15 Best Things to Do in Bournemouth, England

15 Best Things to Do in Bournemouth, England

By will

Sandwiched between the rolling hills of Dorset and the English Channel lies Bournemouth, an idyllic coastal town in England.

With its beautiful beaches, lush parks, and a plethora of activities, it’s no wonder why this charming town is so popular among travelers looking for a bit of freedom.

Whether you’re seeking adventure or relaxation, there’s something here for everyone.

From exploring the natural beauty of the area to indulging in some retail therapy; here are 15 of the best things to do in Bournemouth that will make your visit unforgettable!

1. Hit The Bournemouth Beaches

Bournemouth beach
Photo by Jonathan Hutchins

Bournemouth, England is a coastal paradise like no other.

With seven miles of sandy shoreline, it’s the perfect place to get away from it all and enjoy a day in the sun.

Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach or take part in some thrilling watersports, Bournemouth has something for everyone.

The beaches here are ideal for soaking up some rays and taking a dip in the sea.

The water temperature is much warmer than many other UK beaches, so it’s perfect for swimming and paddling around.

If you’re feeling adventurous, there are plenty of watersports to try out too.

From kayaking to kitesurfing and even paddleboarding, you can enjoy a spot of action while admiring views of the stunning coastline.

2. Explore Bournemouth Pier

Bournemouth Pier
Photo by Jonathan Hutchins

The Bournemouth Pier is a must-see for anyone visiting the area.

Stretching out into the English Channel, the pier is a great place to experience breathtaking views of the coast.

The pier has plenty to offer, from its famous amusement arcades and slot machines to its delightful eateries with delicious food.

There are also regular live music and entertainment events held here throughout the summer months.

For those looking for some relaxation time, there’s nothing quite like a stroll along the pier in the early evening when it’s less crowded.

As you take in the sights and sounds of this stunning landmark while feeling a light sea breeze on your face, you can truly appreciate why it’s one of Bournemouth’s most popular attractions.

If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of dolphins swimming off in the distance!

There really is something special about spending time at Bournemouth Pier – it’s an unforgettable experience that will stay with you long after your trip ends.

3. City Sightseeing Bournemouth

Coaches and a sightseeing bus near Court Royal, Bournemouth
Photo by Jaggery

Bournemouth is a stunning seaside town on the south coast of England, making it the perfect place for some fun and relaxation.

There are plenty of things to do in Bournemouth that will keep you entertained, but one of the best ways to experience what this vibrant city has to offer is with City Sightseeing Bournemouth.

City Sightseeing Bournemouth provides hop-on hop-off bus tours around the city, allowing you to explore different attractions at your own pace.

The tour route takes you past some of the most popular sights in Bournemouth, including beautiful beaches, historic sites, and exciting shops.

You can also take advantage of special offers like discounts on entry fees and exclusive access to certain attractions.

City Sightseeing Bournemouth is an ideal way to get around and explore this stunning city.

With its convenient service and great value for money, it’s a great way to experience all that Bournemouth has to offer.

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So if you’re looking for a fun way to spend your time in Bournemouth, make sure you jump on board City Sightseeing Bournemouth!

For a dose of culture, head to the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum.

Located in a beautiful building on East Cliff Promenade, this museum houses an impressive collection of objects, including fine art, furniture, textiles, and costumes from around the world.

Not only does it give visitors an insight into the history of Bournemouth and its surrounding area, but it also offers a great opportunity to learn about the lives of some of England’s most famous Victorians.

The gallery is incredibly well presented with each room dedicated to an individual theme or artist.

Highlights include the portrait gallery which contains works by renowned British artists such as William Holman Hunt and Sir Edward Burne-Jones; collections of Chinese porcelain and Japanese lacquerware; and a range of costumes from different countries.

There are also interactive displays and activities for children throughout the museum that make learning fun.

With so much to see and do, Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum is an essential stop on any trip to Bournemouth.

5. Explore Lower Gardens

The Lower Gardens, Bournemouth

Bournemouth’s Lower Gardens is a must-see for any visitor, and offer plenty to do.

From exploring the park’s many attractions, to simply relaxing in the sunshine, there are activities for all ages.

The park is home to the iconic seafront water feature – one of Bournemouth’s most recognizable landmarks.

Visitors can take a stroll among hundreds of colorful flowers and shrubs, or join in with some fun outdoor activities like crazy golf.

The nearby ornamental gardens are a treat too, with tranquil ponds, meandering paths, and spectacular views across the bay.

If you’re looking for something more energetic, why not try out the adventure play area?

It’s sure to keep kids entertained for hours!

If you’re feeling peckish after your adventures in Lower Gardens, there are plenty of places nearby where you can grab a bite to eat.

Whether it’s traditional fish & chips by the beach or al fresco dining at one of Bournemouth’s top restaurants – there’s something for every taste and budget.

So why not soak up some sun and enjoy all that this delightful coastal spot has to offer?

6. Explore The Hengistbury Head Beach

Located on the south coast of England, Bournemouth offers a wealth of activities for visitors to enjoy.

One of the most popular attractions is Hengistbury Head Beach, located near the city center.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day in the sun or an adventure-filled day out, this beach has something for everyone.

This stunning beach offers a range of activities to suit all interests and abilities.

Whether you want to relax on the golden sands or explore some of the rock pools, there’s plenty to do here.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try your hand at stand-up paddleboarding or take a kayak tour around the bay.

And if you prefer to take things slow, simply sit back and enjoy some sunbathing and picnicking while taking in stunning views out over Poole Bay.

The Hengistbury Head Beach is also home to various wildlife habitats and nature reserves, making it perfect for nature lovers looking to spot local wildlife.

There are also plenty of cafes and restaurants nearby where visitors can grab a bite to eat after their day of exploration and relaxation.

All in all, Hengistbury Head Beach is one of Bournemouth’s best beaches – it’s easy to see why it’s so popular with locals and tourists alike!

7. Visit The Oceanarium

For the ocean lover, Bournemouth’s Oceanarium is a must-see.

Home to over 1000 species of sea creatures, it’s the perfect place to explore and learn about our aquatic friends.

From playful penguins to colorful clownfish, you’ll be captivated by their beauty.

Plus, there are interactive displays and activities for the whole family.

The giant ocean tank is especially impressive, with its elegant rays, sleek sharks, and majestic turtles gliding through the water in perfect harmony.

You can even take a walk through the underwater tunnel – an unforgettable experience!

Don’t forget to grab a bite at one of the cafes or restaurants located within the complex too.

At the Oceanarium, you’ll get up close and personal with some of nature’s most fascinating creatures.

Whether you’re a novice or an expert in marine biology, there’s something here for everyone to enjoy.

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There’s no better way to appreciate our blue planet than by taking a trip down beneath its waves!

8. Head Over To Go Ape Moors Valley Country Park

If you’re looking for an exciting adventure, Go Ape Moors Valley Country Park is the place to visit.

This adrenaline-pumping activity park offers a variety of activities that let you explore the outdoors.

From zip wires, climbing frames, and suspended bridges, to Segways and forest trails, there’s something for everyone here.

You can also take in the stunning views of Bournemouth from the treetop canopy.

With a range of different courses available, you can tailor your experience to suit your needs.

Go Ape is ideal if you’re looking for a group activity or just some quality time with friends or family.

Whether you’re after relaxation or an adrenalin rush – there’s something here that will keep you entertained all day long!

Plus, with beautiful scenery and plenty of fresh air, it’s an ideal way to get away from it all and enjoy a unique outdoor adventure.

9. Experience Riding In The Swanage Railway

Experience the beauty of the English countryside like never before when you take a ride on the Swanage Railway.

Located in Bournemouth, this heritage railway has been entertaining visitors for over forty years.

Featuring steam and diesel locomotives, you can enjoy a leisurely journey back in time to Victorian England.

The train line runs from Norden Park & Ride Station to Corfe Castle Station and offers stunning views of the Isle of Purbeck, Corfe Common, and Poole Harbour.

Passengers who board at Norden can also disembark at Harman’s Cross, Herston Halt, Corfe Castle, and numerous other stops along the way.

If you’re looking for a unique experience during your stay in Bournemouth, riding on the Swanage Railway is an absolute must!

From its historic stations to its breathtaking scenery, it’s sure to be an unforgettable journey that will leave you with memories that last a lifetime.

10. Visit Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf

Next up on your list of the best things to do in Bournemouth is Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf.

This is a great way to get out and explore the town.

Here you’ll find two 18-hole crazy golf courses, full of fun twists and turns, complete with a pirate shipwreck at the center.

It’s an ideal place for families, friends, or couples looking for some outdoor fun.

The courses are easy enough for beginners but challenging enough for those seeking an extra bit of excitement.

With its tropical theme, you’ll feel like you’ve been whisked away to a desert island as you play through each hole.

Don’t forget to take some photos – there are lots of great photo opportunities for memories that will last a lifetime!

So why not grab your clubs and head down to Smuggler’s Cove Adventure Golf?

It promises hours of fun, laughter, and adventure as you test your golfing skills against the obstacles in this unique course!

11. Visit Sandbanks

Sandbanks, located on the southern coast of England, is an eccentric and vibrant destination with a unique draw.

Its three miles of golden sand, lapping waves, and spectacular views make it one of the most sought-after places to visit in Bournemouth.

Walkers, cyclists, and beachgoers flock here during the warmer months to enjoy its stunning scenery and bustling atmosphere.

The beach itself is divided into two sections: East and West Sandbanks.

The east side has plenty of parking spots so you can easily access some of the best attractions this area has to offer.

Take a stroll along the waterfront promenade or take part in some exciting water sports such as kitesurfing and sailing.

If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try stand-up paddleboarding or kayaking in Poole Harbour?

Be sure to take your camera too – there are endless photo opportunities here!

From breathtaking sunsets to quaint fishing boats bobbing in the distance, Sandbanks has something for everyone.

With plenty of restaurants, pubs, and cafes nearby, it’s also ideal for a leisurely lunch or dinner.

So grab your friends and family and head down to Sandbanks; you won’t regret it!

12. Experience Rockreef

Experience RockReef is the perfect place to let your adventurous side loose!

Located in the heart of Bournemouth, this thrilling experience is home to some of the UK’s biggest and most daring activities.

From a giant drop slide to a climbing wall, there’s something for everyone.

You can even take on the challenge of Europe’s largest indoor adventure course – it’s full of tightropes, cargo nets, and zip lines.

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It’s an unforgettable day out for thrill seekers!

Adventure isn’t just restricted to inside either.

There’s also an outdoor area with a huge artificial surf lagoon where you can try out surfing or bodyboarding – no matter what your skill level.

The lagoon is also heated, so you can enjoy it all year round.

With lifeguards always on duty, you can relax and just have fun!

RockReef really does offer something for everyone who wants to get their adrenaline pumping.

Whether it’s conquering fears or simply having fun, come along and give it a go!

13. Experience Bournemouth Nightlife

Bournemouth is a great destination for nightlife lovers!

Its vibrant bars, pubs, clubs, and restaurants make it the perfect place to party.

From traditional English pubs to nightclubs with late-night DJ sets and live music, there’s something for everyone.

If you’re looking for a lively night out in Bournemouth, head to Old Christchurch Road where you’ll find a variety of lively bars and clubs.

Popular spots include the award-winning Art Bar & Club which has an eclectic mix of music ranging from rock to hip-hop and everything in between.

For those looking for something a bit more upmarket, try The Cellar Bar – an intimate spot where you can enjoy cocktails and DJs until late.

And if you just want to grab some drinks with friends, there are plenty of relaxed pubs like The Goat & Tricycle or The Beer House which offer craft beers, ales, and ciders.

No matter what kind of night out you’re after, Bournemouth has something that will suit your needs.

So why not come down and experience it for yourself?

You won’t regret it!

14. Try The Hilton Spa

The Hilton Spa in Bournemouth is an oasis of relaxation.

For those seeking a day of pampering, the spa offers a variety of treatments, from facials and massages to full-body wraps and body scrubs.

The atmosphere is serene and tranquil, with calming music playing throughout the spa.

The staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and always willing to answer any questions you may have about the treatments available.

The spa also offers a swimming pool, sauna, and steam rooms as well as beauty treatments such as manicures, pedicures, and waxing services.

After your treatment, you can take advantage of the hotel’s luxurious facilities – there’s a fully equipped gym, an indoor pool, and a large outdoor terrace with stunning views of Bournemouth Bay.

Whether you’re looking for a little bit of luxury or just some time away from it all, the Hilton Spa has something for everyone.

Relaxation awaits!

15. Ride And Experience Freida’S Teabus

If you’re looking for a unique experience in Bournemouth, England, then take a ride on Freida’s TeaBus!

This vintage-style double-decker bus is more than just a mode of transport – it’s an experience.

Step inside and be transported back in time, while enjoying the views of the city and its beaches.

The bus seats up to 40 people, so you can bring your friends and family along for the ride!

Once on board, relax as you are served tea and snacks prepared by Freida’s expert staff.

Enjoy the sights of Bournemouth while sipping your favorite cup of tea.

You may even get lucky enough to hear Freida give a tour of the city – pointing out sites like St. Peter’s Church or Boscombe Pier along the way.

At Freida’s TeaBus, you’ll have the opportunity to make lasting memories that will last a lifetime.

So hop aboard for an unforgettable journey through this beautiful English town – it’s an experience you won’t forget!

Best Things to Do in Bournemouth – Final Thoughts

There’s no doubt that Bournemouth is a great destination for any traveler.

From the stunning beaches and pier to the exciting attractions like Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum and RockReef, there’s something for everyone.

And don’t forget about all of the wonderful nightlife options and spas!

It’s truly an amazing place to visit.

I highly recommend taking some time to explore all that Bournemouth has to offer.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day at the beach or an adventure filled with activities, you won’t be disappointed.

You’ll leave feeling invigorated from your experiences and memories that will last a lifetime.

So when you’re thinking about where to go next, make sure Bournemouth is at the top of your list.

It’s definitely worth it – you won’t regret it!


What are the best things to do in Bournemouth with kids?

The best things to do in Bournemouth with kids are visiting the Oceanarium, Russel Cotes Art Gallery, and Hengistbury Head Center.

What to do during the day in Bournemouth?

The best things to do during the day in Bournemouth are visiting the Upside Down House Bournemouth, Swanage Railway, and Sandbanks Mini Golf.

Is Bournemouth worth visiting?

Yes, Bournemouth is worth visiting because of its golden sandy beaches and scenic coastlines.

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.