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Bournemouth Attractions

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Bournemouth Town Hall

A stay in a Bournemouth hotel is about sandcastling with the kids, inhaling the pine scent from the acres of floral gardens or splashing in the blue coastal waters.

Historic Bournemouth

Bournemouth has been around only since the early 1800s but has accrued history by the barrel. Frankenstein author Mary Shelley is buried in St Peter’s Church; Robert Louis Stevenson dreamt up Jekyll and Hyde from his West Cliff house and Hardy sent Tess to Bournemouth-inspired Sandbourne with nasty Alec. Stroll down Invalids’ Walk lined with pine trees grown to shelter the seaward walk from the city’s first holiday villas.

Art and museums in Bournemouth

Head from your Bournemouth hotel to the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum on East Cliff Parade, which is stuffed with oriental souvenirs collected by a globetrotting Victorian family. Twiddle some knobs at the Bournemouth Aviation Museum where you can virtually take off in a light aircraft.

Quirky things to do in Bournemouth

The Bournemouth Eye whisks you 500 feet above seven miles of Jurassic coastline in a hot-air balloon. Back on terra firma, the Oceanarium re-creates life along the Ganges River.

Events in Bournemouth

The free Bournemouth Air Festival in August, with displays from Kitty Hawks, Mustangs and Spitfires, attracts more than a million people to the beach. Bourne Free Pride Festival celebrates gay life each July with a parade, fireworks and a jazz night.

See all Bournemouth hotels

Attractions in Bournemouth:

Bournemouth Eye, Bournemouth. Courtesy of Bournemouth Tourism
Bournemouth Balloon

Opening times:
Daily 9am-late Apr - Sep 2013 (annual)

The Bournemouth Chines © The Dorset Cruise Company
Dorset Cruises

Opening times:
Apr - Oct 2013 (annual)

Athelhampton House and Gardens

Opening times:
Nov 2012 - Mar 2013; Sun only (various dates)

Mompesson House, Salisbury. Courtesy of Salisbury District Council
Mompesson House

Opening times:
Sat-Wed 11am-5pm Mar - Oct 2013; not Thu or Fri (annual)

The Exbury Gardens steam railway, Exbury Gardens. Courtesy of Exbury Gardens
Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway

Opening times:
Daily 10am-5pm Mar - Nov 2013 (annual)

What's on in Bournemouth:

Fireworks. Photo by Barbara Realini, © Whatsonwhen
Summer Breeze on the Beach

Dates Open:
06/08/2015 to 09/09/2015
07/08/2014 to 10/09/2014

Animal Windfest, Poole. Photo by Si Crowther, courtesy of Liz Lean PR
Animal Windfest

Dates Open:
09/09/2014 to 11/09/2014

Beaulieu International Autojumble

Dates Open:
10/09/2014 to 10/09/2014

Great Dorset Steam Fair. Courtesy of Great Dorset Steam Fair
Great Dorset Steam Fair

Dates Open:
29/08/2014 to 02/09/2014

Explosions in the Sky. Courtesy of Hermana PR
End of the Road Festival

Dates Open:
31/08/2014 to 02/09/2014

Boats in a marina. Courtesy of Southampton Boat Show
Southampton Boat Show

Dates Open:
16/09/2014 to 25/09/2014

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Content provided by Frommers Unlimited, copyright © 2012: Whatsonwhen Ltd, John Wiley & Sons, Inc