Bournemouth | What’s On and What To Do

Did you know that Bournemouth is considered to be one of the top resort towns in all of England? That’s because there’s a little something going on to suit everyone’s taste!

The town was founded in 1810, prior to which time it was a deserted heartland. Then, marketed as a health resort but over the years it has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Dorset. Well-known for its amazing Victorian architecture, including a 202 foot tall spire on the St. Peter’s Church, over five million people come out to the community every year to enjoy the beaches, history and nightlife.

Whilst visiting this seaside getaway location, high on list of places to stay should be one of the best hotels in Bournemouth, the historic Langtry Manor Hotel, a country house hotel built in 1877 by the Prince of Wales (King Edward VII).  There’s no place quite like it in all of England, with its elegant décor, reputable restaurant, and the friendly welcome you receive the minute you walk through the door.

The Disraeli Suite at the Langtry Manor Hotel

The Disraeli Suite at the Langtry Manor Hotel

Now the accommodation is sorted, what is there to do in this resort town? The simple answer is: plenty!

Concerts and Nightlife

Concerts are a huge part of the nightlife of Bournemouth, with several concert venues catering to the population including the Pavilion Theatre, O2 Academy and BIC. The O2 was opened in 1895 as the Grand Pavilion Theatre and was a favourite place to see music hall theatre and the circus. The Pavilion opened in 1929 as a tea room and concert hall and the BIC opened in 1984. There are several clubs and pubs that locals and visitors frequent every night of the week – due to the high youth population (there are many language school, and Bournemouth College all centrally based), clubs are an important feature of Bournemouth.


A number of festivals are held in Bournemouth each year, highlighting its history and culture. These include the Bournemouth Food and Drink Festival, which runs for 10 days (from June 20 to June 29, 2014), and includes live cooking demonstrations.

There is the Arts by the Sea Festival which showcases dance, film, literature and music – last year it won the ‘Best Evening Experience Award’ at the Bournemouth Tourism Awards, so definitely one not to miss. This year the event runs between September 26 and October 12 (that’s 2014).

Then there’s the Bourne Free Pride Festival, now in its 10th year, celebrating diversity and community. This year’s event theme is ‘Decades’ – from 1960’s to the 2000’s! Be prepared for some spectacular costumes, and a little naughtiness too! The LGBT community will be out in force from Friday, July 11 to Sunday, July 13, 2014, with the Gay Pride March taking place on Saturday, July 12 from 12noon, starting at the East Cliff Lifts.

And of course, the Festival that Bournemouth is best known for, The Bournemouth Air Festival showcases the history of the area in the Battle of Britain, as well as many old and modern aircraft too. Always an emotional experience, no matter what your age.   There’s nothing quite like watching the Red Arrows using the sky as their canvas, or hearing the rumbling of the engines of the historic Lancaster as it makes its way across the Dorset Coastline during the Battle of Britain Memorial flight.   The festival runs from Thursday, August 28 to Sunday, August 31, 2014.

Breitling Wingwalkers, Bournemouth Air Show

Breitling Wingwalkers, Bournemouth Air Show

The Beaches

It would be impossible to talk about Bournemouth without mentioning the beautiful golden beaches at least once. They are of course one of the main reasons visitors flock to this coastal resort town every year, enjoying the sun and surf on the south coast of England. The coastline of Bournemouth stretches from Sandbanks to Christchurch Harbour, comprised of sandy beaches backed by gravel cliffs. Take a trip up to the beaches of Southbourne, away from the hustle and bustle, and enjoy a scenic walk over Hengistbury Head (once the site of Palaeolithic encampment) where you can enjoy outstanding views of the Isle of Wight, and the amazing sandstone pillars known as, the Long Stone at Mottistone.


While the resort town has only been around for some 204 years, there is a long history in the community. There is of course St. Peter’s, the first church in Bournemouth, built in 1879. In addition, there is Boscombe Pier, built in 1889 which stretches for 750 feet. And not so historic, but nonetheless worth a visit, is the Bournemouth Eye, a helium-filled balloon that rises to 639 feet in the air, giving 28 passengers a wonderful view (up to 20 miles on a clear day) of the surrounding Dorset coastline.


So, after a hard day enjoying the sights, you’re going to need a relaxing and comfortable place to rest your head, and soak your feet (no doubt)! There are a huge selection of hotels in Bournemouth to choose from, many offering special mid-week breaks, and weekend deals, so do your research and make sure you treat yourself to something a little extra special to really make your time away from home that little bit more enjoyable!

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