The 14 Best Things To Do In Bournemouth – Attractions, Tours & Sights

(Last Updated On: October 16, 2022)

 

Bournemouth is a beautiful beach town located on the South Coast of England.

It’s perfect for a summer getaway for all the family, with its sandy beaches, stunning coastline and variety of activities on offer.

There are plenty of things to do in Bournemouth, whether you want to relax by the beach, explore the town or visit an attraction.

For those interested in history or art, there are several museums, art galleries and historic buildings to visit.

Or, if you’re looking for some action, why not try one of the many exhilarating activities on offer, such as the shore zip wire, indoor laser tag or an aerial obstacle course?

Whatever your interests you are sure to find plenty to see and do in Bournemouth.

Things To Do In Bournemouth

1. Bournemouth Pier

Bournemouth Pier

Bournemouth Pier is a Grade II listed structure and one of the town’s most iconic landmarks.

The pier was opened in 1880 and originally served as a landing stage for steamships travelling to the Isle of Wight.

It was later used as a promenade, before being redeveloped in the 1990s.

Today, Bournemouth Pier is a popular tourist destination, offering stunning views of the coastline, as well as a range of shops, cafes and restaurants.

Visitors can also enjoy a range of activities, including pier to shore zip wire, mini golf and amusement arcades.

Address: Bournemouth Pier, Pier Approach, Bournemouth BH2 5AA

2. Bournemouth Beach

Bournemouth Beach

Bournemouth has seven miles of award-winning beaches with the bay enjoying its own micro-climate.

Bournemouth beach is a stunning location with plenty to do for everyone.

Whether you want to relax in the sun, build sandcastles with the kids or try your hand at surfing, this is the place to be.

There is also a fantastic array of colourful beach huts available to hire if you want to take a break from the sun and enjoy some refreshments.

Address: Bournemouth beach, Seafront Promenade, Bournemouth BH5 1BN

3. Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum

Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum

The Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum is a must-see for art and history lovers visiting Bournemouth.

The museum was founded in 1901 by Merton Russell-Cotes and his wife Annette, who were passionate art collectors.

Today, the museum houses an impressive collection of paintings, sculptures, ceramics and furniture from around the world.

Visitors can also learn about the lives of the Russell-Cotes and see some of their personal belongings on display.

The museum is located in a beautiful Grade II listed building overlooking Bournemouth seafront.

There is also a lovely garden to explore, which features sculptures, fountains and a café.

Address: Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum, East Cliff Promenade, Bournemouth BH1 3AA

4. Boscombe Pier

Boscombe Pier

Boscombe Pier is a historic pier located in the seaside town of Boscombe, England.

The pier was built in 1856 and was originally used as a landing stage for passengers travelling to and from the Isle of Wight.

In recent years, the pier has been refurbished and now houses a café, bar, and restaurant.

Boscombe pier is free to enter and offers fabulous views, it’s also a great location for fishing.

Address: Boscombe Pier, 2494 Undercliff Dr, Bournemouth, BH5 1BN

5. Adventure Wonderland Family Theme Park

Adventure Wonderland Family Theme Park

Adventure Wonderland Family Theme Park is a great place to take the kids for a day of fun.

The park is themed around Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and has more than 30 rides and attractions including Battle Boats, Turbo Teacups and Wild Bill’s Runaway Train.

With rides, games, and other activities, there is something for everyone at this family-friendly park.

There is also an indoor Aztec adventure play centre, so with rides, games, and other activities, there is something for everyone at this family-friendly park.

Address: Adventure Wonderland Family Theme Park, Merritown Ln, Hurn, Christchurch BH23 6BA

6. Bournemouth Lower, Central and Upper Gardens

Bournemouth Lower, Central and Upper Gardens

Bournemouth Lower, Central and Upper Gardens are situated close to the town centre and offer a wide range of facilities and activities for visitors.

The gardens stretch around 3 kilometres from Bournemouth pier to the boundary with Poole.

Amenities include a lake, tennis courts, a bandstand, a putting green, an aviary, a children’s play area, a café and more.

There are also self-guided walks through the gardens, including the Tree trail or you can simply enjoy the scenery.

The gardens are open all year round and there is no charge for admission.

There are also several events held in the gardens throughout the year, including an annual Easter egg hunt and a Christmas fair.

Address: Bournemouth Lower, Central and Upper Gardens, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH4 9JX

7. Hengistbury Head Beach

Hengistbury Head Beach

Hengistbury Head Beach has a south-facing sand and pebble beach, as well as a sandy beach situated at the Mudeford spit.

There is a Visitors Centre nearby and a land train that travels between Hiker Cafe and Mudeford beach.

It’s perfect for a day by the sea with friends or family, and there’s plenty of space to relax and take in the stunning views.

There are also plenty of amenities nearby and it’s relatively safe for swimming so you can make a day of it.

Address: Hengistbury Head Beach, Southbourne, Bournemouth BH6 4EW

8. Bournemouth Oceanarium

Bournemouth Oceanarium

The Oceanarium is one of the top attractions in Bournemouth.

It is located on Bournemouth seafront near to Bournemouth Pier, a short walk from the Bournemouth International Centre.

With over 2,000 marine animals, it’s a great place to learn about underwater life.

Some of the highlights include Shark Wreck Reef, Crocodile Rocks and Penguin Beach Encounter.

There are also plenty of hands-on exhibits, so you can touch starfish and stingrays.

Great for all the family, Bournemouth Oceanarium is a must see.

Address: Bournemouth Oceanarium, Oceanarium Pier Approach, Bournemouth BH2 5AA

9. Christchurch Harbour

Christchurch Harbour

Christchurch Harbour is a natural harbour that combines the two rivers in Christchurch, the River Stour and the River Avon.

On a sunny day it’s nice to take the circular walk that takes you around the beautiful Christchurch Harbour to admire the scenery.

There are also several cafes and restaurants in the area when you need some refreshment.

Address: Christchurch Harbour, Quay Road, Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 1BU

10. Boscombe Chine Gardens

Boscombe Chine Gardens

The Boscombe Chine Gardens were developed originally from an area of heathland.

These lovely gardens are located opposite Boscombe Pier and offer stunning views of the coastline.

They are home to a variety of plants and flowers, as well as a number of sculptures.

The gardens have a lovely mix of scenery, with formal flower beds, large grassy areas for recreation, mini golf and a water-themed playground.

There is also the Squirrel Café and a shop.

Address: Boscombe Chine Gardens, Sea Rd, Boscombe, Bournemouth BH5 1AX

11. The Square

The Square

The Square is situated in the heart of the town centre and is surrounded by beautiful gardens.

It separates the Central Gardens from the Lower Gardens.

It’s home to a number of shops, restaurants, and cafes, and is a lovely spot to go shopping.

It is also the venue for a number of events throughout the year, including live music and comedy performances.

Address: The Square, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH2 5LY

12. West Cliff Lift

West Cliff Lift

The West Cliff Lift is a Funicular Railway that was opened in 1908.

The railway runs from the bottom of the cliff to the top, where there are stunning views of the coastline.

The Lift operates daily between Easter and the end of October, from 10am to 5pm.

Address: West Cliff Lift, W Cliff Promenade, Bournemouth BH2 5DU

13. Bournemouth International Centre

Bournemouth International Centre

Open since 1984, the International Centre is a conference and exhibition centre.

This multi-purpose venue is located close to the town centre and offers a wide range of facilities and services.

The centre has four main auditoria and is home to a number of events throughout the year, including trade shows, conferences, concerts and exhibitions.

Some of the biggest names in entertainment have performed at the Centre and tickets can be bought online for current events.

Address: Exeter Rd, Bournemouth BH2 5BH

14. Bournemouth Big Wheel

Bournemouth Big Wheel

The Bournemouth Big Wheel is a Ferris wheel that was installed in 2010.

Standing more than 100 feet tall, the wheel is situated on the seafront and offers stunning views of the coastline.

Visitors get 2 full rotations of the wheel which is plenty of opportunity to take some stunning photos.

There are also a number of other attractions nearby, including the Oceanarium, the Bournemouth International Centre, and the Square.

Address: Bournemouth Big Wheel, Pier Approach, Bournemouth BH2 5AA

FAQ

Does Bournemouth have good nightlife?

Bournemouth is a really nice town on the south coast, and is known as one of the top places for nights out.

There are plenty of bars, restaurants and clubs to choose from.

Is Bournemouth good for shopping?

The main Bournemouth town centre shopping areas are The Triangle, Commercial Road, The Square and Old Christchurch Road.

Is Poole Harbour worth a visit from Bournemouth?

Poole is England’s largest natural harbour and a great location for all types of water sports, it also has unspoilt woodland and coastal walks.

Brownsea Island is the largest island in the harbour and features a lagoon and nature reserve.

What are the best places for mini fun golf in Bournemouth?

Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf has 18 holes of adventure, full of challenges, located on Bournemouth Seafront.

Bournemouth Gardens Classic Mini Golf course is a 18-hole mini course located in Lower Gardens between Bournemouth Pier and the main town centre.

Are there leisure centres in Bournemouth?

Bournemouth has an abundance of leisure centres offering many different sports facilities and fitness classes.

What is the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth?

The stadium is the home ground of Premier League football club AFC Bournemouth.

Why is Bournemouth called the Jurassic Coast?

This interesting coastline has dinosaur footprints and geographical marvels, giving it the title of the Jurassic Coast.

Author

  • Tamara M

    Hey there! My name is Tamara, welcome to my little world! I’m a 20-something-year-old from Toronto, Canada (though I’m rarely there) and I’m super passionate about exploring the world, photography, and cooking delicious plant-based recipes. I created this blog to share my favorite places, adventures, restaurants, accommodations, and travel tips with all of you and keep a bit of a travel diary for myself.

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