Bournemouth is a coastal resort town in Dorset, England. It covers 46.18 sq km (17.8 sq mi) and has a population of 170,000 people (2012 estimate), making it the biggest town in Dorset as well as the biggest coastal town between Southampton and Plymouth. It forms an urban area that includes Poole and Christchurch, and has a total population of 400,000 people.
More on Bournemouth
Bournemouth is contiguous with Poole in the west and Christchurch in the east. Other neighboring towns include Wimborne to the north west and Ferndown to the north east. Although Bournemouth stretches all the way to the coast, its town center, called The Square, is located inland.
Due to the presence of Bournemouth University, Bournemouth has seen tremendous growth in recent years. The town is characterized by the presence of students as well as retirees, as it is also a popular town for British people to retire.
Bournemouth was founded in 1812, when retired army officer Lewis Tregonwell and his wife decided to make it their retirement home. They bought land there, and created a settlement which by the time Tregonwell passed away twenty years later, had grown into a small community.
The arrival of Sir George William Tapps-Gervis in 1835 transformed Bournemouth from a quiet seaside village to a coastal resort similar to Weymouth and
Brighton. It was given town status in 1870. Today Bournemouth remains a popular destination for local tourists, with an increasing number of visitors from the Europe mainland and North America.
Coming from London, take the M3 motorway until Eastleigh, then continue on the M27 followed by the A31. At Ringwood, exit the A31 and head south on the A338 to reach Bournemouth.
Places of Interest to visit in Bournemouth
- Bournemouth Balloon
Hot-air balloon flight for aerial view of the town. Address: The Lower Gardens, Bournemouth. BH1 2AQ; Phone: 01202 314539; Open: 9:00 am until night, weather dependent, call in advance to avoid disappointment; Admission: adult £12.50, child (age 2-14) £7.50; details: www.bournemouthballoon.com
- Bournemouth Oceanarium
A place to view and enjoy all types of marine life. Address: Pier Approach, West Beach, Bournemouth BH2 5AA; Phone: 01202 311993; Open: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, last entry 4:00 pm, closed on Christmas; Admission: Adults £9.95, buy online £8.45, child £6.50, online £5.50; details: www.oceanarium.co.uk
- Russel-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum
Museum displaying a host of changing and permanent exhibitions assembled by Merton and Annie Russell-Cotes. Address: Russell-Cotes Road, East Cliff, Bournemouth BH1 3AA; Phone: +44 (0)1202 451858; Open: Tues – Sun 10:00 am – 5:00 pm; Admission: free
- St Peter’s Church
Final resting place of Mary Shelly, best known for her novel Frankenstein.
UNESCO World Heritage Site in the vicinity
- Dorset and East Devon Coast
A picturesque stretch of coast with jagged limestone cliffs and rock formations.