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Coordinates: 50°43′01″N 1°52′44″W / 50.717°N 1.879°W / 50.717; -1.879

Bournemouth 01.JPG
Bournemouth Beach and Pier
Bournemouth is located in Dorset

 Bournemouth shown within Dorset
Population 163,444 [1]
OS grid reference SZ086909
    - London  108 miles (174 km) 
Unitary authority Bournemouth
Shire county Dorset
Region South West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district BH1 - BH11
Dialling code 01202
Police Dorset
Fire Dorset
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament Bournemouth East
Bournemouth West
List of places: UK • England • Dorset

Bournemouth (About this sound pronunciation ) is a large coastal resort town in the county of Dorset, England. The town has a population of 163,444 according to the 2001 Census, making it the largest settlement in Dorset. It is also the largest settlement between Southampton and Plymouth. With Poole and Christchurch it forms the South East Dorset conurbation, which has a total population of approximately 400,000.

Founded in 1810 by Lewis Tregonwell, Bournemouth's growth accelerated with the arrival of the railway, becoming a recognised town in 1870. Originally part of Hampshire, it joined Dorset with the reorganisation of local government in 1974. Since 1997 the town has been administered by a unitary authority, meaning that it has autonomy from Dorset County Council.

Bournemouth's location on the south coast of England has made it a popular destination for tourists.[citation needed] The town is a regional centre of business, home of the Bournemouth International Centre and financial companies that include: Liverpool Victoria and Standard Life Healthcare.

In a 2007 survey by First Direct Bank, Bournemouth was found to be the happiest place in Britain with 82% of people questioned saying they were happy with their life.[2]



Bournemouth is located 105 miles (169 km) southwest of London at 50°43′N 1°53′W / 50.72°N 1.88°W / 50.72; -1.88. A roundabout at the end of the Wessex Way road called "County Gates" (commonly known as Frizzell roundabout after the insurance brokers based there, now part of Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society) marks the historic border between Hampshire and Dorset, and also the border between Bournemouth and Poole.

The urban geography of Bournemouth is complex: the town adjoins Poole in the west and Christchurch in the east to form the South East Dorset conurbation. The combined population is 383,713, and it is a retail and commercial centre. To the north west of Bournemouth is the small town of Wimborne and to the north east is the settlement of Ferndown. Bournemouth International Airport lies to the north east, towards Hurn. The town is intersected by the A338 dual carriageway, known as the "Wessex Way".

Although Bournemouth is on the coast, the centre of the town lies inland - the commercial and civil heart of the town being The Square. From the Square the Upper and Lower Pleasure Gardens descend to the seafront and the pier. Areas within Bournemouth include Bear Cross, Boscombe, Kinson, Pokesdown, Westbourne and Winton. Traditionally a large retirement town, Bournemouth (mostly the Northbourne, Southbourne and Tuckton areas of Bournemouth together with the Wallisdown, and Talbot Village areas of Poole) has seen massive growth in recent years, especially through the growth of students attending Bournemouth University and the large number of language schools teaching English as a foreign language.

The Boscombe Pier, built in 1888. Boscombe is a suburb of Bournemouth.

Bournemouth is located directly to the east of the Jurassic Coast, a 95-mile (153 km) section of beautiful and largely unspoilt coastline recently designated a World Heritage Site. Apart from the beauty of much of the coastline, the Jurassic Coast provides a complete geological record of the Jurassic period and a rich fossil record.[3] Bournemouth sea front overlooks Poole Bay and the Isle of Wight. Bournemouth also has 7 miles (11 km) of sandy beaches that run from Hengistbury Head in the east to Sandbanks, in Poole, in the west.

Because of the coastal processes that operate in Poole Bay, the area is often used for surfing. An artificial reef (Europe's first) was expected to be installed at Boscombe, in Bournemouth, by October 2008, using large sand-filled geotextile bags. However, this deadline was not met, and the construction was actually finished at the end of October 2009. The Boscombe Reef was constructed as part of the larger Boscombe Spa Village development.[4] Bournemouth also has several chines (e.g. Alum Chine) that lead down to the beaches and form a very attractive feature of the area. The beaches are subdivided by groynes.


Due to its location on the south coast, Bournemouth has a temperate climate with moderate variation in annual and daily temperatures: from 1971 to 2000 the annual mean temperature was 10.2 to 12 °C (50 to 54 °F).[5] The warmest months are July and August, which have an average temperature range of 12 to 22 °C (54 to 72 °F), while the coolest months are January and February, which have an average temperature range of 2 to 8 °C (36 to 46 °F).[6] Average rainfall in Bournemouth is 592.6 millimetres (23.33 in), well below the national average of 1,126 millimetres.

Climate data for Bournemouth, Dorset, England
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 8
Average low °C (°F) 2
Precipitation mm (inches) 62.9
Source: MSN[6]


Historically Bournemouth was part of Hampshire, with Poole just to the west of the border. At the time of the 1974 local government re-organisation, it was considered desirable that the whole of the Poole/Bournemouth urban area should be part of the same county. Bournemouth therefore became part of the non-metropolitan county of Dorset on 1 April 1974. On 1 April 1997, Bournemouth became a unitary authority, independent from Dorset County Council. For the purposes of the Lieutenancy it remains part of the ceremonial county of Dorset.

For local elections the district is divided into 18 wards,[7] and the Bournemouth Borough Council is elected every four years. The Council elects the Mayor and Deputy Mayor annually.[8] For 2009-2010, the Mayor of Bournemouth is Mrs. Beryl Baxter.[9]


A statue near the seafront, of Lewis Tregonwell, the founder of the original settlement which became Bournemouth.

The Dorset and Hampshire region surrounding Bournemouth has been the site of human settlement for thousands of years. However, in 1800 the Bournemouth area was largely a remote and barren heathland. No-one lived at the mouth of the Bourne River and the only regular visitors were a few fishermen, turf cutters and gangs of smugglers until the 16th century. During the Tudor period the area was used as a hunting estate, 'Stourfield Chase', but by the late 18th century only a few small parts of it were maintained, including several fields around the Bourne Stream and a cottage known as Decoy Pond House, which stood near where The Square is today.[10]

With the exception of the estate, until 1802 most of the Bournemouth area was common land. The Christchurch Inclosures Act 1802 and the Inclosure Commissioners' Award of 1805 transferred hundreds of acres into private ownership for the first time. In 1809, the Tapps Arms public house appeared on the heath. A few years later, in 1812, the first residents, retired army officer Lewis Tregonwell and his wife, moved into their new home built on land he had purchased from Sir George Ivison Tapps. Tregonwell began developing his land for holiday letting by building a series of sea villas.[10] In association with Tapps, he planted hundreds of Pine trees, providing a sheltered walk to the beach (later to become known as the 'Invalids walk'). The town would ultimately grow up around its scattered pines. In 1832 when Tregonwell died, Bournemouth had grown into small community with a scattering of houses, villas and cottages.[10]

Bournemouth Town Hall was built in the Victorian period, originally serving as a hotel for visitors to the town.

In 1835, after the death of Sir George Ivison Tapps, his son Sir George William Tapps-Gervis inherited his father's estate. Bournemouth started to grow at a faster rate as George William started developing the seaside village into a resort similar to those that had already grown up along the south coast such as Weymouth and Brighton.[10] In 1841, the town was visited by the physician and writer Augustus Granville. Granville was the author of The Spas of England, which described health resorts around the country. As a result of his visit, Dr Granville included a chapter on Bournemouth in the second edition of his book. The publication of the book, as well as the growth of visitors to the seaside seeking the medicinal use of the seawater and the fresh air of the pines, helped the town to grow and establish itself as an early tourist destination.[10]

The Bournemouth Pleasure Gardens, laid out in the 1840s and 1860s. The Victorian Folly was added later.
The Bournemouth War Memorial, built in 1921, located in the Bourne gardens.

In the 1840s the fields south of the road crossing (later Bournemouth Square) were drained and laid out with shrubberies and walks. Many of these paths including the 'Invalids walk' remain in the town today; forming part of the Pleasure Gardens which extend for several miles along the Bourne stream. The Pleasure Gardens were originally a series of garden walks created in the fields of the owners of the Branksome Estate in the 1860s. In the early 1870s all the fields were leased to the Bournemouth Commissioners by the freeholders.[10] Parliament approved the Bournemouth Improvement Act in 1856. Under the Act, a board of 13 Commissioners was established to build and organise the expanding infrastructure of the town, such as paving, sewers, drainage, street lighting and street cleaning.

During the late 19th century the town continued to develop. The Winter Gardens were finished in 1875 and the cast iron Bournemouth pier was finished in 1880. The arrival of the railways allowed a massive growth of seaside and summer visits to the town, especially by visitors from the Midlands and London. In 1880 the town had a population of 17,000 people but by 1900, when railway connections were at their most developed to Bournemouth, the town's population had risen to 60,000.[10] It was also during this period that the town became a favourite location for visiting artists and writers. The town was improved greatly during this period through the efforts of Sir Merton Russell-Cotes, the town's Mayor and a local philanthropist. He helped establish the town's first library and museum. The Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum was housed in his mansion and after his death it was given to the town.

As Bournemouth's growth increased in the early 20th century, the town centre spawned theatres, cafés, two art deco cinemas and more hotels. Other new buildings included the War Memorial in 1921 and the Bournemouth Pavilion, the towns concert hall and grand theatre finished in 1925. The town escaped great damage during the Second World War but saw a period of decline as a seaside resort in the post war era.

In 1985, Bournemouth became the first town in the United Kingdom to introduce and use CCTV cameras for public street-based surveillance.[11][12]

Literature references

Bournemouth appears as Sandbourne in Thomas Hardy's novels. Tess lived in Sandbourne with Alec d'Urberville, and the town also features in The Well-Beloved and Jude the Obscure. It is also mentioned in So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish, the fourth book of the Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy. In James Herbert's horror novel The Fog, the entire population of Bournemouth runs into the sea and drowns in a mass suicide. In Andy McDermott's thriller The Secret of Excalibur, a car chase through the town centre and beach front leads to the destruction of the IMAX Cinema. It is also mentioned in Roald Dahl's The Witches as the setting for the Hotel Magnificent.

The Grave of writer Mary Shelley and her parents including Mary Wollstonecraft in St. Peter's Church, Bournemouth.

J.R.R. Tolkien, the writer, spent 30 years taking holidays in Bournemouth, staying in the same room at the Hotel Miramar, with a second room to write in. He eventually retired to the area in the 1960s with his wife Edith.[13] Tolkien died in September 1973 at his home in Bournemouth and was buried in Oxfordshire.[14]

Mary Shelley, the writer and novelist is buried in St. Peter's Church, her son Sir Percy having settled at Boscombe Manor. Also buried at St Peter's is the heart of Mary's husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley, brought back from Italy, and her parents William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft, their remains having been moved there from St Pancras Old Church.[15]

The town was especially rich in literary associations during the late nineteenth century and earlier years of the twentieth century. Oscar Wilde and Paul Verlaine both taught at Bournemouth preparatory schools. Robert Louis Stevenson wrote The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and most of his novel Kidnapped from his house "Skerryvore" on the west cliff. Count Vladimir Chertkov established a colony of Russian exiles in Iford Waterworks at Southbourne, and under the 'Free Age Press' imprint, published the first edition of several works by Tolstoy, however the author himself never visited the town.

Culture and recreation

The Bournemouth International Centre (BIC) is a national conference and music venue in the town.
Bournemouth Pier including the Pier Theatre

Bournemouth is a tourist and regional centre for leisure, entertainment, culture and recreation. The award winning Central Gardens are a separate major public park, leading for several miles down the valley of the River Bourne through the centre of the town to the sea (reaching the sea at Bournemouth Pier) and include the Pleasure Gardens and the area surrounding the Pavilion and the now closed IMAX Cinema. It has a thriving youth culture, including a high university population and many language school students. With the advent of the Boscombe Overstrand, the seeds of a dynamic new business culture revolving around new media and surfing have begun to emerge. Bournemouth also has a well established gay scene comprising of a cluster of bars, restaurants, The Bondi (the South's only exclusively GLBT Hotel) and nightclubs all centred around the Triangle in the centre of the town. Bournemouth is known for its popularity with pensioners and it has many residential care homes.

The Bournemouth International Centre (BIC), is a popular venue for the conferences of the major political parties. The centre hosted the Labour Party conference in 2003 and 2007, the Conservative Party conference in 2006, and the Liberal Democrat conference in 2008 and 2009[16] The BIC also hosts theatrical productions and musical concerts.[17]

The Russell-Cotes Museum is located just to the east of the Central Gardens near the Pavilion Theatre and next to the Royal Bath Hotel. The museum includes many 19th century paintings and the family collections acquired when travelling especially in Japan and Russia. It was Russell Cotes who successfully campaigned to have a promenade built; it runs continuously along the Bournemouth and Poole shoreline.

The cover sleeve for "All Around the World" by Oasis was shot at Bournemouth, it features 4 of the bandmates standing on the beach and looking up towards to the sky, while the words "All Around The World" are written in the sand.


Bournemouth contains places of worships for many denominations. The town has several examples of Victorian church architecture. These include St Stephen's church, which was built for services under the influence of the Oxford Movement and was finished in 1898.[18] Also included is the Richmond Hill St Andrew's Church, part of the United Reformed Church. The Church was built in 1865 and enlarged in 1891.[19]

The town is also the home to a large Jewish community with three Synagogues. Chabad-Lubavitch of Bournemouth, a branch of the world-wide movement. The Bournemouth Reform Synagogue, formerly known as Bournemouth New Synagogue. It is a Reform Jewish synagogue with over 700 members.[20][21] There is also the architecturally notable Bournemouth Hebrew Congregation.


Fitness First Stadium at Dean Court

The town has a professional football club, AFC Bournemouth, who play in League Two, and Bournemouth F.C. who play in the Wessex League Premier Division. AFC Bournemouth play at the Fitness First Stadium (historically known as Dean Court) near Boscombe in Kings' Park, 2 miles (3 km) east of the town centre. The Westover and Bournemouth Rowing Club is the town's coastal rowing club situated on the West Beach next to the Oceanarium. The oldest sporting club in Bournemouth, it competes in regattas organised by the Hants and Dorset Amateur Rowing Association that take place on the South Coast of England between May and September.[22] Bournemouth Rugby Club, who compete in the South West Division One, has its home at the Bournemouth Sports Club located next to Bournemouth Airport.[23] The Bournemouth Cricket Club, also situated next to the airport is one of Dorset's largest cricket clubs. Their 1st team play in the Southern Premier League.[24]

Recently, the Bournemouth International Centre has become a venue for a round of the Premier League Darts Championship organised by the Professional Darts Corporation. It was rated as one of the favourites to become the new host for the PDC World Championships as the last site, Circus Tavern, could not hold the growing numbers of fans.[citation needed]

Bournemouth also has a thriving watersports community with its beaches having great conditions for Windsurfing and Kitesurfing. On a windy day you can see many kitesurfers and windsurfers out enjoying the waves all the way along the beach from Hengistbury head to Sandbanks, and there are quite a few local schools for the beginner to learn either sport. There is a local Kiteboarding club, Bournemouth Boarding,[25] which is growing in popularity and is recognised by the BKSA.[26] There is a yearly Festival, Animal Windfest, held at the end of the beach on Sandbanks in nearby Poole which includes Kitesurfing and Windsurfing competitions along with zapcat racing and other spectacles.[27]


The main shopping streets in the centre of town are just behind the seafront on either side of the River Bourne; footpaths lead down to the sea from The Square through the lower section of Bournemouth Central Gardens.

The shopping streets are mostly pedestrianised and lined with a wide range of boutiques, stores, jewellers and accessory shops. There are stores (Beales, Dingles, Debenhams, Marks and Spencer, BHS), modern shopping malls, Victorian arcades (including the Victorian Arcade between Westover Road and Old Christchurch Road), and a large selection of bars, clubs and cafés. About a mile to the west of the town centre, in the district of Westbourne, there is a selection of designer clothes and interior design shops. About a mile to the east, in the district of Boscombe, there is another major shopping area including many antiques shops and a street market. North of the centre there is an out-of-town shopping complex called Castlepoint Shopping Centre with supermarkets, DIY stores and larger versions of high street shops. A new extension to Castlepoint, called Castlemore, is set just South West of the main complex, which features more large retail stores. Other supermarkets are located in the town centre (Asda and Co-op), Boscombe (Sainsbury's) and between Westbourne and Upper Parkstone. A large Tesco Extra store is located at the end of Castle Lane East, 2 miles east of Castlepoint.


The town was a major centre for the 1951 Festival of Britain with classical concerts, opera, ballet and a visit from the Salzburg Marionettes; the two weeks in June also featured a national brass band competition, sea cadet displays and different sporting events.[28]

Bournemouth is currently host to several annual festivals. The town has had an annual Literary Festival since 2005. A Gay Pride festival named Bourne Free is held in the town each year during the summer.

Since 2008 Bournemouth has held its own air festival over four days in August. The 2009 show from 20th-23 August featured displays from the Red Arrows as well as appearances from festival regulars such as the Yakovlevs, Blades, Team Guinot Wing-Walkers, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight including Lancaster, Hurricane, Spitfire and also the last flying Vulcan. The festival also saw appearances from modern aircraft such as the Eurofighter Typhoon. The annual show is due to return in 2010. The Air Festival attracts nearly one million people over the 4 day event.[29]


The Bournemouth local education authority was first set up in 1903 and remained in existence until local government was reorganised in 1974 when Bournemouth lost its County Borough status and became part of the county of Dorset. Under the later reforms of 1997, Bournemouth became a unitary authority and the Bournemouth local education authority was re-established. Bournemouth is one of the minority of local authorities in England still to maintain selective education, with two grammar schools (one for boys, one for girls) and eight secondary modern/comprehensive schools. There are also a small number of independent schools in the town, and a further education college.

Bournemouth University is one of the largest universities in the south of England. Known as Bournemouth Polytechnic between 1990 and 1992, it has its roots in the former Dorset Institute of Higher Education. It is one of the better performing ex-polytechnics in England. The main campus is however in neighbouring Poole. Affiliated to the university, the Arts University College at Bournemouth, also officially in Poole, specialises in arts, design and media degree courses. Bournemouth is also a major centre for the teaching of English and has numerous English language schools. Many thousands of foreign students are attracted to the town every year, an important form of invisible trade.


The Offices of the Bournemouth Daily Echo newspaper, which serves the South East Dorset conurbation.

Similarly to the rest of Dorset, Bournemouth's economy is primarily in the service sector, which employed 93% of the workforce in 2007.[30] This is 10% higher than the average employment in the service sector for Great Britain and the South West.[30] The importance of the manufacturing sector has declined, and is predominantly based in neighbouring Poole, but still employs 3% of the workforce.[30] Tourism is crucial to the economy of Bournemouth, generating £440 million a year and employing thousands of workers.[31] Business tourism alone contributed £127 million in 2007, through delegates and business visitors attending venues such as the BIC and exhibitions in the town.[32][33]

The following is a non-exhaustive list:

In April 2008, Bournemouth was announced to be the first 'Fibrecity' in the United Kingdom, with work starting in September to bring 100Mbit Broadband internet access into homes and businesses within the town; running fibre optic cables through the sewers reduces the cost and disruption to road networks during cable laying. This is part of the National Government's plans for everyone in the UK to have access to 100Mbit Broadband by 2010.[34][citation needed] A trial to the proposed 100Mbit is scheduled to begin at the end of March 2009, where 30 homes will be connected for free. As the trial continues, all businesses and homes within BH10 and BH11 are entitled to sign up for free. As of February 2010, Fibrecity is connecting 4,000 homes and businesses a month in Bournemouth to the network and it is hoped that the town will be fully connected by the end of 2010.



Bournemouth road network is focused on a few main roads in and out of the town centre.[35] The principal route into the town centre is the A338 dual carriageway, which joins the A31, itself the major trunk road in central southern England, connecting to the M27 at Southampton. From here the M3 leads to London, and fast access may also be gained via the A34 to the M4 north of Newbury, Berkshire. National Express coaches serve Bournemouth Travel Interchange & Bournemouth University. There are frequent departures to London Victoria Coach Station. There are also direct services to the West Country, Sussex coast (Brighton and Eastbourne), Bristol, Birmingham and the Midlands, the North West, and to Edinburgh and Glasgow. Flightlink serves Heathrow Airport with connections to Gatwick and Stansted Airports.

Local buses are provided mainly by two companies, Wilts & Dorset, the former National Bus Company subsidiary and now owned by the Go-Ahead group, and Transdev Yellow Buses, the former Bournemouth Council owned company and successors to Bournemouth Corporation Transport, who began operating trams in 1902. In 1969 the town became one of the last in England to discontinue trolley buses and replace them with diesel buses.[36] Other operators serving the town include Shamrock Buses, Damory Coaches (a subsidiary of Wilts & Dorset), Dorset Sprinter, Shaftesbury & District, Thompson's Travel and Verwood Buses.


Bournemouth Railway Station, built in 1885, with a replica Victorian iron and glass roof.

Bournemouth is well served by the rail network with two stations in the town, Bournemouth railway station and Pokesdown railway station to the east. Parts of western Bournemouth can also be reached from Branksome station. Bournemouth station is located some way from the town centre, due to the town's early leaders not wishing to have a station within the town boundary, which extended 1-mile (1.6 km) from the pier. However, the station is now well within the town, as the town has grown significantly since its founding. The station was originally ¨Bournemouth East¨ with a second station, Bournemouth West, serving the west of the town in Queens Road. South West Trains operates a comprehensive service to London Waterloo with a journey time of 1 hour 50 minutes. This line also serves Southampton, Winchester and Basingstoke to the East, and Poole, Wareham, Dorchester and Weymouth to the west. CrossCountry trains serve destinations to the north with direct trains to Reading, Oxford, Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Manchester. The Northwest, Yorkshire, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow can be reached by changing at Reading or Birmingham. West Coastway Line services are available by changing at Southampton Central. The Sussex Coastal towns of Chichester, Worthing, Hove and Brighton are served and trains continue to Gatwick Airport and London Victoria.

Besides its main line railway connections, Bournemouth is also the site of three funicular railways, the East Cliff Railway, West Cliff Railway and Fisherman's Walk Cliff Railway. These are all owned and operated by Bournemouth Borough Council, and each serves to link the seaside promenade with the cliff top, at various points along the sea front.[37]


Bournemouth Airport, in Hurn, just on the periphery of Bournemouth is a short journey from the town centre enabling passengers and freight to be flown directly to destinations in the UK and Europe. Taxis going to Bournemouth are available at the taxi stand on the airport and can transport one to the town centre in about 20–30 minutes. An hourly bus service also connects the airport with the town centre, travel interchange and also operates along the major hotel routes. Ryanair, EasyJet, Palmair and Thomson Airways provide scheduled services to destinations throughout Europe.

Bournemouth Eye

The Bournemouth Eye as seen from the ground.

The Bournemouth Eye is a local landmark, a helium-filled balloon attached to a steel cable in Bournemouth. Tourists are lifted to 500 feet and can see as far as Fawley Power Station on a clear day. It is a spherical helium-filled balloon with an enclosed gondola that carries 25-30 passengers. Tethered by a high tensile steel cable, the balloon lifts to a height of 500 feet while providing a panoramic view of the English Channel and surrounding area (over 20 miles) from the highest public observation point in Bournemouth.[38]

The highest altitude noted is rather misleading. The Civil Aviation Authority will only allow the top of the balloon to 500 ft, but the balloon stands 110 feet tall, so at the most the passengers are taken up to 390 feet above the ground. This is the maximum height that passengers are lifted to, and the operators do not always go up this high.


Bournemouth seen from Studland

The Bournemouth area has long been a place where many unusual species of animals and plants can be found. Brownsea island, in nearby Poole Harbour, is one of the few places in the south where the red squirrel still remains, and the ant Formica pratensis had its last stronghold in the area, although it is now thought to be extinct on the mainland. Although described by Farren White as "the common wood ant of Bournemouth" in the mid-19th century, the noted entomologist Horace Donisthorpe found only one colony of true pratensis out of hundreds of F. rufa nests there in 1906. In recent times the last known two colonies disappeared in the 1980s, making this ant the only ant species thought to have become extinct in Great Britain. It does, however, still survive on cliff-top locations in the Channel Islands. The rare narrow-headed ant also used to exist in Bournemouth, although it has died out in the area.

Naming conventions

The word 'Bournemouth' is often used (erroneously) to describe the South East Dorset conurbation, which also contains neighbouring towns of Poole, Christchurch, Wimborne Minster, Verwood, Ringwood and New Milton. As a result, the following misnomers have come to exist:

Twin towns

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ Components may not sum to totals due to rounding
  2. ^ Includes hunting and forestry
  3. ^ Includes energy and construction
  4. ^ Includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured
  1. ^ Census, 2001
  2. ^ "Bournemouth happiest town in UK". BBC News. 2007-03-08. Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  3. ^ West, Ian (August 2007). "The Eocene Cliffs, with Leaf Bed, of Bournemouth, Dorset.". School of Ocean and Earth Science, Southampton University. Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  4. ^ "Boscombe Spa Village Surfing". Bournemouth Borough Council. Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  5. ^ "Mean Temperature Annual Average". Met Office. 2001. Retrieved 2009-02-10. 
  6. ^ a b Weather averages Bournemouth, England Retrieved on 10 February 2009.
  7. ^ Local Election Map
  8. ^ Bournemouth Borough Council Constitution (part)
  9. ^ Bournemouth Borough Council
  10. ^ a b c d e f g Elizabeth Edwards, A History of Bournemouth, Phillimore & Co, 1981.
  11. ^ CCTV This is Dorset, accessdate = 2008-02-01
  12. ^ History of CCTV, accessdate = 2008-02-01
  13. ^ "J.R.R Tolkien, Biography. Author and Illustrator Archive.". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-06. 
  14. ^ "J. R. R. Tolkien Dead at 81. Wrote 'Lord of the Rings'. Creator of Escapist Literature. Served in World War I. Took 14 Years to Write.". New York Times. 3 September 1973, Monday. Retrieved 2007-09-25. "J. R. R. Tolkien, linguist, scholar and author of "The Lord of the Rings," died today in Bournemouth. He was 81 years old. Three sons and a daughter survive." 
  15. ^ Sunstein, Emily W. Mary Shelley: Romance and Reality. 1989. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991. ISBN 0801842182. Sunstein, pp.383–84.
  16. ^ The Labour Party 2007 Conference, The Guardian, Accessed 2008-04-06.
  17. ^ Bournemouth International Centre (BIC), Accessed 2008-04-06.
  18. ^ St Stephen's Church, Bournemouth, Accessed 2008-04-06.
  19. ^ Richmond Hill St Andrew's Church, Accessed 2008-04-06.
  20. ^ Ruth Pauline, Goldschmidt-Lehmann (1973), Anglo-Jewish Bibliography, 1937-1970, Jewish Historical Society of England 
  21. ^ David Soetendorp (2003). "A Generation Confronting the Loss of Community". European Judaism 36. 
  22. ^ Westover and Bournemouth Rowing Club.
  23. ^ Bournemouth Rugby Club, Accessed 2008-04-06.
  24. ^ Bournemouth Cricket Club, Accessed 2008-04-06.
  25. ^ Bournemouth Boarding, Accessed 6 April 2009.
  26. ^ BKSA, Accessed 6 April 2009.
  27. ^ Animal Windfest, Accessed 6 April 2009.
  28. ^ The Festival of Britain (Official Book of the Festival of Britain 1951). HMSO, 1951.
  29. ^ Bournemouth Air Show
  30. ^ a b c Dorset For You
  31. ^ "Economy booming thanks to tourism". Bournemouth Daily Echo. 2007. Retrieved 2009-02-12. 
  32. ^ Bournemouth Echo "Business tourism’s £127m contribution to local economy". Bournemouth Daily Echo. 2007. Bournemouth Echo. Retrieved 2009-02-12. 
  33. ^ "The Economy of the Conurbation". Burrows Communications Ltd. Retrieved 2009-02-12. 
  34. ^
  35. ^ "Bournemouth's Roads, Travel, Transport & Parking". Bournemouth Borough Council. August 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  36. ^ Bradley, David. "Picture Gallery of Bournemouth's Trolleybuses". Retrieved 2008-07-11. 
  37. ^ "Bournemouth's Cliff Railways". The Heritage Trail. Retrieved 2009-05-15. 
  38. ^ Bournemouth Eye Balloon Homepage Frequently Asked Questions about the Bournemouth Eye

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Bournemouth [1] is a seaside resort town in the county of Dorset on the south coast of England.


Bournemouth’s spa magic has been revitalised and history is repeating itself. A century ago the cream of Victorian society including royalty flocked to Bournemouth’s pine forest landscape of luxurious villas.

They were eager to sample the relaxing ambience of the town, breathe its healthy air, bath in the pure sea water and unwind at leisure. In Tess of the D’Urbervilles Thomas Hardy affectionately described Bournemouth as ‘a Mediterranean lounging place on the English Channel’. The aroma and perfume of the pine trees were considered health-giving and many a famous person came here to take advantage of it including J.R.R. Tolkien and D.H. Lawrence.

The first spa hotel was built in 1885 - the Mont Dore Hotel (now Bournemouth’s Town Hall) Apart from luxury rooms and tennis courts, the hotel also offered the Mont Dore cure which was said to be a healing water and could not be found anywhere else in England. Sea and pure water from the Bourne stream were pumped into the basement of the hotel to allow the additional luxury of soaking and perspiring in Turkish and salt baths.

Since then, Bournemouth has grown into a thriving seaside resort and many of the big hotels offer spa treatments of their own as well as spa and beauty boutiques peppered throughout the town centre catering for men as well as women.

The pine trees still exist and visitors can still stroll through ‘Pine Walk’ in Bournemouth Gardens today to breath in the healthy air. During the summer, the Pine Walk Open Air Art Exhibition is held here.

Get in

By car

Unless travelling from the South-West of England most journeys by road will be via the M27 which turns into the dual-carriage A31 and passes through the New Forest. At Ringwood look for the (A338) Bournemouth exit. Care is necessary when entering into Bournemouth on the Wessex Way as there are numerous speed cameras.

Only those with a penchant for long queues of congestion should think about arriving at mid-day/early afternoon on a warm and sunny day! 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.

By train

SouthWest Trains from London Waterloo and other locations on the South coast, such as Poole and Weymouth. Served by express and semi-fast services which continue to Weymouth, and a slow service which terminates in Poole.

CrossCountry trains from Manchester via Birmingham New Street terminate at Bournemouth, some trains arrive from other cities like Nottingham and Newcastle. Summer sees a wider variety of places linked directly to Bournemouth.

By bus

MegaBus from London via Winchester.

National Express Bus from London direct (approx. 2 hours 30 minutes).

By plane

A few airlines fly directly into Bournemouth Airport [2] from various destinations throughout Europe.

Get around

Bournemouth is small enough to walk around, but local bus services operate frequently within the city center.

Taxi services in Bournemouth are cheap for short journeys, with an initial charge of approximately £2. It is best to call for a cab rather than to queue at a rank near Holdenhurst for the best fare.

Bournemouth Beach
Bournemouth Beach

Bournemouth is famous for its 7 miles of golden sandy beaches [3] and clean seas. The Pier is almost in the middle of the beach and offers a small fair, boat trips, an arcade and some other shops.

  • Real Bournemouth (History in Photos), 0845 224 3894, [4]. Visit Bournemouth's 200 year history via an interactive display of old photographs and vintage postcards. Add your comments and stories to the collection and even upload your own photos. FREE.  edit
  • Bournemouth (Online Guide), [5]. Find out about Bournemouth's scene, plan a night out and find locaL friendly hotels and shops.  edit
  • Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum - located on the Eastcliff. [6] This museum and gallery has some wonderful collections of 19th century art and Japanese artifacts. The interior of the museum alone is worth seeing because it is lavishly decorated and shows the Victorian interests in eccentric collecting and other cultures, especially Japan and China. Admission free.
  • The Atrium Gallery at Bournemouth University.
  • St.Peter's Church. The famous author Mary Shelly who wrote 'Frankenstein' is buried in the churchyard of this church along with the heart of her husband the Romantic poet, Percy Bysshe Shelly.
  • Bournemouth Oceanarium. [7]
  • Bournemouth Eye, tethered balloon flights. [8]
  • Bournemouth International Centre - concerts and exhibitions. [9]
  • Bourne Free (Bournemouth's Pride Festival), Town Centre, 0845 463 9583, [10]. Bournemouth's annual gay pride festival Bourne Free. Now in it's sixth year.  edit
  • Hunts Clothing, 780 Christchurch Road, Boscombe (Pokesdown end of Boscombe), 01202394033, [11]. 9-5 Monday to Friday, 10-4 Saturdays. Outsized menswear shop.  edit

Bournemouth has a good range of shops with mainly well known high street outlets in the centre but also many independent shops. Examples of large stores are Beales, Dingles, Debenhams and Marks & Spencers. The Boscombe area is well known for its many antique shops and for those who are into designer, vintage, and specialist clothes, Westbourne offers a good variety of designer boutiques.

For out of town shopping the massive Castlepoint Shopping centre is excellent and beautifully laid out, [12]


Bournemouth has many different restaurants suiting different tastes and budgets. Most can be found in and around Town Centre, but also the Charminster and Boscombe area feature nice places to eat. The number of takeaways in Bournemouth has also increased over the years, offering a cheap alternative to a restaurant meal.

  • Jimmy's - Provides stylish Brasserie surroundings with an excellent menu. THIS IS NOW CLOSED.
  • West Beach - Excellent frontline seafood restaurant adjacent to Bournemouth Pier. Definitely not cheap, but aboard the beachfront decked area, about as close to dining Californian-style as you'll get in the UK!
  • Aruba - On Bournemouth Pier has a fantastic menu based on the caribbean with outstanding decor a must see when in Bournemouth.
  • Jumbo - All you can eat chinese, you'll eat plenty as the food is fantastic!
  • The Gallery Brasserie, Boscombe Spa Road, + 44 (0) 1202 396234, [13]. New Brasserie - Innovative menus, stunning views and comprehensive wine list.  edit


At night the town comes alive with a vibrant bar and club scene. It is one of Britain's most popular clubbing locations, with many stag and hen parties held in Bournemouth. There are over 40 nightclub venues which are open every day of the week. On busy clubnights, roughly 30,000 people are out in Bournemouth. The Triangle area in Bournemouth is where the gay community is concentrated with several gay friendly clubs and pubs. Most night clubs are located in and around town centre, with the exception of the Opera House in Boscombe. Old style pubs are at a premium in the centre with the emphasis more on trendy bars.

  • 1812 - A Jazz music night club in the first mansion in Bournemouth.
  • Crank [14] - Lounging in a stylish new night club in town centre.
  • Landmarc [15] - Fine dining and clubbing in a refurbished church.
  • 2930 The Triangle [16] - The biggest gay venue in Bournemouth, set over two floors.
  • The Gallery Bar (Gallery Bar), Boscombe Spa Road, + 44 (0) 1202 396234, [17]. Stylish Bar and Brasserie - spectacular views, great atmosphere with a wide range of drinks and cocktails.  edit


The American travel writer Bill Bryson commented on the amazing number of hotels there seem to be in Bournemouth, but there are so many because the town developed as a seaside resort in the 19th century and that is still its primary function.

  • The Chine Hotel, Boscombe Spa Road, [18]. checkin: 14.00; checkout: 11.00. Comfortable hotel with leisure facilities and choice of dining. Sea and garden views with easy access to beach and surf reef. From £45.00 per person.  edit
  • Carrington House Hotel (Bournemouth), Knyveton Road, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH1 3QQ, 01202 369 988, [19]. checkin: 2pm; checkout: 11am. The Carrington House Hotel in Bournemouth is perfect for a short break, family holiday or relaxing weekend stay from which to explore the areas many attractions whatever the time of year. £40 - £60 per person.  edit
  • The Wessex Hotel, West Cliff Road, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH2 5EU, 01202 551 911, [20]. checkin: 2pm; checkout: 11am. Situated on the prestigious Bournemouth West Cliff, the Wessex Hotel is just a short walk from the town centre, Bournemouth International Centre and Blue Flag beaches. £45-£65 pppn.  edit
  • Bei Bournemouth Hotel [21] 3 star luxury hotel rooms from £25 a night, located near town centre.
  • Round Hotel Bournemouth [22] Hotel located near Bournemouth International Centre.
  • Russel Court - A cheap hotel in Bournemouth, is the Russel Court. At £35 per night, it's pretty reasonable. Handy for the beach too - just 200 metres away down Bath Road.
  • Travelodge - Christchurch Road near Derby Road offers budget accommodation from £49 per night (providing you book in advance!)
  • Premier Inn - New premier Inns are under construction further along Christchurch Road towards Boscombe Gardens and also on Poole Road in Westbourne.
  • The Royal Bath Hotel near Westover Road, central to shopping and the beach.
  • Corfe Castle - approximately an hour and a half hour away by bus through Sandbanks, the 4th most expensive post code in the world and the Isle of Purbeck - part of a World Heritage coastal zone. Take the open top bus via the Sandbanks ferry in the summer for approx £5 from central Bournemouth and change at Swanage.
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

BOURNEMOUTH, a municipal and county borough and watering-place of Hampshire, England, in the parliamentary borough of Christchurch, 1071 m. S.W. by W. from London by the London & South-Western railway. Pop. (1901) 59,762. It is beautifully situated on Poole Bay. Considerable sandstone cliffs rise from the sandy beach, and are scored with deep picturesque dells or chines. The town itself lies in and about the valley of the Bourne stream. Its sheltered situation and desirable winter climate began to attract notice about 1840; in 1855 a national sanatorium for consumptive patients was erected by subscription; a pier was opened in 1861, and in 1870 railway communication was afforded. The climate is remarkably equable, being relatively warm in winter and cool in summer; the average temperature in July is 61.7° F., and in January 40.3° The town contains numerous handsome buildings, including municipal buildings, churches, various places of entertainment, sanatoria and hospitals, a public library and a science and art school. Its suburbs have greatly extended along the sea front, and the beautiful chines of Boscombe, Alum and Branksome have attracted a large number of wealthy residents. There are piers at the town itself and at Boscombe, and the bathing is excellent. The parks, gardens and drives are extensive and pleasant. A service of electric tramways is maintained, notable as being the first system installed in England with a combination of the trolley and conduit principles of supplying current. There are golf links in Meyrick and Queen's parks, both laid out by the corporation, which has in other ways studied the entertainment of visitors. The two railway stations are the Central and West, and through communications with the north are maintained by the Somerset & Dorset and Midland, and the Great Western and Great Central railways. The town, which is of wholly modern and remarkably rapid growth (for in the middle of the 19th century the population was less than 1000), was incorporated in 1890, and became a county borough in 1900. The corporation consists of a mayor, 11 aldermen and 33 councillors. Area, 57 6 9 acres.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


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Proper noun


  1. A town in Dorset, England

Simple English


Bournemouth shown within Dorset
Population 163,600[1]
OS grid reference SZ085912
 - London 105 miles (169 km)
Unitary authority Bournemouth
Ceremonial county Dorset
Region South West
Constituent country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district BH1 to BH11
Dialling code 01202
Police Dorset
Fire Dorset
Ambulance South Western
UK Parliament Bournemouth East
Bournemouth West
European Parliament South West England
List of places: UKEngland • Dorset
Coordinates: 50°43′N 1°53′W / 50.72°N 1.88°W / 50.72; -1.88

Bournemouth is a town in Dorset, in the country of England. It is the biggest town in Dorset. It is next to Poole and Christchurch.


  1. "Census 2001, Key Statistics for urban areas.". Office for National Statistics (UK). August 2004. Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
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