English author Thomas Hardy described Bournemouth as a ‘Mediterranean lounging place on the English Channel’. Here are some ideas for enjoying the town:
Take a ride in the “Bournemouth Eye”
London’s “Eye” is a giant wheel on the south bank of the River Thames. Bournemouth’s “Eye” is a large, tethered hot-air balloon in the Lower Gardens. Open from around April to October, this Balloon is a real landmark in Bournemouth and wherever you are in the surrounding area, you can see it. The view from the top is truly spectacular (bournemouthballoon.com).
About 45 minutes from Bournemouth, Stonehenge is one of the world’s most iconic monuments. Standing in the same spot for around 5000 years, the stones are part of an ancient burial ground and have long been a spiritual meeting point: each solstice brings thousands of people to this beautiful part of the Wiltshire countryside. Many different theories exist about what the giant stones mean and how the monument was built… perhaps you can work it out?
If you like old ruins, Corfe Castle is also easily reached from Bournemouth and dates back to the 11th century, when it was built by William the Conqueror. Or at least by people working for him.
A very British tradition that is really popular in Bournemouth, pantomimes are theatre performances of classic fairytales given a twist with lots of audience participation, jokes and laughter.
The Cliff Lifts
The easiest and most spectacular way to get from the beach to the top of Bournemouth’s cliffs is on the three cliff lifts: West Cliff Lift, East Cliff Lift and Fisherman's Walk Cliff Lift. They run every day between Easter and the end of October, so be sure to check out Bournemouth’s quirky icons.
Bournemouth’s neighbour to the west has a long history dating back to long before the Romans made it to the British Isles. As well as charming beaches, there is plenty to enjoy in Poole including a busy quayside, beautiful centre and some excellent restaurants, where you can enjoy fresh seafood in the open air. Hiring a bike is a great way to get to Poole (see our Bournemouth Tips