Bournemouth

Enjoy a stay at a Best Western hotel in Bournemouth and experience all this quintessential English seaside resort has to offer - its famous pier and award-winning beach - plus great restaurants and shopping too.

Famous for its stunning sandy beaches that stretch for miles, Bournemouth is a seaside resort that caters to every demand. Ride the waves in Dorset's surfing capital, Boscombe or rub shoulders with the super-rich in Poole - you can do it all here. But if you want to just laze on the beach, that’s fine too.

Best Western offers superb hotel choices – all within easy reach of the best of Bournemouth’s fabulous beaches and attractions. Whatever your price range, we have an option to suit - so book early to ensure a stay in your ideal choice of accommodation.

Bournemouth – British beachside bliss

Who said unforgettable beach holidays only take place abroad?

Ditch the Balearics for Bournemouth this summer, and explore award-winning beaches, costal coves, exhilarating attractions and quaint local eateries… all without getting on a plane.

Let’s start with those beaches. Seven miles of golden sands cover this sun-drenched enclave of Dorset, all with the Blue Flag mark of quality. This is the Great British seaside at its quintessential best, with all the charming beach huts, nostalgic promenades and Kiss Me Quick hats you’d hoped for.

A peaceful hideaway for couples, but look no further if you’re bringing the kids too, with a raft of attractions to keep them entertained whatever the weather. Sail out on a boat trip, take in a variety of museums and art galleries, or set off on an exciting cliffside climb in a vintage funicular lift.

While days can be whiled away exploring the coast, evenings might lead you to a show. Far from your classic end-of-the-pier-style variety, Bournemouth’s been nurturing a reputation for showcasing some world-class productions, straight from the West End.

Looking for a different kind of relaxation? The area has over 2,000 sprawling acres of gardens and parks open to everyone to explore. Or maybe a therapeutic shopping trip in the heart of Bournemouth?

Add in a vibrant golfing scene, a multitude of arts festivals and close proximity to the New Forest National Park – you’ll soon see why this south coast hotspot is one of the nation’s favourites.

We’ve pulled out our personal picks for things to do in Bournemouth, while staying locally at one of our brilliantly different Best Western hotels.

Bask in the beauty of Bournemouth Beach

Switch off for a moment and you could be anywhere in the world.

For decades people have flocked to Bournemouth Beach and its glistening horizons to relax, explore and enjoy a different adventure every day. They’re attracted by its award-winning environment of clean sands and warm, inviting waters.

There’s a number of different beaches to choose from here, each offering a unique pull, from exotic gardens to crazy golf to watersport opportunities for all levels – ever fancied yourself as a knee-boarder?

visit bournemouth beach

It simply wouldn’t be the British seaside with a pier, and Bournemouth has one taken right from a postcard. It includes an indoor adventure centre and arcade, as well as a rustic theatre showing traditional shows the kids will love.

Peckish? Stop at any number of top quality cafes and restaurants to sample fresh seafood and traditional fish and chips. There’s even a land train if your legs are feeling tired – hop on for a more laid-back way to explore the full length of Bournemouth’s idyllic coast.

Between the beach selection you’ll be able to rent lounging equipment, enjoy an evening BBQ, even bring the dog. But above all breathe in the fresh sea air which circles one of the Great Britain’s sunniest spots, and recharge.

Unlock your inner explorer at Lulworth Cove

A short hop along the coast from Bournemouth you’ll find one of Dorset’s most cherished attractions. Don’t forget your camera at Lulworth Cove – you won’t want to miss these once-in-a-lifetime shots.

Formed after the last ice age around 10,000 years ago, the cove’s rocks are a magnet for geologists around the world. But for those of us non-experts, what really grabs you is the stunning beauty.

Take a walk along the cliffs to get picturesque, panoramic views of the area, before heading back down to uncover a perfect, white pebble beach and water the shade of blue from your seaside dreams.

visit lulworth cove

Catch the cove as tides recede to discover rock pools and the fascinating sea creatures that lurk within – a must with the kids.

You’ll also find eating options aplenty, room to park the car and a heritage centre that offers essential information about the cove – itself a staircase to the rest of the Jurassic Coast.

Take a quick break from the traditional seaside and head to Lulworth – a short trip you won’t regret, and an Instagram feed full of new memories.

Rub shoulders at Poole Harbour

Bournemouth’s costal companion to the west is Poole, itself home to some breathtaking beaches as well as the largest natural harbour in Europe.

Poole Harbour is sight for sore eyes, its natural beauty enhanced by a plethora of enticing activities including watersports (over a dozen yacht clubs and marinas) and renowned walking trails. It’s a playground for those who love getting wet – surfers and swimmers alike – adventurous types who seek a new thrill like paragliding, and those who just want to get away from it all.

visit poole harbour

Packed into Poole Harbour’s 14 square miles is no shortage of places to go and things to see, including an eye-opening variety of birds. The harbour forms a wetland and conservation area teeming with wading birds and other wildfowl – how many different types will you spot?

Why not treat yourself and explore ‘the Golden Mile’ considered one of the most expensive places in the world to live. Go green with envy as you measure up its houses and enviable scenic location.

A little tip? Take the sea cruise that departs from the harbour, allowing you to drink in the sights and sounds of the south coast from the comfort of a deck.

No matter if you’re attached to a surfboard or a sunlounger, Poole Harbour is a place to be enjoyed by everybody.

Things to do in Bournemouth

Things to do in Bournemouth

There’s so much to do when staying at a hotel in Bournemouth. Whether you’re primary focus is visiting the south coast and this timeless English seaside resort for its award-winning gardens and Blue Flag beaches for a well-earned break, or you're looking to have fun on a hen do or stag night you'll find Bournemouth is overflowing with activities to help fill every moment of your stay with excitement.

  • The beach - Make a beeline for Bournemouth’s award-winning 7-mile stretch of sandy beach. It features two piers, along with a lengthy promenade backed by 3000 deckchairs, ornamental gardens, playgrounds and cafes.
  • Bournemouth Balloon – Appreciate the charming seaside town from the air by hopping aboard the gondola of a hot-air balloon. Enjoy the magnificent view out to sea, along with the rugged grandeur of the nearby Jurassic Coast.
  • Surfing – It may be that you’re able to catch a wave with the best of them. Or perhaps the closest you’ve come to surfing is listening to a Beach Boys song. Whatever your ability, Bournemouth Surf School will help you make the most of the local wave-riding possibilities.

Shopping in Bournemouth

Shopping in Bournemouth

If you need a break from the beach, Bournemouth offers plenty of opportunities for a little retail therapy. From independent boutiques to designer brands to the high street favourites – there’s enough variety to please everybody.

  • Bournemouth town centre – A pedestrianised high street with a delightful mix of department stores, brand name stores, high street fashion stores and intriguing independent stores.
  • Boscombe Market – An open air market with a range of stalls selling everything from fresh food to jewellery.
  • Vintage quarter – If you prefer something pre-loved, head to Christchurch Road in Pokesdown for a range of retro boutiques, quirky cafes and individual book shops. 

Eating and drinking in Bournemouth

Eating and drinking in Bournemouth

Like any English seaside town, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the dining is confined to fish & chips and candy floss. But Bournemouth and Poole offer a wide variety of eateries.

  • West Beach or The Crab – As you might expect from a coastal town, Bournemouth is particularly adept at seafood cuisine. Both these restaurants are highly acclaimed and serve up all manner of the ocean’s bounty, along with plenty of options from dry land too.
  • Sixty Million Postcards – Taking its cue from an American diner, this quirky venue is the place to go if you have a taste for designer burgers.
  • Aruba Bar – A dining experience in a tropical-style bar by day, which transforms into a happening nightspot when the sun goes down.

Culture and nightlife in Bournemouth

Culture and nightlife in Bournemouth

Bournemouth is excellently located for Dorset’s natural attractions – like the New Forest Nature Reserve, Lulworth Cove or a boat trip to nearby Brownsea Island. But there’s plenty to do when the sun sets too.

  • The 02 Academy – See what’s on here for all manner of rock and pop acts – from the up-and-coming to big name draws.
  • Champions – If you want to see what the local talent has to offer, a good mix of bands – ranging from folk to electronica – strut their stuff here.
  • Pavilion Theatre – Laugh along with household name comedians; sing along to top pop performers or a musical.

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