Bournemouth might not be on many people’s list when thinking about destinations in England. It’s a bit underrated. Some haven’t heard of it before and some don’t even know where it is. Well, it’s right by the Jurassic Coast, the South of England.
Bournemouth is known for it’s 7 miles of the UK’s best beach (according to TripAdvisor in 2016). It’s a perfect place for sports and outdoor lovers, with awesome countryside and buzzing nightlife.
For anyone interested, I have a list of places that you should visit while in Bournemouth and a really beautiful cycling route for you! 🚴
Top 10 Places to Visit in Bournemouth
- Bournemouth Parks
- Lower Gardens
- Central Gardens
- Upper Gardens
- The Balloon
- The Bourne River
- Coy Pond
- Meyrick Park
- St. Peter’s Church
- Boscombe and Southbourne Overcliff
- Bournemouth Beach and Pier
- Boscombe Beach and Pier
- Alum Chine and Argyll Gardens
I. Bournemouth Parks
Bournemouth Parks are separated into 3 areas, the Lower Gardens, Central Gardens and Upper Gardens. These 3 areas are different and each has their own vibes. Though, all of them are perfect for a sweet walk, a quick cycling or for a fun picnic.
The Lower Gardens are the busiest. It’s where most of the actions happen. It’s only 2 minutes walking from the town’s square and only couple of minutes away from the beach. It’s busy with kiosks, young people out and about and there is a Mini Golf as well. ⛳️
The Central Gardens are a little quieter, with a small river along the gardens. Trees and plants here are a little taller and bigger than those in the Lower Gardens. The walk is pleasantly accompanied with beautiful pergola. Here, there is a tennis court and a playground. In the Pleasure Garden, there is a World War I memorial, scripted with beautiful notes.
The Upper Gardens are the most relaxing ones. There are 3 different garden’s theme: European, Asia and North America themes. It’s more green here and there are more to see along the way like decorations of each themed gardens, the water tower and long wooden walkways. The gardens take you more or less to Poole.
II. The Balloon
This Hot Air Balloon is one of the landmark of Bournemouth, right at the Lower Gardens. It allows you to see Bournemouth from above and it offers great views of the beach and the piers. Unfortunately, it’s not available at the moment, but hopefully, it’ll reopen soon.
III. The Bourne River
The Bourne River flows through the whole length of Bournemouth Parks and reaches the beach. The stream goes through everything, the paths, the trees and the rose beds. Throughout the parks, there are several cute falls of this stream and it’s actually a really relaxing sight.
IV. Coy Pond
Coy Pond is a Koi pond right by the end of the Upper Gardens, just a bit outside of Bournemouth. The pond is beautifully surrounded by trees around the bank and some other animals like geese and ducks. There is even a small island! It’s a perfect stop after all the traveling through those gardens. Though, if you prefer driving there, there are several parking spots available. It’s one of my most visited spot in the whole Bournemouth and Poole.
V. Meyrick Park
Meyrick Park is a large field area, with many walking and running trails, including the cross-country running trails. I was lucky enough to spot a baby fox here! 🦊
Meyrick Park is also a home to one of the biggest Golf Club in town; The Club at Meyrick Park. It’s also a home of the Oakmeadians RFC Rugby Club. It’s quite fun to watch them doing their things, especially when you have a special seat. This secret seat is by a walking trail, right behind the club.
VI. St. Peter's Church
St. Peter’s Church is right in the heart of Bournemouth. It’s a minute away from the Square, about 5 minutes from the Lower Gardens and less than 10 minutes walking from the beach. The church itself is a very elegance sight, with incredible interior. The churchyard is calmly beautiful and it is protecting the spirits of many novelists, including Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein.
VII. Boscombe and Southbourne Overcliffs
Boscombe and Southbourne Overcliffs offer best views of the ocean throughout the length of the beach. From the overcliff, the stunning Old Harry Rocks can be seen as well. Plus, there are many paths that lead you down to the beach.
VIII. Bournemouth Beach and Pier
Bournemouth Beach lies just underneath the overcliffs and it’s accompanied by one of the warmest sea temperatures in the UK. It’s also really clean! Good thing about the beach is that there is so much you could do. It’s great for skaters, runners, swimmers, surfers, campers, families, friends or couples. It’s also really safe and convenience, with lifeguards, free toilets and showers. The beach is perfectly decorated with colorful huts that you could rent to maximize your fun. If you want to know more about these huts, please click here. 😊
Bournemouth Pier lies beautifully by the beach and it’s a perfect spot to watch the sunset! It’s stunning! It’s also not far from beach facilities and the town’s square. Also, there is so much you could do on the pier such as sipping cocktails at the Aruba Restaurant & Bar. Drinks here are nice!
IX. Boscombe Beach and Pier
Boscombe Beach and Pier is quite similar to the Bournemouth one, but it has more restaurants, cafes and sports facilities. Somehow, it’s a little quieter. Boscombe Beach is actually a perfect place for campfire during warmer nights.
X. Alum Chine and Argyll Gardens
Alum Chine and Argyll Gardens are probably the greenest and most tropical area in Bournemouth. It’s perfect for walking around, under the shade of massive trees. There are few small suspension bridges over the gardens as well.
Recommended Cycling Route
I have provided you with a cycling route that’ll take you to other places that you shouldn’t miss. It’s not difficult, but it’s quite a long distance. Though, it’s manageable within a day. So let’s just pack some snacks and drinks!
- Bournemouth Pier
- Boscombe Pier
- Hengistbury Head
- River Stour
- New Forest National Park
- Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary
- River Avon
- Moors Valley Country Park and Forest
So, let’s start at Bournemouth Pier then keep going along the beach, pass Boscombe Pier and stop at the Hengistbury Head. (5 miles, 30 minutes)
From Hengistbury Head, we are heading toward Christchurch, passing the River Stour, then entering the New Forest National Park to the Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary. (16 miles, 1 hour 30 minutes)
After spending sometime inside New Forest National Park, then we are exiting the park, heading to Ringwood, passing the River Avon, checking out the Moors Valley Country Park and Forest and then heading back to Bournemouth. (25 miles, 2 hours 30 minutes)
This route took me 9 hours, including eating, stoping to take pictures, and getting lost. I departed from Bournemouth Pier around 10 a.m. and got back into town around 6 p.m.