If you’re wondering what to do in Bournemouth, look no further. This vibrant coastal town has something for everyone, from beautiful beaches to exciting outdoor activities and cultural experiences. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or an adventure-packed holiday, Bournemouth has plenty of activities to keep you entertained. In this guide, we’ve put together a list of the best things to do in Bournemouth that are sure to create unforgettable memories. So, let’s dive into the best Bournemouth activities and start planning your next adventure!
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Some tips when heading to Bournemouth
- If you are staying in Bournemouth and want to stay close to the beach, I would recommend booking either Marsham Court Hotel or the Bournemouth Highcliff Marriott Hotel
- Bournemouth has a hop on hop off bus which is quite handy as it stops at starts in the centre of the city and goes as far as Poole and Sandbanks! You can book tickets here.
- If you are looking for something to do with the family, there is a great self-guiding Bournemouth game for your mobile which you can get here.
- Looking for something a bit more active? Why not try this E-Bike Day Trip with Lunch to Harrys Rock or Corfé Castle. You can find out more about this here.
- You can also book a day trip to the Isle of Wight. More info can be found here.
Best things to do in Bournemouth
When it comes to things to do in Bournemouth, this bustling seaside town has plenty to offer. From stunning beaches and outdoor adventures to cultural experiences and delicious dining options, there’s no shortage of Bournemouth activities to explore. Let’s take a closer look at some of the best things to do in Bournemouth for your next trip.
Head to Bournemouth Beach
There’s nothing quite like soaking up the sun on this stunning stretch of sand. With so many things to do at Bournemouth Beach, you’ll never get bored. Whether you’re looking to simply relax with a book or take part in some beachside activities, there’s something for everyone. Plus, there are plenty of things to do near Bournemouth Beach as well. From exploring the charming town centre to trying out some of the exciting Bournemouth beach activities, you’ll have no shortage of options. So, grab your sunscreen and towel, and get ready to enjoy all that Bournemouth Beach has to offer!
Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum
Looking for things to do in Bournemouth for adults? Look no further than the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum. This attraction in Bournemouth is a must-visit for art lovers and history buffs alike. The museum features an impressive collection of fine art and decorative objects, including works by world-renowned artists.
But it’s not just the art that makes this museum a top attraction in Bournemouth. The building itself is a stunning example of Victorian architecture, with intricate details and beautiful gardens that make for a picture-perfect backdrop.
The Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum is also one of the top Bournemouth tourist attractions for couples. It’s the perfect spot for a romantic day out, exploring the galleries and gardens together.
Overall, if you’re looking for Bournemouth activities for adults or just a fun day out, the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum should definitely be on your list of things to do in Bournemouth.
Stroll through the Bournemouth lower gardens
Ah, the Bournemouth Lower Gardens. One of my favourite places to visit in Bournemouth! If you’re looking for cheap things to do in Bournemouth or things to do with kids in Bournemouth, this is a must-visit. These gardens are a Bournemouth tourist attraction that won’t disappoint, and the best part? It’s one of the free things to do in Bournemouth!
Take a stroll through the gardens and enjoy the beautiful flowers and trees. There are plenty of open spaces to relax and have a picnic or play some games with the kids. You can also grab an ice cream from one of the vendors and sit by the river, which runs through the gardens.
If you’re feeling active, there are some great kids activities in Bournemouth, like the mini golf course and the children’s play area. And if you’re lucky, you might even catch a live performance at the bandstand!
The Bournemouth Lower Gardens are definitely one of the top places to visit in Bournemouth, and it’s a great way to spend a relaxing afternoon without breaking the bank. So grab your picnic basket, put on some comfy shoes, and head on over to the Bournemouth Lower Gardens for a lovely day out!
Best things to do in Bournemouth: Oceanarium
If you’re looking for a fun-filled day out with the kids in Bournemouth, the Oceanarium is a must-visit. This aquarium is one of the top Bournemouth attractions for families, offering a chance to get up close and personal with an array of marine life. As a parent, I can vouch that this is one of the best kids’ activities in Bournemouth, providing an educational and entertaining experience all in one.
From playful otters and colourful clownfish to majestic sharks and giant sea turtles, the Oceanarium has a diverse range of sea creatures that are sure to captivate both you and your little ones. The highlight of our Bournemouth days out was walking through the underwater tunnel while surrounded by an array of exotic fish swimming above our heads.
Aside from the mesmerizing exhibits, the Oceanarium also offers interactive experiences such as feeding sessions and talks that give kids an opportunity to learn about these fascinating creatures.
Overall, visiting the Oceanarium is one of the best things to do in Bournemouth for kids. It’s an amazing day out with the family and a great way to create unforgettable memories. Don’t forget to bring a camera to capture those precious moments!
Ah, the Bournemouth Pier! No visit to this charming coastal town would be complete without strolling down the iconic pier. It’s one of the best things to do in Bournemouth and is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting the area.
The pier is a hub of activity, with something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a romantic walk with your partner or a fun family day out with the kids, the Bournemouth Pier has got you covered.
As you walk along the pier, you’ll be greeted with stunning views of the ocean and the coastline. Take a moment to breathe in the salty sea air and admire the beautiful surroundings.
For those looking for a bit of excitement, there are plenty of attractions on the pier to keep you entertained. From classic arcade games to thrilling rides, the Bournemouth Pier has it all.
If you’re looking for things to do with kids in Bournemouth, the pier is a great option. There’s a dedicated play area for children, as well as plenty of funfair rides that are sure to keep them entertained.
So, whether you’re a local looking for a fun day out or planning a Bournemouth staycation, the Bournemouth Pier is a must-visit attraction. It’s one of the best things to do in Bournemouth, and you won’t want to miss it!
If you’re looking for something to do in Bournemouth, and especially in the winter or on a rainy day, catching a show at the Shelley Theatre is an absolute must-try! Not only is it a cosy and intimate venue, but the variety of performances offered means that there’s something for everyone. From plays and musicals to concerts and comedy shows, the Shelley Theatre has it all.
For couples looking for a romantic night out or for adults wanting to enjoy some fun activities in Bournemouth, a visit to the Shelley Theatre is a perfect way to spend an evening. The quaint and charming theatre creates a unique and memorable atmosphere that’s perfect for a date night or a night out with friends.
As one of the best places to see in Bournemouth, the Shelley Theatre is not to be missed. With its rich history and beautiful architecture, it’s a true gem of the town’s cultural scene. So if you’re looking for things to do in Bournemouth, make sure to add seeing a show at the Shelley Theatre to your list!
West Cliff Funicular Railway
If you’re looking for the best things to do in Bournemouth with kids, then riding the West Cliff Funicular Railway should definitely be on your list. This Bournemouth attraction is not only a fun and unique experience for all ages, but it’s also a great way to take in the stunning views of the town’s coastline.
As a local, I have taken my kids on this ride several times, and they always get excited to hop on board. The funicular railway connects the promenade with the top of the West Cliff, and it’s a short and sweet ride that lasts just a few minutes. You’ll feel the thrill of ascending a steep hill while enjoying panoramic views of the beach and town below.
It’s no wonder why the West Cliff Funicular Railway is one of the top things to do in Bournemouth. It’s a great way to experience one of the unique attractions in Bournemouth and create lasting memories with your family. Plus, it’s an affordable activity that won’t break the bank.
So, add this Bournemouth attraction to your list of places to see in Bournemouth, and take the kids for a ride they won’t forget. The West Cliff Funicular Railway is one of the many Bournemouth tourist attractions that should be on your itinerary for your next family vacation.
Science Zone Bournemouth
Looking for fun things to do with kids in Bournemouth? The Bournemouth Science Zone is the perfect place for families to explore and learn together. As one of the top Bournemouth attractions for families, this interactive museum offers a wide range of exhibits that will spark the curiosity of both kids and adults.
Kids can get hands-on with interactive displays and experiments, learning about everything from the solar system to dinosaurs and volcanoes. The Science Zone Bournemouth is a great place for children to discover the wonders of science in a fun and engaging way.
As one of the best attractions near Bournemouth, the Science Zone is a must-visit destination for families looking for Bournemouth days out. It’s not just an educational experience, but a fun one too. Kids will love exploring the different exhibits, playing with the interactive displays, and discovering new things about the world around them.
In short, the Bournemouth Science Zone is one of the best Bournemouth things to do for families. It’s a great place to spend an afternoon, and it’s sure to leave a lasting impression on kids and adults alike. If you’re looking for things to do in Bournemouth with your kids, be sure to add the Science Zone to your list of must-see attractions!
Marvo Mysteries Escape Room Bournemouth
Looking for a thrilling activity to do with your significant other or a group of friends while in Bournemouth? Marvo Mysteries Escape Room is the perfect attraction for you! This exciting escape room challenge is one of the best things to do in Bournemouth for adults, especially in the winter or on rainy days.
Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by friendly staff who will guide you through the rules of the game and provide helpful hints along the way. Once you enter the room, the clock starts ticking, and you and your team will need to work together to solve puzzles and clues to escape before time runs out.
This activity is perfect for those who enjoy a bit of a challenge and love solving mysteries. You’ll be so immersed in the game that you’ll forget about the chilly winter weather or rain outside. Plus, it’s a great way to bond with your partner or friends and make lasting memories together.
So, if you’re looking for exciting activities in Bournemouth, be sure to check out Marvo Mysteries Escape Room. It’s a unique experience that’s sure to be a highlight of your trip.
Bournemouth Big Wheel
If you’re looking for a fun and exciting activity to do in Bournemouth, why not take a ride on the Bournemouth Big Wheel? This iconic attraction is a must-visit for couples and families alike, offering breath-taking views of the town and surrounding coastline. As you ascend to the top, you’ll be able to take in the stunning scenery while enjoying the gentle sway of the Ferris wheel. It’s a perfect way to spend an afternoon or evening and is one of the top Bournemouth attractions for families and couples.
Not only is the Bournemouth Big Wheel a fun activity to do in Bournemouth, it’s also a great way to create lasting memories with your loved ones. Couples can take in the romantic views of the sunset, while families with kids can enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the town and sea. With so many activities to do in Bournemouth, the Big Wheel is definitely one you won’t want to miss. So, hop on and enjoy the ride!
Best things to do in Bournemouth with kids
If you’re visiting Bournemouth with kids, you’ll be pleased to know that there are plenty of fun and exciting things to do! Here are some of the best activities to check out:
- Bournemouth Beach: The stunning beach offers soft sand, clear waters, and plenty of space for kids to play and build sandcastles.
- The Lower Gardens: A beautiful park area with a playground, a stream for paddling, and a café. It’s a great spot for a picnic and some outdoor fun.
- Oceanarium: A fantastic attraction where kids can see marine life up close, including sharks, turtles, and penguins. There’s also a virtual reality experience that takes you on a deep-sea adventure.
- Bournemouth Pier: A lively spot with a range of attractions, including arcade games, an amusement park, and a zip line.
- Lollipops Play Cafe Bournemouth: A soft play area where kids can let off some steam and have fun in a safe environment. Parents can relax with a coffee and some snacks.
- West Cliff Funicular Railway: A funicular railway that takes you up the cliff to get stunning views of the sea and the town.
- Bournemouth Science Zone: A hands-on science museum that’s perfect for curious kids. There are plenty of interactive exhibits and workshops to explore.
- Bournemouth Big Wheel: A must-visit attraction that offers breath-taking views of the town and the coast.
- Rock Reef Bournemouth: A thrilling indoor adventure park with activities like clip ‘n’ climb, a high-line aerial obstacle course, and an indoor cave-themed climbing experience.
- Centre VR BH1: A virtual reality experience that transports kids to different worlds, from exploring space to fighting dragons.
- Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf: A pirate-themed mini-golf course that’s fun for the whole family. Kids will love the interactive features and obstacles.
Best things to do in Bournemouth for couples
If you’re looking for a romantic getaway, Bournemouth has plenty of activities to offer for couples. Here are some of the best things to do in Bournemouth for couples:
- Stroll along Bournemouth Beach: Take a romantic walk along the seven miles of sandy beach and enjoy the sea breeze and stunning views.
- Catch a show at the Shelley Theatre: This intimate and historic venue offers a variety of live performances, from plays to comedy shows.
- Visit the Westover Gallery: Art lovers will appreciate this contemporary gallery that features a range of works from local and international artists.
- Solve puzzles together at Marvo Mysteries Escape Room Bournemouth: Get your hearts racing with a fun and challenging escape room experience.
- Take a ride on the Bournemouth Big Wheel: Experience breath-taking views of the town and coastline while snuggled up with your loved one on this iconic Ferris wheel.
- Enjoy a cabaret show at Rubyz: Get dressed up and enjoy a night of entertainment at this popular cabaret venue.
- Play some pool at Sharkey’s: With lots of American pool tables, this lively bar is the perfect spot for a bit of friendly competition with your partner.
- Laugh out loud at the Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Bournemouth: Enjoy an evening of stand-up comedy at this popular venue.
- Bowl a strike at Bowl Central: Have fun together and show off your bowling skills at this modern bowling alley with neon lights and fun music.
Best things to do in Bournemouth in the rain
Rainy days can put a damper on your plans but fear not! There are plenty of things to do in Bournemouth even when it’s pouring outside. Here are some ideas for indoor activities that will keep you entertained:
- Oceanarium: Explore the fascinating underwater world and see a variety of marine creatures up close at the Oceanarium.
- Shelley Theatre: Catch a play or live performance at the beautiful Shelley Theatre, which hosts a range of events throughout the year.
- Westover Gallery: Admire beautiful art and discover new artists at the Westover Gallery, which showcases contemporary art from around the world.
- Marvo Mysteries Escape Room Bournemouth: Put your problem-solving skills to the test and try to escape from one of the Marvo Mysteries Escape Rooms.
- Centre VR BH1: Immerse yourself in virtual reality experiences and games at Centre VR BH1.
- Castlepoint Shopping Park: Go on a shopping spree at the Castlepoint Shopping Park, which features over 40 shops and restaurants.
- Bournemouth Indoor Bowls Centre: Try your hand at indoor bowls and enjoy a friendly game with friends or family.
- The Arcade Bournemouth: Shop for unique items and gifts at The Arcade Bournemouth, a charming shopping arcade filled with independent retailers.
- Laser Quest Bournemouth: Challenge your friends or family to a game of laser tag at Laser Quest Bournemouth.
- DNA Bournemouth: Sing your heart out at DNA Bournemouth, a fun and lively karaoke bar that’s perfect for a rainy night out.
- Mr Mulligans Bournemouth: Putt your way through a neon-lit mini-golf course at Mr Mulligans Bournemouth, which also features a bar and restaurant for post-game drinks and snacks.
Best things to do in Bournemouth by the beach
When it comes to things to do in Bournemouth, the beach area offers a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy. Here are some of the best things to do in Bournemouth by the beach:
- Visit the Oceanarium: Located right next to the beach, the Oceanarium is a great place to learn about marine life and see a variety of aquatic creatures up close. With interactive exhibits and daily feedings, it’s an educational and fun activity for all ages.
- Explore Boscombe Chine Gardens: Just a short walk from the beach, these stunning gardens are a hidden gem in Bournemouth. Take a leisurely stroll through the winding paths and admire the colourful flowers and foliage.
- Visit Bournemouth Pier: A visit to Bournemouth wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the pier. With its amusement arcade, restaurants, and stunning views of the coast, it’s a popular spot for both tourists and locals.
- Check out Boscombe Pier: Located just east of Bournemouth Pier, Boscombe Pier offers a quieter and more relaxed atmosphere. Take a stroll down the pier, enjoy an ice cream, or watch the surfers catch some waves.
- Ride the West Cliff Funicular Railway: For a unique way to see the beach and surrounding area, take a ride on the West Cliff Funicular Railway. The historic railway offers stunning views and is a fun experience for all ages.
- Visit the Coastal Activity Park: Located near Boscombe Pier, the Coastal Activity Park offers a range of outdoor activities such as mini golf, table tennis, and a climbing wall. It’s a great place to spend an afternoon with friends or family.
Best Bournemouth Crazy golf attractions
Looking for some fun and quirky things to do in Bournemouth? Check out these top crazy golf attractions:
- Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf: This pirate-themed crazy golf course is perfect for families and groups of friends. With challenging holes and fun obstacles, it’s a great way to spend a sunny afternoon.
- Mr Mulligans, Bournemouth: This indoor crazy golf course is perfect for those rainy days. With a variety of themed holes, including an enchanted forest and a medieval castle, it’s a fun activity for all ages.
- Mighty Adventures Crazy Golf: Located at the Tower Park entertainment complex, this crazy golf course offers 18 holes of fun and excitement. From dinosaurs to robots, each hole has its own unique theme.
- Bournemouth Gardens Classic Mini Golf: This classic mini golf course is located in the heart of Bournemouth’s beautiful gardens. With 18 holes and stunning views of the gardens, it’s a great way to relax and unwind.
Best Bournemouth escape rooms
Looking for a thrilling and entertaining way to spend a rainy day in Bournemouth? Why not try one of the many escape rooms available in the town? Here are some of the best Bournemouth escape rooms to check out:
- Marvo Mysteries Escape Room Bournemouth: This immersive escape room experience takes you on a journey through time, where you’ll solve puzzles and challenges to escape the room before time runs out.
- Clue HQ – The Live Escape Game: With a range of rooms to choose from, Clue HQ offers exciting challenges and puzzles that will test your problem-solving skills and teamwork abilities.
- U-Escape: This popular escape room company offers a range of rooms to choose from, each with its own unique storyline and set of challenges.
- The Lockey Escape Rooms: With a range of themed rooms, The Lockey Escape Rooms is perfect for groups looking for a challenging and fun way to spend an afternoon or evening.
- OuijaBournemouth: If you’re looking for a spooky and thrilling experience, OuijaBournemouth is the perfect choice. This escape room experience will take you on a journey through the supernatural, with puzzles and challenges to solve along the way
- Cyantist: With a range of rooms to choose from, Cyantist offers fun and challenging puzzles that are perfect for families, couples, or groups of friends.
- Milkshake & Waffles!: This unique escape room experience combines puzzles and challenges with delicious milkshakes and waffles, making it a fun and memorable way to spend an afternoon in Bournemouth.
Best things to do near Bournemouth
While Bournemouth itself has plenty to offer, there are also many exciting and interesting things to do just a short distance away. Here are some of the best things to do near Bournemouth that are worth checking out:
- New Forest National Park: Just a short drive from Bournemouth, the New Forest National Park is a beautiful and serene place to explore. With its picturesque forests, moors, and coastline, there are plenty of opportunities for hiking, cycling, and wildlife spotting.
- Splash Zone water park: For those looking for a fun and exciting day out, Splash Zone water park is a must-visit. Located just a few miles from Bournemouth, this indoor water park features a range of thrilling slides and attractions that are perfect for all ages.
- Salisbury: This historic market town is just a short drive from Bournemouth and is home to many interesting attractions, including the stunning Salisbury Cathedral and the charming Old Sarum Castle.
- Stonehenge: One of the most famous landmarks in the world, Stonehenge is an ancient prehistoric monument located just a short distance from Bournemouth. Visitors can explore the site and learn about its fascinating history and significance.
- Jurassic Coast: This stunning coastline is a World Heritage Site and is just a short drive from Bournemouth. Visitors can explore the many charming towns and villages along the coast, as well as take in the breath-taking natural beauty of the area.
What county is Bournemouth in?
Bournemouth is a coastal town and unitary authority in the county of Dorset, England.
Where is Bournemouth?
Bournemouth is a coastal town in the south of England, located in the county of Dorset. It is situated approximately 107 miles (172 km) southwest of London and 27 miles (43 km) east of Dorchester. Bournemouth is situated on the south coast of England, between the towns of Poole to the west and Christchurch to the east.
Is Bournemouth a good place to live?
Bournemouth is generally considered a very good place to live. Here are some reasons why:
- Location: Bournemouth is located on the beautiful south coast of England, with easy access to stunning beaches, the New Forest national park, and other nearby attractions. It is also well-connected to other major cities in the UK, with good transport links.
- Climate: Bournemouth enjoys a mild climate, with relatively warm temperatures in the summer and mild winters.
- Education: Bournemouth has a number of excellent schools and two universities, Bournemouth University and Arts University Bournemouth.
- Culture: Bournemouth has a thriving cultural scene, with numerous music venues, theaters, museums, and art galleries.
- Economy: Bournemouth has a strong and diverse economy, with opportunities in a range of sectors including tourism, education, finance, and technology.
- Lifestyle: Bournemouth has a vibrant and friendly community, with plenty of events and activities for residents to enjoy.
What is Bournemouth famous for?
Bournemouth is famous for its beautiful sandy beaches, vibrant nightlife, and a range of attractions and activities for visitors and residents to enjoy. Here are some of the most popular attractions in Bournemouth:
- Bournemouth Beach: This award-winning beach is one of the main attractions in Bournemouth. It features seven miles of golden sand and clear blue waters, perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports.
- Bournemouth Pier: The pier is home to a range of attractions including amusement arcades, a zip line, a climbing wall, and a mini-golf course.
- Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum: This Victorian villa houses a collection of art and artifacts from around the world, including works by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Morris, and Auguste Rodin.
- Bournemouth Gardens: These beautiful gardens feature a range of flora and fauna, as well as a play area for children and a mini golf course.
- Oceanarium: This aquarium showcases a range of marine life from around the world, including sharks, turtles, and penguins.
- Hengistbury Head: This scenic headland is home to a nature reserve and provides stunning views of the surrounding area.
- Bournemouth International Centre: This large conference and entertainment venue hosts a range of events throughout the year, including concerts, exhibitions, and conferences.
Lieze Neven is a globetrotting travel writer and expat currently based in Nepal. With a passion for exploration, she has lived in Dubai, the UK, and Belgium, alongside her international teacher husband. Her parents live in France and she tries to visit Paris at least once a year. Together, they travel the world looking for the best hotels, experiences and food locations have to offer!