If you ever wanted to experience a traditional British seaside town on the south coast of England, then Bournemouth is the place to go.
The characteristics of such town are, a beach next to the crashing waves of the sea, a pier full of games and rides, an arcade also suitable for children, ice-cream (preferably a ‘99’ with a flake) and sticks of rock.
Bournemouth comes fully equipped with all this and more!
What is the beach like in Bournemouth
Bournemouth is a large coastal town with 7 miles of soft golden award winning sandy beaches and sparkling sea.
The beaches are extremely clean and well looked after which makes for a safe, pleasant day out for all the family.
Area – 46.18 sq. km
Bournemouth beach – Sandy beach 7 miles long
Deck chairs – Over 3000 deck chairs approx.
Average sunshine – 7.7 hours a day which attracts over 4.7 million tourists per year
Awards and recommendations – Four European Blue Flags and two Quality Coast Awards
Fun Bournemouth Facts
Beatles – Beatles played their most concerts in Bournemouth after Liverpool and London
Famous Authors – JRR Tolkein lived in Bournemouth!
Ice creams – Over 750,000 ice creams are sold in the Bournemouth sea front every year!
Winston Churchill – at the age of 18, Winston Churchill was believed to have fallen 29 feet from a bridge in Bournemouth which left him unconscious for 3 days in an event which could have the changed the course of world history!
Airports – Bournemouth International, Southampton Airport
Train station -Bournemouth Railway Station
The water quality at Bournemouth beach is rated “Excellent” by the Environment Agency based on the samples collected between 2016 and 2019.
So you have the full peace of mind when thinking of going for a swim and a splash. To accompany your experience on the beach, you can hire deck chairs, parasols, sunbeds, windbreaks and beach huts.
All you have to do is help yourself and a beach attendant will collect the charge later. You can also buy beach balls, buy Frisbees and buy buckets and spades all along the promenade.
A brief history of tourism in Bournemouth
The growth of Bournemouth developed increasingly from the late 19th Century with the advancement of the railway.
Consequently, Bournemouth became a tourist destination for people especially from London and The Midlands and therefore the cast iron pier was finished in the 1880.
The pier now accommodates traditional rides such as the Helter-Skelter and games such as ‘Hook-a Duck’ and ‘prize every time’. Additionally, the arcade has everything from traditional air hockey and coin pushers to modern soft toy cranes and multiplayer video games.
The opening times in the summer are from 10am-10pm, 7 days a week, providing timeless fun for all the family.
Other places to visit in and near Bournemouth
Why not make the most of the sunshine and not only spend the day at the seaside, but visit Bournemouth’s award winning gardens as well. There are three areas to the Victorian gardens; the Lower Gardens are next to the sea which then leads to the Central Gardens in the town centre and finally, the Upper Gardens.
There are many summer events and attractions taking place in the Lower Gardens such as concerts at the Pine Walk Bandstand and the Aviary.
So, for a great day out or even better, a short break at the seaside, visit Bournemouth!
There is a wide variety of available accommodation whether you are searching for self-catering, caravan parks, cheap camp sites, bed and breakfast or high standard hotels.
During high peak season, most of the tourist accommodation only accepts 2 nights booking, however, with so much to do in Bournemouth; you will not run out of fun family activities. So, what are you waiting for? Plan that trip to Bournemouth and View Britain at its best!
How to get to Bournemouth
Getting to Bournemouth by car and parking
The closest car parks to the pier at Bournemouth are Bath Road South and North car parks.
The post code for Bath road car parks for your satnav/GPS is: BH1 2EW
Prices for parking as of Oct 2020 were as follows:
High Season (1 April to 31 October)
Up to 1 hour – £2.70
Up to 2 hours – £5.40
Up to 3 hours – £8.10
Up to 4 hours – £10.80
Up to 6 hours – £16.20
Up to 24 hours – £20.00
Winter (1 November to 31 March)
Up to 1 hour – £1.70
Up to 2 hours – £3.20
Up to 3 hours – £4.60
Up to 4 hours – £5.80
Up to 6 hours – £9.20
Up to 24 hours – £14.80
In the peak summer season, you may struggle to find parking space in the Bath road car parks. So it is always a good idea to note down a few other options for parking near Bournemouth beach in case Bath road was full.
You can visit the official Bournemouth website where you will find a full list of car parks and maps:
Here are a few other car parks close to Bournemouth beach:
NCP car park, Terrace road is only 0.3 miles or 8 approximately 8 mins walk from the beach. NCP car park on Terrace Road can be a good alternative if you can’t find space in Bath road.
Post code for NCP Car Park Terrace road at Bournemouth is: BH2 5NN
As an alternative, you can also try parking in Undercliff Drive car parks. This is basically the most accessible option for parking if you are going to Bournemouth beach for a swim. However, please not that these parking spots go very quickly. So you may want to go for a quick drive first on the Undercliff Drive to test you luck. If you can’t find any space, then you can fall back on Bath road or NCP options mentioned above.
To access Undercliff Drive parking spots, you will have to drive via Boscombe Pier roundabout.
Post code for Undercliff Drive car park, Bournemouth is: BH5 1BN
There are 700 spaces in total at Udnercliff drive car park, but as mentioned earlier, these can go pretty quickly so be prepared to fall back to Bath road or NCP as mentioned above.
Map of Bournemouth Pier and Car parks
Getting to Bournemouth beach by train:
If you are planning to take the train to Bournemouth, then the closest station to the Bournemouth beach and pier will be Bournemouth Station.
Bournemouth station is approximately 1.3 miles or 28 mins walk from the pier. You can also take a taxi from the station which will cost you somewhere in the region of £6 – £9.
If you are travelling down to Bournemouth from London, then you will have to take the train from London Waterloo. The total journey time to Bournemouth from London Waterloo on train is approx. 1 hour 51 minutes. The journey involves one change at Basingstoke.
The ticket prices vary by the time of day and if its weekend or not. You can expect to pay anywhere between £25 and £60 per person for a return trip from London to Bournemouth. To plan your train journey to Bournemouth, you can use National Rail journey planner for train times and prices here: