Heart of England
South of England
With its bustling pier and award-winning gardens, Bournemouth has long evolved from being a retirement capital – it is now a hub of activity with something for everyone. From golden sandy beaches to a sprawling shopping centre, you’ll never be bored when exploring this town. Read on to discover why Bournemouth should be one of your top places to visit this summer.
Bournemouth has a long and interesting history. It was uninhabited for many years due to its infertile land and was even described by the Duke of Rutland as a ‘barren and uncultivated heath.’ The potential of Bournemouth was recognised by Captain Lewis Tregonwell, whose wife fell in love with the area’s sandy beaches. Tregonwell established the town in 1810 and turned the coastal land into a health resort.
Its sprawling pine tree forests and sea air made it an attractive holiday destination and it was believed that a stay in the town could prevent tuberculosis. By the time Bournemouth was connected to a railway in 1870, the town had seen massive growth in visitors and was particularly popular with Londoners, who used the health resort as a getaway destination.
The perfect attraction for adrenaline junkies, the Rock Reef Activity centre is located on Bournemouth pier and boasts of a shore zip wire and multiple climbing walls. You can even try the leap of faith challenge – climb the 20 ft poll and jump from the plank for a true test of your nerves. For just £12 why not try the famous PierZip, with its 250-metre zip line. Its dual zip line means you can even race with family and friends!
Though not for the faint of heart, it offers amazing views of Bournemouth’s coastline. Satisfy your appetite at the Key West Bar & Grill which provides delicious USA themed lunches. Rock Reef Activity centre would suit adventurous families or friend groups and there’s a range of attractions. At just £29 for the ‘ultimate adventure’ ticket, it’s no wonder that Rock Reef is one of Bournemouth’s most popular attractions.
Bournemouth’s Oceanarium offers a fun fuelled day out for families; with over 150 species of fish to observe, there is little chance of being bored. Visitors can take a journey through Asia and Africa, as well as the Shark Wreck Reef and the Amazon. The Oceanarium transports you around the globe, even offering an interactive dive cage to have an up-close experience with the world’s scariest predator – the shark.
Children will love the penguin beach encounter, where feeding presentations are hosted. At just £29.95 for a family ticket, Bournemouth’s Oceanarium is a must visit.
One of the finest things about visiting a coastal town is the fresh fish dishes on offer; Sobo Fish offers locally caught seafood at very competitive prices. At just £15 for two courses, you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere else that offers such good value food. With warm and welcoming staff and a cosy atmosphere, Sobo Fish is the place to go for a delicious dinner. One review describes it as ‘one of the best fish restaurants I’ve ever eaten in’ – What’s not to love?
A visit to Bournemouth is a must for this summer season, with there being a wide range of activities that would suit all tastes. Families with young children would particularly benefit from a visit – make sure to pack a bucket and spade for Bournemouth’s golden beaches and take the time to visit Rock Reef and the Oceanarium.