Thursday, 13 August 2020

Staycation in Bournemouth

We are almost in mid-August and lockdown has been going on for almost 5 months. With the current situation, holidays and travel abroad has become difficult and uncertain too. However United Kingdom is a large country with so many beautiful places to visit that it’s time we all considered a staycation. You can do a city break, countryside break, highland break or a beach break. The options are numerous, whether you choose a camping holiday, stay in a caravan or in a luxurious hotel or hire a chalets in the forest, stay in a caravan, or even stay in Air BnB. Travelling in the UK is fairly easy as there is a vast network of public transport, trains, coaches and busses, however we find it easier to drive and its convenient to have a car to enable us to explore the surrounding area. If you are opting to use public transport, it is important to be prepared to follow all government safety measures such as keeping social distancing where ever possible and wearing masks and gloves and carrying hand sanitiser.

This year we chose Bournemouth in Dorset which is in the South of the UK as our staycation holiday destination. It offers activities for all ages from young kids to teenagers and adults too. It also has many surrounding places you can visit during your stay such as Poole, Christchurch, New Forest, and Southampton which are all within a 45 mins radius.

Bournemouth has 7 miles of sandy beaches; all rated a European blue flag. There is plenty to see and do in and around the area. The beach has a pier which has zip wiring activity and there is an observation wheel on the beach front as well an Ocenarium. There is a small entrance fee to walk on the pier.

There is also the Aruba bar & restaurant on the pier that offers family dining in the day and you can enjoy evening drinks whilst enjoying the sunset. At night the place turns to a night club so you can dance the night away. During the July and August there are also beach front fireworks show every Friday night at 10 pm.

The nearby Bournemouth Gardens are perfect to enjoy a picnic, play a game of mini golf or just relax around the band stand and enjoy a live music. For the theatre lovers Bournemouth Pavilion offers theatrical shows or you can catch a movie at I sense Odeon cinema. For the younger generation there are the new escape rooms and Bh2 complex in Bournemouth too.

During the summer months the central beach at Bournemouth gets very busy and crowded so it makes sense to visit other nearby beaches at Sandbanks near Poole, Alum Chime Beach, Durley Chine Beach, Boscombe Beach, Fisherman’s Walk Beach, Southbourne Beach and Hengistbury Head which are less busy.

Hengistbury Head, a headland jutting in the English Channel between Bournemouth and Mudeford Quay, it is 20 -30 mins away and the perfect place to enjoy a day at the beach. Here you will find a range of lovely beach huts that you can hire for the day, there are some that you can stay overnight as well. 

There is a mini Land Train that runs from Bournemouth to Mudeford Quay. It is a popular way to get to the different beach destinations as it makes many stops. If you have younger kids they will enjoy crabbing in Mudeford Quay.

Poole Quays is another place worth visiting; here you will find the Sandbanks Beach where there is a water sports academy. For boat lovers you can enjoy a walk round harbour with boats.

Poole also has the original Lush shop and the famous Poole Pottery. From Poole, you can also get a ferry across to Brownsea Island a national trust heritage site, which is very picturesque with views of Purbeck Hills and worth a visit to see famous it’s wild life, red squirrels. It is a very popular place for camping for scouts and guides.

If you enjoy outdoor activities the nearby New Forest National park, is great for camping and for hiking and there is also a water park there which is a hit with the kids. For the more adventurous you can also visit the Go Ape Activity centre in Moors Valley
Bournemouth has many coffee shops, tearooms, eateries, restaurants and the famous Harry Ramsden chip shop. A visit to the sky bar on the 8th floor of the Hilton Hotel is a must, to enjoy a few cocktails with spectacular views of Bournemouth and Isle of Wight across the horizon.

In Bournemouth, there are many hotels, guest houses, Air BnB, campsites and caravan parks that you can stay at. A varied choice of accommodation is available to suit all budgets.

Bournemouth is the perfect staycation destination to visit. It is popular for stag and hen dos and also suitable for couples and families too. With so much to see and do you could easily spend a week there. Due to Covid, some of the attractions may be closed or require prior booking , it is best to check the website for up to date booking information.

Bournemouth is not only a summer vacation place, you can visit in the winter too. There are many Christmas markets and the Bournemouth Gardens transforms into a winter wonderland complete with an ice skating rink too. You can easily spend a weekend in Bournemouth.

What are your holiday plans this year, do share them in the comments below. Can you recommend some places  to visit in the UK. Some places to visit are the British music festival in Liverpool, East Links Family park Dunbar, Newquay and the Isle of Wight
There are so many places to visit and stay in the UK why not check this stay in worthing too.

 In collaboration with, All views expressed in this post are my own as are all the photos.