Trains to Bournemouth


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Just 28 minutes from Southampton

With 7 miles of award-winning sandy beach, all lined with promenades, gardens and iconic piers, Bournemouth revels in all the trappings of the traditional English seaside resort. But it’s also becoming one of our coolest coastal towns with the arrival of chic beach huts, hip independent cafés and restaurants, and relaxed boutique family hotels. On a sunny summer’s day, it’s Britain’s buzzing answer to Bondi beach – a thriving Dorset town that’s a perfect base for a holiday, weekend break or day trip.

Attractions

Book a train ticket and you’ll discover that Bournemouth’s fabulous stretch of sandy beach, fringed by miles of sparkling sea, is genuinely breathtaking, and is perfect for the simple pleasures of a bucket and spade. But if you like your seaside stays a little more active, there’s plenty of water-based wow-factor, from surfing to kayaking and paddle-boarding, all available to try at the Sorted Watersports Centre. They even offer bike hire for those wanting to soak up the full 7 miles of beach on 2 wheels.

There’s plenty of fun to be had on the piers too, from a round of mini-golf on the recently restored Boscombe Pier, with its specially hand-crafted musical instruments, to the exhilarating Pierzip zip-wire ride at Bournemouth Pier, a thrilling way to get from pier to shore, 25 metres above the waves. It’s part of RockReef, an all weather adventure sports centre with indoor climbing walls, drop slides and much more.

Away from the sand and sea, stroll through Bournemouth’s gorgeous, 2 mile long Gardens, dotted with attractions such as tennis courts, mini-golf, a bandstand, art installations, and most importantly ice-cream kiosks.

And to truly get away from it all, explore the Russell-Cotes house, gallery and garden on the cliff top, a lavish Victorian seaside villa filled with beautiful objects and art from the Russell-Cotes family travels around the world in the early 19th century.

A street in Carlisle
Bournemouth Beach Front
Restaurants

Tucking into locally-sourced rock oysters as the sun sets, overlooking the stunning seascape, takes some beating. Which is why Urban Reef’s Dorset-themed local and seasonal a la carte menu, available right on the beach at Boscombe Promenade, is a dining experience not to be missed. Talking of seasonal and local, Arbor’s award-winning food “straight from the farm gate and fresh off the trawlers” zings with flavour. And for a slightly more formal meal, head to No.34, where Michelin-starred head chef Jean Gysemans works wonders with his Basque take on contemporary European cuisine.

Hotels

Bournemouth boasts a select range of chic boutique hotels just a stone’s throw from the sandy beach. The Green House is the luxurious and feel-good option – its pleasingly eco-friendly principles extending to reclaimed Victorian roll-top baths. Smaller and just as interesting is the family-friendly Urban Beach – its 12 unique rooms are the perfect place to unwind after a day by the sea. And for sea views, try The Cumberland Hotel – a standout art deco inspired clifftop hotel with some tremendous balconies and its own lido. Even closer to the sea, Bournemouth Council’s innovative new beach-hut lodges are chic, modern, and sleep up to 4 adults and 2 children.

Shopping

Bournemouth’s famously relaxed atmosphere can also be found in its unique shopping quarters, featuring several grand Victorian arcades. Start in the town centre at Bournemouth Arcade, and stroll around its famous upmarket retail chains, including jewellers, clothing companies, cosmetic brands and the House of Fraser department store. It also connects 2 of the town’s popular shopping streets packed with high street shopping names – Westover Road’s designer stores mean locals call it “Bournemouth’s Bond Street”. For more characterful independent stores try Westbourne’s impressive Victorian arcade, stacked with fashion boutiques, homewares (including those at the impressive Scape), and cafés, while Bournemouth’s intriguing and atmospheric vintage quarter, offering antiques and arty shops, is in quirky Pokesdown.

Travel Links

Set back from the beach, Bournemouth station offers convenient links for the rest of your journey, with frequent buses to the town centre and the airport, and connections with National Express coach routes. PlusBus is available for an add-on fare of £3.50, and there’s also a taxi rank, nearby car hire, and car parking for 329 vehicles.


For more ideas on what to do in Bournemouth, see Visit Bournemouth.

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