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3 Days in Bournemouth

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Bournemouth anchors one of the most delightful sections of the central southern English coast, incorporating Poole to the west and Christchurch to the east. Glorious sandy beaches abound, while ancient castles and cathedrals punctuate the inland areas. The town hosts a lively mixture of locals, students and holiday-makers, and myriad attractions to suit their diverse tastes.

Good for
  • Nature Lover
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker
  • Beach Goer
  • Like a Local

14 Places

5 City Tips

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Map

14 Places

Day 1

Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum

Historic Sites, Art Museums

St. Peter's Church

Churches & Cathedrals

Westover Gallery

Art Galleries

Bournemouth Beach

Beaches

Boscombe Pier

Piers & Boardwalks

Day 2

Poole Harbour

Bodies of Water

Poole Museum and Scaplen's Court Museum and Herb Garden

History Museums

RNLI College Discovery Tour

Sightseeing Tours

Brownsea Island

Islands, Nature & Wildlife Areas

Corfe Castle

Castles

Day 3

Christchurch Priory Church

Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites

Red House Museum & Gardens

Historic Sites, Art Museums, History Museums

Wimborne Minster

Sacred & Religious Sites, Libraries

Kingston Lacy

Visitor Centers

Nick E's City Tips

  • Being on the coast, Bournemouth is renowned for high quality fish and chips. Don't forget to add vinegar as well as salt!
  • The town has a variety of eating options to suit all budgets. Tipping for a sit-down meal conforms to the UK ten percent standard.
  • The wider Bournemouth area is relatively flat, meaning that cycling is enjoyable. Cycles can be rented locally.
  • Central Bournemouth and its seafront are easily walkable.
  • Bournemouth has a good local bus service, which radiates out from the Interchange beside the train station, making connections easy.
    Day 1
  • Save
    Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum
    Historic Sites, Art Museums
    See more photos
    Nick E Says:

    Located on the elegant East Cliff Promenade, the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum contains one of the south coast's best collections of mainly Victorian art, furniture and memorabilia. The building itself is very stylish and the gardens a delight.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Join in on one of the tours, talks or workshops advertised on the museum's website.
    • The museum is only a five minute walk from the town centre and a couple of minutes east of Bournemouth Pier.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 79 things to do in Bournemouth
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great attraction for a rainy day 08/15/2018
    • An interesting museum. 08/12/2018
    • Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum
    Address:
    Promenade East Cliff
    Bournemouth BH1 3AA
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1202 451858
    Hours:
    Tue - Sun
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    St. Peter's Church
    Churches & Cathedrals
    See more photos
    Nick E Says:

    Perhaps best known as the burial place of Frankenstein author Mary Shelley, St Peter's is an elegant Victorian church with an elongated spire that dominates much of the town centre. It is also the oldest church in its parish.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveler
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • It is easy to walk to St Peter's from anywhere in the town centre or the Interchange.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #15 of 79 things to do in Bournemouth
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Average 08/13/2018
    • Beautiful Victorian Church 07/30/2018
    • St. Peter's Church
    Address:
    Hinton Road
    Bournemouth BH1 2EE
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1202 290986
    Other:
  • Save
    Westover Gallery
    Art Galleries
    See more photos
    Nick E Says:

    Spread over three floors, Westover Gallery is a cutting edge place that showcases works by local artists, as well as those from other parts of the UK and the world. All the items on display are for sale and consultations are available to discuss the suitability of works to your home living space.

    Good for
    • Luxury Traveler
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The gallery is located on Westover Road, where you can also look at the fine jewellery and fashions shops that line the street.
    • Complimentary coffee is constantly available to add some zest to your browsing.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #40 of 79 things to do in Bournemouth
    • Nice Gallery 03/19/2018
    • Quick Visit 12/28/2017
    • Westover Gallery
    Address:
    4 Westover Road
    Bournemouth BH1 2BY
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1202 297682
    Hours:
    Sun
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Mon - Sat
    9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Bournemouth Beach
    Beaches
    See more photos
    Nick E Says:

    The main beach at Bournemouth sits in the middle of the town's glorious seven mile strip of wide and unbroken sand that extends eastwards to Christchurch and westwards to Sandbanks.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Beach Goer
    • Thrifty Traveler
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Take a stroll out onto central Bornemouth Pier for some fun activities such as the Zip Wire, and fine views along the coast in both directions.
    • Bournemouth Beach is an easy walk from the town centre but various bus routes also travel along the seafront.
    • A great place to get filling fish and chips is Harry Ramsden's, just east of the pier.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 79 things to do in Bournemouth
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great beach for walks and views 08/15/2018
    • Bournemouth 08/14/2018
    • Bournemouth Beach
  • Save
    Boscombe Pier
    Piers & Boardwalks
    See more photos
    Nick E Says:

    Victorian Boscombe Pier is much quieter and less built up than Bournemouth's main pier, making it a great place for a quiet stroll along the boardwalk and even a spot of fishing.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Beach Goer
    • Thrifty Traveler
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Look out for the occasional musical performances and art exhibitions that are put on here during the summer by the local Friends Association.
    • While in the area, check out the famous Boscombe Devil, a gargoyle that grimaces at the Boscombe Grand Theatre, now the O2, from the building opposite.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #26 of 79 things to do in Bournemouth
    • pier-fection! 08/13/2018
    • TLC 08/11/2018
    • Boscombe Pier
    Address:
    Undercliff Drive
    Bournemouth BH5 1BN
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1202 451773
    Other:
  • Day 2
  • Save
    Poole Harbour
    Bodies of Water
    See more photos
    Nick E Says:

    Poole Harbour is a natural and extremely scenic area, which claims to be the largest natural harbour in England. Formed by the estuaries of four rivers, it contains a number of lush islands, home to various wildlife, especially seabirds.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Trendsetter
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Take a leisurely boat cruise around the harbour during the summer months.
    • Poole Harbour offers a variety of waterspouts, such as waterskiing, windsurfing, kitesurfing and wakeboarding.
    • Poole Harbour is full of fine cafés and restaurants, such as The Oriel Cafe on The Quay.
    • There is a frequent bus service to Poole from Bournemouth Interchange, as well as a train service.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #6 of 72 things to do in Poole
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Relaxed 08/14/2018
    • Fantastic 08/14/2018
    • Poole Harbour
    Phone:
    +44 1202 709971
    Other:
  • Save
    Poole Museum and Scaplen's Court Museum and Herb Garden
    History Museums
    See more photos
    Nick E Says:

    Poole Museum occupies several historic buildings and now boasts a modern glass atrium entrance. It contains a wealth of historical objects, such as the Poole Log Boat, as well as informative displays on the town's seafaring past.

    Good for
    • Thrifty Traveler
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Entry to the museum is free.
    • Adjacent Scaplen's Court Museum only opens to the public in August but is used for educational purposes year round.
    • Don't miss the delightful herb garden behind Scaplen's Court, which has been lovingly restored by volunteers.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #7 of 72 things to do in Poole
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Poole Museum 08/15/2018
    • Trip back in time & beautiful gardens 08/07/2018
    • Poole Museum and Scaplen's Court Museum and Herb Garden
    Address:
    4 High Street
    Poole BH15 1BW
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1202 262600
    Other:
  • Save
    RNLI College Discovery Tour
    Sightseeing Tours
    See more photos
    Nick E Says:

    The ninety minute RNLI College Discovery Tour teaches you all you could possibly want to know about the history and work of the invaluable lifeboat service, with the help of original vessels and absorbing hi-tech displays.

    Good for
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • The RNLI College shop offers a lot of great gift ideas and there is a Christmas market in the college every year.
    • You can sign up for a STCW Personal Survival Techniques Course at the college.
    • There is a frequent bus service to Poole from Bournemouth Interchange, as well as a train service.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 24 Tours in Poole
    • Fascinating tour for 15 Probus memberships 08/06/2018
    • Something Different 08/06/2018
    • RNLI College Discovery Tour
    Address:
    West Quay Road
    RNLI College
    Poole BH15 1HZ
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1202 308500
    Other:
  • Save
    Brownsea Island
    Islands, Nature & Wildlife Areas
    See more photos
    Nick E Says:

    Brownsea Island is a wonderfully lush escape in the middle of Poole Harbour, offering thick woodland, grassy meadows and attractive coastline. It is one of the few remaining habitats in Englnad of the endangered red squirrel.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • History Buff
    • Nature Lover
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Beach Goer
    • Thrifty Traveler
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • The island can easily be reached by regular ferries from various points in Poole Harbour, the closest of which is at Sandbanks.
    • Check out the Outdoor Centre, which chronicles the island's connection with Lord Baden Powell and the original scouts, who camped here.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 72 things to do in Poole
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Titus plus island plus ferry = absolutely brilliant and amazing 08/15/2018
    • Beautiful place 08/14/2018
    • Brownsea Island
    Phone:
    +44 1202 707744
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Corfe Castle
    Castles
    See more photos
    Nick E Says:

    Standing upon a grassy outcrop like a scene from a mythical movie, the atmospheric ruins of Corfe Castle date back over a thousand years. It is well worth the trip west of the Bournemouth and Poole conurbation to sap up the history and admire the splendid surrounding scenery.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • History Buff
    • Nature Lover
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveler
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • The most fun way to come here is on one of Swanage Railway's heritage steam trains.
    • The castle has pleasant tea rooms, offering views of the grounds, and there are further refreshment options in the nearby village.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 9 things to do in Corfe Castle
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Magical and Educational ! 08/14/2018
    • Wow!!! 08/13/2018
    • Corfe Castle
    Address:
    The Square
    The Square
    Corfe Castle BH20 5EZ
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1929 481294
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    Other:
  • Day 3
  • Save
    Christchurch Priory Church
    Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites
    See more photos
    Nick E Says:

    Built on the site of a seventh century Saxon church, impressive Christchurch Priory boasts a massive vaulted ceiling that runs the length of what claims to be the longest parish church in England. Its fan-vaulted North Porch is also the largest in the country.

    Good for
    • Thrifty Traveler
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Ascend the solid square 120-foot tower for magnificent views of the surrounding area.
    • Check out the Priory website for the timings of services and regular organ recitals.
    • Christchurch Priory is located very close to the town's High Street, full of shops, cafés and restaurants.
    • There is a frequent bus service to Christchurch from Bournemouth Interchange.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 45 things to do in Christchurch
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Inspirational Priory 08/12/2018
    • Stunning 08/10/2018
    • Christchurch Priory Church
    Address:
    Quay Road
    Christchurch BH23 1BU
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1202 488645
    Other:
  • Save
    Red House Museum & Gardens
    Historic Sites, Art Museums, History Museums
    See more photos
    Nick E Says:

    The Red House Museum, occupying an elegant Georgian mansion, displays a rich collection of historical artifacts and memorabilia. Its Bygones Gallery offers a disturbing insight into life in the workhouse, while the beautiful gardens provide peaceful respite.

    Good for
    • Thrifty Traveler
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The museum's café offers light refreshments, while there are plenty of souvenirs available in the shop.
    • There is a frequent bus service to Christchurch from Bournemouth Interchange.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #7 of 45 things to do in Christchurch
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Learn abut Christchurch 06/10/2018
    • Excellent local museum 05/21/2018
    • Red House Museum & Gardens
    Address:
    Quay Road
    Christchurch BH23 1BU
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1202 482860
    Hours:
    Tue - Fri
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Sat
    10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Wimborne Minster
    Sacred & Religious Sites, Libraries
    See more photos
    Nick E Says:

    Wimborne Minster has a history that stretches back 1300 years. Here is another of the superb places of worship to be found in the greater Bournemouth area. Most of its imposing buildings date from the twelfth century, although substantial restoration took place during Victorian times.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveler
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The Minster is undoubtedly the town's star attraction, but whilst here don't miss the plethora of other fine architecture that makes the centre of Wimborne such a lovely place.
    • The streets around the Minster contain a multitude of eating and drinking options, such as the Cricketers Arms pub on Park Lane.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 29 things to do in Wimborne Minster
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • great historic building 08/13/2018
    • Pleasant church 08/07/2018
    • Wimborne Minster
    Address:
    22 High Street
    Wimborne Minster BH21 1HT
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1202 884753
    Other:
  • Save
    Kingston Lacy
    Visitor Centers
    See more photos
    Nick E Says:

    Kingston Lacy is the grandest country mansion in the Bournemouth area, dating from the seventeenth century. The huge house itself owns an extensive collection of impressive artwork and period furniture, displayed in the sometimes startlingly decorated rooms, while the ample grounds are beautifully landscaped.

    Good for
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveler
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Kingston Lacy is three miles northwest of Wimborne Minster, which has the nearest transport connections to Bournemouth.
    • If you fancy some fun, you can take a tractor trailer ride in the mansion's grounds.
    • Kingston Lacy offers the classy Stables Restaurant, a café, gift shop and fine bookshop.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 29 things to do in Wimborne Minster
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • beautiful, just beautiful. 08/13/2018
    • A place to enjoy out of the rain 08/13/2018
    • Kingston Lacy
    Address:
    Kingston Lacy House Kingston Lacy House Wimborne Minster
    Wimborne Minster BH21 4EA
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1202 883402
    Other:
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