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Cheap Fun Things to Do in Bournemouth, England

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Things to Do in Bournemouth
© Keith Edkins / Geograph

Bournemouth, a captivating coastal town located on the picturesque south coast of England, is a destination that beckons travellers from near and far. This guide is your passport to the best experiences in Bournemouth, highlighting a wide range of activities that cater to every taste and preference.

From exploring the town’s natural beauty to immersing yourself in its rich culture and history, Bournemouth has something for everyone. Get ready to embark on a journey of discovery as we delve deep into the top things to do in Bournemouth, England, ensuring your visit is nothing short of extraordinary.

Things to Do in Bournemouth, England: A Comprehensive Guide

We will share with you:

What Natural Beauty Can You Explore in Bournemouth?

Bournemouth Beach

Bournemouth Beach, with its seven miles of pristine sandy coastline, stands as the crown jewel of this seaside town. The beach is not just a place to soak up the sun; it’s a sanctuary of relaxation and recreation. Whether you prefer a refreshing swim in the crystal-clear waters, a leisurely stroll along the bustling promenade, or simply unwinding with an ice cream in hand, Bournemouth Beach has it all.

With a myriad of exciting things to do in Bournemouth, it’s no wonder this beach is a favourite among locals and visitors alike.

Durley Chine Beach: If you seek a quieter and more serene beach experience, don’t miss Durley Chine Beach. Nestled away from the crowds, this hidden gem provides solitude and tranquillity, perfect for a peaceful day by the sea.

You’ll be enchanted by the gentle lapping of waves and the opportunity to collect seashells along its pristine shores, making it a perfect spot for a serene beachcombing adventure.

Water Sports: Adventure seekers can indulge in a thrilling array of water sports, from surfing the waves to paddle boarding along the coast. Bournemouth’s waters are your playground for aquatic adventures. Feel the adrenaline rush as you ride the waves on a surfboard or enjoy the serenity of paddle boarding while taking in the scenic coastal views.

Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or looking for a more relaxed experience, Bournemouth’s waters have something for everyone.

Coastal Walks: For those who prefer the solid ground beneath their feet, Bournemouth offers a network of scenic coastal walks. The South West Coast Path, in particular, promises breath taking vistas of the Isle of Wight and Christchurch Harbour.

Lace up your walking shoes and embark on an adventure along these picturesque trails. As you explore, you’ll be treated to stunning views that stretch as far as the eye can see, making it an ideal activity for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Wildlife Encounters: Nature enthusiasts will find solace in the diverse wildlife of Bournemouth. From seal watching to bird spotting, the coastal environment teems with life, creating opportunities for unforgettable wildlife encounters.

Take a leisurely stroll along the shores, and you might spot adorable seals basking in the sun or catch a glimpse of elegant seabirds soaring overhead. These wildlife encounters offer a chance to connect with nature and create cherished memories during your visit to Bournemouth.

Lower Gardens

Nestled in the heart of Bournemouth lies a verdant paradise known as the Lower Gardens. Meander through these enchanting gardens, where vibrant floral displays greet your senses. Pause by the serene river, and consider a delightful picnic amidst the lush greenery.

The Lower Gardens provide a tranquil escape from the urban hustle and bustle. So, what are you waiting for? Ready to explore the Lower Gardens and discover more amazing things to do in Bournemouth?

Where Can You See Bournemouth’s Culture?

Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum

Embark on a cultural journey at the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum, an exquisite Victorian villa that houses an exceptional collection of art and artefacts from around the world. Explore the masterpieces, sculptures, and historical treasures that grace the museum’s halls, offering a profound insight into the world of art and culture.

As you wander through its opulent rooms, you’ll feel transported to a bygone era, where the elegance of the Victorian era blends seamlessly with the beauty of the artistic masterpieces on display.

Bournemouth Pier

A leisurely stroll along Bournemouth Pier is not just about breath taking sea views, it’s one of the quintessential things to do in Bournemouth. Visit the vibrant arcade, savour traditional fish and chips, and perhaps try your hand at pier fishing for an amazing British experience. The pier is a blend of old-world charm and modern amusements. It’s a gateway to entertainment and nostalgia providing a delightful mix of past and present for visitors to enjoy.

Bournemouth International Centre (BIC)

For those seeking a dose of culture, the Bournemouth International Centre (BIC) is a hub of entertainment. Check the event calendar for concerts, exhibitions, and performances, ensuring you don’t miss an opportunity to immerse yourself in the local cultural scene. Whether you’re a fan of live music, art exhibitions, or theatrical performances, the BIC hosts a diverse array of events that cater to various tastes, making it a must-visit destination for cultural enthusiasts.

Bournemouth’s Music Scene

Peel back the layers of Bournemouth’s music scene, where local bands and artists contribute to the town’s rich musical history. Dive into the vibrant live music venues and discover the soulful rhythms that echo through the streets. From indie rock to acoustic melodies, Bournemouth’s music culture offers a diverse range of genres and talented musicians, providing a soundtrack that’s sure to resonate with music lovers of all tastes.

What Stories Does Bournemouth’s History Hold?

Boscombe Chine Gardens

Boscombe Chine Gardens offers a unique blend of history and natural beauty. Step back in time as you explore the picturesque gardens, complete with meandering pathways and the iconic Boscombe Pier. Learn about the gardens’ historical significance and the stories they hold.

As you wander through this charming oasis, you’ll uncover tales of a bygone era, where the tranquillity of nature intertwines with the intriguing history of this coastal gem.

Compton Acres

Compton Acres, a historic garden, provides a serene escape from the modern world. Wander through themed gardens, each exuding its unique charm and character. Admire the architectural marvels and landscaping that make Compton Acres a timeless treasure.

Here, you can transport yourself to different corners of the world as you explore these meticulously designed gardens, each offering a glimpse into the beauty and tranquillity of various landscapes, all within this enchanting haven of nature.

Bournemouth Aviation Museum

Uncover the fascinating aviation history of Bournemouth at the Aviation Museum, one of the captivating things to do in Bournemouth. Immerse yourself in the world of aviation, exploring the aircraft on display and gaining an appreciation for Bournemouth’s contributions to flight.

As you walk among these vintage aircraft and artefacts, you’ll gain a deep understanding of the town’s role in aviation history and the incredible journey of human flight. It’s a captivating experience that allows you to touch the skies right here on the ground, making it a must-visit attraction for aviation enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

The Russell-Cotes House

Delve deeper into the architectural and historical marvel that is the Russell-Cotes House. Learn about its former residents and their impact on the town, leaving behind a legacy that continues to influence Bournemouth’s cultural landscape.

Step into the world of this grand Victorian villa and discover the stories of the Russell-Cotes family, who left an indelible mark on the town’s cultural identity. Their home is a living testament to their passion for art and culture, providing a glimpse into their remarkable lives and enduring influence on Bournemouth’s vibrant cultural scene.

What Fun Family Activities Can You Do in Bournemouth?


For families with kids, the Oceanarium promises an exciting adventure. Get up close and personal with marine life from around the globe. This educational and entertaining experience appeals to visitors of all ages, making it a family favourite.

Dive into the underwater world and let your young explorers marvel at the wonders of the sea. The Oceanarium offers an interactive journey that’s both educational and fun, leaving your family with cherished memories of aquatic encounters.

Adventure Wonderland

Adventure Wonderland is a paradise for kids, featuring fairy-tale-themed rides, indoor play areas, and entertaining shows. It’s a place where laughter and excitement reign supreme, offering a day of joy for the entire family.

Your little adventurers will be thrilled to explore this wonderland of whimsical rides and interactive play zones, making it one of the top things to do in Bournemouth with kids. It’s a magical destination where imaginations run wild, creating the perfect setting for a day filled with laughter and delight for the whole family to enjoy.

Bournemouth Gardens of Light

If you plan your visit during the holiday season, don’t miss the Bournemouth Gardens of Light. Explore the magical light displays and immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere, creating cherished family memories.

This illuminated wonderland transforms Bournemouth’s gardens into a dazzling spectacle that will leave you and your loved ones enchanted. Stroll through the gardens, take in the mesmerizing lights, and capture the spirit of the season, all while creating beautiful memories to cherish with your family.

Farmer Palmer’s Farm Park

Farmer Palmer’s Farm Park offers an enriching experience for families with young children. The park boasts petting zoos, tractor rides, and educational activities that make learning about farm life fun and interactive.

It’s a fantastic place for your little ones to get hands-on with animals, hop on tractor adventures, and engage in educational activities that make discovering farm life an exciting and memorable adventure.

Are You Ready for Food Adventures in Bournemouth?

Bournemouth’s Culinary Scene

Bournemouth’s culinary scene is a delight for food enthusiasts. It encompasses a diverse range of cuisines, from fresh seafood to international flavours and traditional British fare. Explore the town’s gastronomic landscape and savour the flavours that define Bournemouth.

Whether you’re a seafood lover, craving global tastes, or eager to try classic British dishes, Bournemouth’s restaurants offer a delicious journey that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving for more.

Local Food Markets

For a true taste of Bournemouth’s local flavours, one of the delightful things to do in Bournemouth is to visit the town’s vibrant food markets. Sample artisanal products, fresh produce, and delectable treats from local vendors. Discover the best times to visit these markets to experience the culinary richness of the region.

These bustling markets are a treasure trove of local delights, offering a chance to connect with Bournemouth’s food culture in the most authentic way. Explore the stalls, chat with friendly vendors, and savour the flavours of this vibrant coastal town. It’s an experience that brings you closer to the heart and soul of Bournemouth’s culinary scene.

Seafood Restaurants

Dive deeper into Bournemouth’s seafood scene, with a focus on the finest seafood restaurants in town. From succulent fish and chips to exquisite seafood platters, we’ll guide you to the establishments that serve up the freshest catches of the day.

If you’re a seafood aficionado, Bournemouth has a delectable array of dining options that will satisfy your cravings for ocean-fresh flavours. Let us take you on a culinary journey to discover the best places to indulge in the finest seafood dishes the town has to offer.

Ready for Some Shopping Fun?

Westbourne Village

Indulge in a bout of retail therapy at Westbourne Village, a charming shopping district brimming with boutique stores, quaint cafes, and delectable restaurants, truly one of the must-do things in Bournemouth. It’s the perfect locale for a leisurely afternoon of shopping and exploration.

Whether you’re in search of unique fashion finds, delightful gifts, or simply a cosy spot to enjoy a coffee, Westbourne Village invites you to unwind, stroll through its charming streets, and discover hidden gems in its delightful shops and eateries. It’s an inviting destination that caters to both shoppers and those seeking a relaxing break in a picturesque setting.

Vintage Shopping

For those with a penchant for all things vintage, Bournemouth offers a treasure trove of vintage shops. Explore these unique establishments and uncover one-of-a-kind treasures from days gone by. Delve into the past as you browse through these nostalgic havens, each filled with vintage fashion, collectibles, and memorabilia waiting to be discovered.

It’s a nostalgic journey that promises to transport you to different eras and add a touch of timeless charm to your Bournemouth experience.

FAQs About Things to Do in Bournemouth

Q: What is Bournemouth famous for?
A: Bournemouth is renowned for its beautiful sandy beaches, which stretch for seven miles along the coast. It’s also known for its vibrant cultural scene, including art galleries and music venues. Additionally, Bournemouth’s historic and architectural gems, such as the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum, add to its charm.

Q: When is the best time to visit Bournemouth, England?
A: The best time to visit Bournemouth is during the summer months when the weather is warm, and you can fully enjoy the beaches and outdoor activities.

Q: Are there any free things to do in Bournemouth?
A: Yes, there are several free activities in Bournemouth, including visiting the beaches, exploring the gardens, and taking a stroll along the pier.

Q: Can I swim in the sea at Bournemouth Beach?
A: Absolutely! Bournemouth Beach is known for its safe swimming conditions, making it a great spot for a dip in the sea.

Q: How can I get to Bournemouth from London?
A: Bournemouth is easily accessible from London by train or car. You can also find affordable coaches and routes using National Express. The train journey offers scenic views, while driving allows for flexibility and exploration along the way.

Q: What are some hidden gems in Bournemouth?
A: Some hidden gems in Bournemouth include the Durley Chine Beach, Red Arrows displays during the Bournemouth Air Festival, and the charming coastal villages nearby.

Q: Is Bournemouth suitable for a weekend getaway?
A: Absolutely! Bournemouth’s compact size and diverse attractions make it an ideal destination for a memorable weekend escape.

Q: What are some ways to spend a day in Bournemouth?
A: Spending a day in Bournemouth offers a wide range of activities. You can start with a relaxing morning at the beach, followed by a visit to cultural attractions like museums or art galleries. Enjoy a delicious meal at one of the town’s restaurants, explore the parks and gardens, and perhaps end the day with a walk along the pier or some shopping in the vibrant districts.

Q: Is a visit to Bournemouth worth it?
A: Absolutely! Bournemouth is worth a visit for its stunning beaches, cultural attractions, natural beauty, and vibrant atmosphere. Whether you’re seeking relaxation or adventure, Bournemouth offers something for every traveller, making it a fantastic destination to explore and enjoy.

Q: How much does it cost to visit Bournemouth Pier?
A: Bournemouth Pier offers various ticket options:

  • Adult day ticket: £1.50 per ticket
  • Child day ticket: £1.20 per ticket
  • Children under 5 years old: Free
  • One carer with a disabled person: Free

These ticket prices provide access to the pier and its entertainment offerings, making it an affordable attraction for visitors of all ages.

Things to do in Bournemouth, England
© Tiia Monto / Wiki Commons

Final Thoughts

Bournemouth, England, is a destination that seamlessly combines natural beauty, cultural richness, and historical charm. Whether you’re lounging on the beach, exploring museums, or savouring delicious cuisine, Bournemouth has it all. Make your trip unforgettable by experiencing the best things to do in Bournemouth. Plan your visit today and create lasting memories in this coastal paradise. So, why wait? Get ready to explore the wonders of Bournemouth and make memories that will last a lifetime!

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