keep even the pickiest of eaters happy.

Top 5 Treat Yourself Restaurants

Treat Yourself Restaurants


Koh Thai Tapas Restaurant, Daimler House, 38-40 Poole Hill, Bournemouth

Breaking the mould, this cool and urban restaurant encapsulates the authenticity of Thai cuisine with a unique twist.


The Crab at Bournemouth, Exeter Road, Bournemouth

The Crab at Bournemouth is Dorset’s finest AA rated two rosette seafood restaurant. Just moments from the pier, you won’t find seafood any fresher.


Langtry’s Restaurant at Langtry Manor, 26 Derby Road, East Cliff

Langtry's is the only fine dining establishment located within a royal manor previously owned and occupied by King Edward VII and his mistress Lillie Langtry.


The Terrace Bistro, Pavilion Theatre, Westover Road

The Terrace offers stunning views across the LowerGardens towards the bay. From the outdoor terrace seating area or behind the glass fronted exterior, enjoy a selection of local dishes and quality wines.


Highcliff Grill, St. Michael's Road, West Cliff, BH2 5DU

A popular seafood grill offering award winning cuisine in a breathtaking cliff top location. With the freshest seafood and most succulent steaks, boasting panoramic sea views across the bay, the Highcliff Grill provides the perfect ambience for relaxed dining.

Top 5 Family Restaurants

Family Friendly Restaurants


The Green Room, The Green House, 4 Grove Road

The Green Room’s ethos is of sustainability, finesse and passion. Using the freshest produce sourced from a 50 mile radius.


Bournemouth Pizza Co, St Swithun's Road

A firm favourite with locals and visitors alike, the Bournemouth Pizza Co have perfected the crispy base and offer strong, simple food for the whole family.


Chez Fred, 10 Seamoor Road, Westbourne

Voted ‘Britain’s Best Fish & Chip Shop’, diners can look forward to generous cuts of succulent fish coated in Fred's delicious top secret recipe batter.


La Stalla Restaurant, 270a Wallisdown Road

It doesn't look like much, but this superb Italian trattoria is incredibly popular, inspiring locals and visitors alike to return time and time again.


The Salad Centre, 667 Christchurch Road, Bournemouth

The dishes created here use only pure and natural ingredients. Highly popular with vegetarians and free from all artificial preservatives.

Bournemouth Nightlife

As a seaside destination you may be mistaken in thinking nightlife in Bournemouth is nothing special, but with such a rich vein of culture and entertainment galore, there’s always something to be doing. From concerts in the International Centre, to national Theatre shows in The Pavilion, there’s something for all tastes. If you don’t fancy sitting down all night, why not take in the beautiful scenery as it glows in the lights. Stroll along the promenade or go for a romantic walk on the beach. Whatever you do in Bournemouth, it’ll be special.

Top 10 Bournemouth Nightlife


Funnybone Comedy Club, 14 Queens Road, Bournemouth BH2 6BE, England

Enjoy the fun and laughter that echoes around the Funnybone comedy club, a great way to end an evening. 


O2 Academy Bournemouth, Christchurch Road, Bournemouth, BH1 4BH

An excellent place to catch a gig, this Grade-II listed building regularly hosts big stars from the indie music scene.


Bournemouth International Centre, Exeter Rd, Bournemouth BH2 5BH, England

From world class bands to local performance groups, the International Centre is a great place for talent.


Laser Quest, Glen Fern Rd | The Old Super Bowl, Bournemouth BH1 2LZ, England

Take the whole family for a round of laser quest and see who’s got the best aim. Fun for all ages.


Odeon Cinema, 35 - 43 Westover Road, Bournemouth BH1 2BZ , England

Enjoy a great range of the latest big budget hits, along with some delicious sugary popcorn.


Pavilion Theatre, Westover Road, Bournemouth

As well as being used as an exhibition centre, local theatre groups and well known actors all join together here for some truly inspirational performances.


Bournemouth Promenade

Take a stroll, take in the sea air and get as many photos as you can of this beautiful coastline.


Pavilion Dance, Westover Road, Bournemouth

Fancy trying something new? Get yourself to the Pavilion Dance studio and learn something completely different. You only live once.


Bournemouth Eye Balloon Flight

The best way to see just how beautiful the area is, especially with a sunset and candlelit champagne tour.


Try The Local Cuisine

The best thing about Bournemouth is the seafood. Visit the huge variety of restaurants available and sample the most amazing tastes you’ll find in Britain.

Bournemouth Bars

There’s a huge selection of bars, pubs and clubs in Bournemouth that make it a great destination for a night out regardless of your tastes. From live music venues to traditional real-ale pubs, dance-mad nightclubs to classy cocktail bars, there’s a great choice for you to explore. For something a little more unique, head to Heroes Karaoke Bar for an evening of entertainment and probably a few laughs along the way.

Top 10 Bournemouth Bars


Sixty Million Postcards, 19 – 21 Exeter Road, Bournemouth, BH2 5AF

A lively bar and club with great food and even some art exhibitions to boot. Very popular with locals and visitors alike.


Rubyz, Beacon Road, Bournemouth, BH2 5DB

A fun night out, this cabaret bar is famed for its flamboyant drag performances and a great place to grab a cocktail.


Walkabout, 156-164 Christchurch Road, Bournemouth, BH1 1NL

Bournemouth’s favourite live sports bar, Walkabout plays all of the big games and offers food and drink all day.


Flirt Café Bar, 21 The Triangle, Bournemouth,BH2 5RG

With an uber cool interior and unique style, Flirt is the hottest place to be when in Bournemouth


Bar So, Exeter Road, Bournemouth, BH2 5AG

Winners of the 2008 BEST BAR NONE award for Bournemouth, Bar So offers a contemporary feel with its dual level design and extensive terraced areas.


Lola Lo Tiki Bar, 3 Richmond Hill, Bournemouth, BH2 6HE

This popular themed bar will take you to Hawaii for the night - with fruity cocktails and fun events most nights of the week, Bournemouth's bright young things come to party here.


Aruba, Pier Approach, Bournemouth, BH2 5AA

A vibrant fusion of great food, drinks and atmosphere on the seafront, Aruba boasts the most elegant atmosphere around.


Heroes Karaoke Bar, 284 - 292 Old Christchurch Road, Bournemouth,BH1 1PH

It's great fun and even if you're not the next Christina Aguilera the fully stocked bar and comfortable seating make it a great place to visit.


The Litten Tree, 209-215 Old Christchurch Road, Bournemouth, BH1 1JZ

The place to be sports enthusiasts. With ten plasma screens and three extra large screens, you can be anywhere in the bar and never miss a second.


Bar:[ME], 134-136 Old Christchurch Road, Bournemouth, BH1 1NL

Together with an unbeatable party atmosphere, Bar Me has awesome resident DJs throughout the week and their very own photographers.

Bournemouth Attractions

As one of the UK’s most popular seaside destinations, Bournemouth’s beaches are an obvious highlight of what it has to offer. However, there is a lot more to the destination than what meets the eye. For the adventurous type there’s high wire assault courses and mountainous ski slopes to manoeuvre. For the animal lovers there’s a whole park dedicated to the care of chimpanzees, and for those wishing to enjoy the scenery there are a whole host of options just waiting for you to discover. 

Top 10 Bournemouth Attractions


Monkey World, Longthorns Wareham, Dorset BH20 6HH

65 acres of sanctuary for over 150 chimpanzees, Monkey World is a brilliant experience for the whole family.


Go Ape, Moors Valley Country Park Horton Road, Ashley Heath, Hampshire BH24 2ET

Continuing the monkey theme, why not climb high up into the trees and test your nerve across the forest high wires.


Christchurch Ski and Leisure Centre, Matchams Lane, Hurn, Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 6AW

Whether you’re an experienced skier or a complete novice, the Snowtrax centre gives you a taste of the action at whatever speed you want.


Oceanarium, Pier Approach West Beach, Bournemouth, Dorset BH2 5AA

The oceanarium brings you face to face with creatures of our own waters and from around the world.


Brownsea Island, Poole, Dorset BH13 7EE

Offering spectacular views and ideal picnic areas, BrownseaIsland is a perfect family day out.


Farmer Palmer’s, Wareham Road, Organford, Poole, Dorset BH16 6EU

From feeding the piglets to meeting a whole host of animals, this wonderful farm is a great experience for young children.


Compton Acres, 164 Canford Cliffs Road Poole, Dorset BH13 7ES

As well as its beautiful ten acres of gardens, there are exciting shopping opportunities, restaurants, a delicatessen and regular events.


Bournemouth Eye, The LowerGardens, BH1 2AQ

This giant, helium filled balloon lifts visitors 500 feet up into the air for a spectacular look at Bournemouth.


Splashdown, Tower Park Leisure Complex Poole, Dorset BH12 4NY

With fantastic rides, slides and pools this attraction is definitely one of the most fun around.


Adventure Wonderland, Merritown Lane Christchurch, Hurn, Christchurch, Dorset BH23 6BA

If you're a would-be Pirate, an intrepid Explorer, a Mad Hatter or just a plain old fashioned Fun Lover, then you and your family have got a real treat in store at Adventure Wonderland.

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There are loads of great events & reasons to visit Bournemouth and here are just a few!

  • 1

    Bandstand Performances - May to September

    Catch a live performance at Bournemouth’s iconic bandstand

  • 2

    Bournemouth Food and Drink Festival - June

    Come along and satisfy your inner foodie at this lively Bournemouth fest

  • 3

    Bournemouth Pier to Pier Swim - July

    Support the brave as they endure an open water swim in the English Channel

  • 4

    Bournemouth Air Festival - August

    Watch in awe as the RAF, Royal Navy and Royal Marines put on spectacular displays

  • 5

    Christmas Lights Switch On - November

    Get into the Christmas spirit with this very festive event in Bournemouth

Out and About in Bournemouth

Bournemouth Shopping

Shopping in Bournemouth Whether it’s the vibrant street markets of Boscome or the thriving high street in Bournemouth there are plenty of familiar and independent shops to choose from.

Eating Out in Bournemouth

Eating Out in Bournemouth From the freshest fish to cosy Italians, family favourites and romantic gems there is something to please all culinary tastes.

Bournemouth Nightlife

Bournemouth Nightlife With the Bournemouth International Centre, Pavilion and Pier theatre there is plenty of live music, West End shows and comedians to keep you entertained.

Bournemouth Bars

Bournemouth Bars From exotic cocktails and buzzing bars, to real ale and cosy pubs there is something to suit all tastes in Bournemouth’s town centre.

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