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Built around the mouth of the tiny Bourne River, Bournemouth barely existed at the start of the 19th century. It was then that Captain Tregonwell decided to build himself a house in the idyllic spot on Poole Bay, where central Bournemouth now stands. That original house is now the Royal Exeter Hotel, on The Square. Throughout the 19th century, the town became a hub for holiday-makers in search of sun, sea and sand, and so it has remained. Along with neighbouring Poole, the area is now one of Britain’s biggest water sports centres, offering windsurfing, kite surfing and yachting along with several other leisure activities! Bournemouth University, established in 1992, has brought an influx of young, creative people adding vibrancy to the area’s artistic and musical culture, making it one of the English south coast’s most cosmopolitan towns, with some of the best nightlife and designer shopping outside London. But of course, most famously, what this area has an abundance of is endless sandy beaches and clear blue waters in Britain’s best climate, averaging 1,750 hours of sunshine a year.
Sandy, white beaches and some of the best in water sports, Bournemouth is a resort that will not disappoint you. Whether you are interested in gastro pubs, beach life or shopping, you will find it all here!
Britain is undergoing a food culture revolution at the moment, with a desire for locally grown, organic produce and less processed foods. Driven by the country’s top chefs, this movement has been particularly strong in the southwest, with Dorset becoming the location for celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s organic farm, River Cottage. Bournemouth boasts some of Britain’s best local seafood as well as a cosmopolitan mix of worldwide cuisines.
After a day swimming in the sea or a few hours on the beach, you might feel like having something to drink and eat. There is always one or two beach clubs to choose from, or why not one of the many cafés found around town!
Bars (or ‘pubs’ as they are known in Britain) are national institutions and you will find a wealth of choices all around the town, from traditional places serving English real ale to modern bars full of young revellers. With its university population and seaside location, Bournemouth has some of the best nightlife on the south coast, attracting the biggest DJ’s and artists. To find out what is on, ask the local designer clothing and record shops.
Bournemouth is the commercial hub and shopping destination for the whole Dorset county, offering a wide range of all the latest worldwide stores, together with thriving boutique and bohemian shopping experiences. Furthermore, don´t forget to check out Westover Road, Bournemouth’s answer to London’s Sloane Street with the latest designer clothing boutiques!
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