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Things to do in Bournemouth

Top recommendations from locals

From sightseeing to hidden gems, find out what makes the city unique with the help of the locals who know it best.
Restaurant
$$
“Great place to eat right on the seafront. Take a walk through Boscombe Gardens and Chine to work up an appetite!”
  • 53 locals recommend
Park
“Hengistbury Head juts into the English Channel and is a site of international importance – archaeology, conservation, protection, and environmentally sensitive area. The high area is called Warren Hill with good views to the Isle of Wight, Studland Bay and the harbour. ”
  • 47 locals recommend
Art Museum
“Discover the Russell-Cotes story…In 1901 Merton Russell-Cotes gave his wife Annie a dream house on a cliff-top, overlooking the sea.It was an extraordinary, extravagant birthday present – lavish, splendid, and with a touch of fantasy. They filled this exotic seaside villa with beautiful objects from their travels across the world, and lined the walls with a remarkable collection of British art, creating a unique atmosphere in a most dramatic setting. A home, an art gallery, and a museum. Then they sealed it in time, and gave it to the future.”
  • 42 locals recommend
Nature
“Beautiful area and nature reserve with a view of the beach and sea on one side and Christchurch harbour on the other. There are large fields, a walk up the head itself. There is a cafe/restaurant on the spit beach and also another cafe at the car park. The visitor centre has a small garden outside and cameras showing nesting birds (great place to fly a kite - it's always windy!)”
  • 38 locals recommend
Hotel
“A trip to Bournemouth isn't complete without stepping foot on the award winning beach. Great all year round from sunbathing in the height of summer to quick stroll in the wintery months. A must see”
  • 35 locals recommend
Beach
“Modern cinema experiences with 3D and I sense built in. This is a must for any moviegoer! A great night for the whole family.”
  • 20 locals recommend
Aquarium
“Dive into a magical underwater journey and discover 1000’s of amazing creatures above and below the waves at Bournemouth Oceanarium. Submerge yourself in our newly re-themed underwater tunnel, home to stunning sharks, Carrie the loggerhead turtle and many more. Get up close to a cunning croc, mischievous otter family, mesmerizing jellyfish, colourful clownfish and not forgetting our playful colony of Humboldt penguins! New for 2019 Shark Wreck Reef! The newly refurbished walk through tunnel display which incorporates a shipwreck theme surrounded by stunning coral, encompasses an impressive 350 thousand litres of salt water! Visitors can get up close to over 75 creatures, including a variety of shark species, southern stingrays, moray eels and a giant turtle. Don’t miss: - Daily talks and feeds - School holiday activities - Kids’ quiz trail - 11 themed zones”
  • 32 locals recommend
Entertainment
“The largest arts centre in the country outside of London, also home to the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. There are loads of events going on year-round, as well as a cinema.”
  • 19 locals recommend
Café
“Nice for a casual dinner and drinks. Make sure to try their duck pizza. Plus they're currently doing Pizza and Prosecco Thursdays! ”
  • 27 locals recommend
Church
“Christchurch Priory is said to be the longest church in England, measuring 95 metres and the building dates back to 1094. The priory consists of 24 secular canons and it was recorded in the Domesday book back in the eleventh century. It was probably built on the site of a much earlier church. Building started in 1094 and took may years and families to what you see today was completed in 1530. In 1999 a window celebrating theine hundredth anniversary of Christchurch Priory was installed. It shows a starry night dominated by a cross, which is surrounded by a pattern of circles to symbolise eternity and perfection. The Priory has a ring of 12 bells plus a 6th flat. The Bells are rung twice on Sundays and Monday nights and for extra services. They are in the Key of D and the Tenor (largest) weighs 30cwt (1½ Tons). The two oldest bells in the ring were cast in 1376. ”
  • 25 locals recommend
Restaurant
$$
“Great local restaurant - book ahead. At the weekend there is a speak-easy hidden bar above - ask when booking... ”
  • 26 locals recommend
Park
“Bournemouth offers 2,000 acres of glorious gardens and parks just waiting to be explored. The gardens are split into three areas of Victorian beauty- starting with the Lower Gardens, adjacent to the sea and leading to the Central Gardens in the town centre, and then the Upper Gardens. ”
  • 23 locals recommend
Bus Station
“Grab a stick of rock, an ice cream or some fish & chips and have a walk along the famous pier.”
  • 15 locals recommend
Theatre
“The Bournemouth Pavilion and Ballroom is Bournemouth’s stunning Art Deco theatre providing year-round entertainment for everyone. The 1920s venue has retained its splendour and elegant style and is Bournemouth’s regular home for West End stage shows, Opera, Ballet, Pantomime and Comedy. ”
  • 19 locals recommend
Bar
$$
“The music is great and there are often special nights like Comedy night, music night.”
  • 21 locals recommend
Shopping Centre
“If you don't fancy going into Bournemouth Town Centre, Castlepoint Shopping Centre has everything you need from book shops, clothing, supermarkets and the biggest and BEST Marks and Spencer on the south coast of the UK.”
  • 14 locals recommend

Top restaurants

Restaurant
“Great place to eat right on the seafront. Take a walk through Boscombe Gardens and Chine to work up an appetite!”
  • 53 locals recommend
Café
“Nice for a casual dinner and drinks. Make sure to try their duck pizza. Plus they're currently doing Pizza and Prosecco Thursdays! ”
  • 27 locals recommend
Restaurant
“Great local restaurant - book ahead. At the weekend there is a speak-easy hidden bar above - ask when booking... ”
  • 26 locals recommend
Bar
“The music is great and there are often special nights like Comedy night, music night.”
  • 21 locals recommend
Café
“Family friendly spot for food and/or drinks. Good food with bar services, games and also dog friendly. We love this for a casual evening out!”
  • 18 locals recommend
Fish & Chip Shop
“The best fish and chips restaurant and takeaway! Only a 10 minute walk away”
  • 18 locals recommend
Store
“Fantastic plant-based food, great for breakfast, lunch & dinner. Great menu, fabulous cakes! Open: Mon 10am-6pm, Tues 9am-6pm Wed: Closed, Thurs: 9am-6pm, Fri 9am-9pm, Sat10am-9pm Sun: 10am-6pm T: 01202 236407 7 The Triangle, Bournemouth BH2 5RY”
  • 15 locals recommend
Café
“Popular local restaurant with great food and drink -midway between the flat and the beach! ”
  • 11 locals recommend

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