| Bournemouth owes its popularity as a tourist resort to its seven miles of sandy beaches. The beaches are
particularly well managed, with areas set aside as, non-smoking, dog free and watersports. Safe bathing areas are also indicated
and the beach is well patrolled by lifeguards. Bournemouth's Victorian pier is a central feature offering all-round family
Bournemouth, however, has more to offer than its seafront. The area has been designated as an "Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty" and the town has a Victorian elegance, boasting a number of attractive parks and gardens.
You will find Bournemouth lively and cosmopolitan, with a good selection of shops, bistros, bars, leisure facilities, theatres and nightlife. A packed events calendar means that there is always plenty to occupy visitors throughout the season.
Bournemouth is surrounded by the beautiful Dorset countryside. Boscombe, to the east, has wide sandy beaches and pretty gardens. To the west is Poole, with is large harbour and busy quayside.
Inland, the ancient town of Wimborne Minster has the attractive Knoll Gardens and Wimborne Model Town. The nearby town of Christchurch is also well worth a visit for its excellent attractions, historic charm and sandy beaches.
Slightly further afield, the popular New Forest is a protected woodland and heath area which an be enjoyed on foot, cycle or horseback.
Tourist AttractionsRussell-Coates Art Gallery and Museum East Cliff, Bournemouth
An award winning exhibition of art and sculpture from Europe and Japan which once formed the private collection of Sir Merton and Lady Russell-Cotes. Free admission.
Open: Daily except Mon, from 10am to 5pm. Tel: 01202 451858
Bournemouth Oceanarium West Beach, Bournemouth
Voyage around the oceans of the world from the Atlantic to the Great Barrier Reef.
Open: 7 days a week from 10 am. Tel: 01202 311933
Splashdown Water Park Tower Park, Poole
Exciting indoor and outdoor water rides, water slides, waterfalls and rapids. Cafe and spectator area.
Open: Daily, call for hours. Tel: 01202 716123
Alice In Wonderland Family Park Christchurch, Dorset
Aimed particularly at younger children, this adventure park has an Alice in Wonderland theme and includes rides and attractions together with a pantomime show based on Lewis Carroll's famous stories. Other attractions include junior go-carts, bouncy castle, farmyard animals and a maze.
Tel: 01202 483444
Wimborne Model Town & Gardens King Street, Wimborne Minster
Discover the historical Dorset town of Wimborne Minster in miniature, as it was in the 1950's. Relax in the award winning landscaped gardens while the children make use of the play area.
Tel: 01202 881924
Stapehill Abbey, Crafts, Gardens & Country Museum Stapehill
Lots to see at these award-winning gardens including charming cottage garden, Japanese garden, 19th century Cistercian Abbey, working craft shops, Country World Museum and children's farmyard.
Open: Apr-Sept; daily. Oct-Mar; Wed-Sun. Tel: 01202 873060
Knoll Gardens Stapehill Road, Hampreston, between Wimborne and Ferndown
Six acres of well presented gardens displaying 6,000 labelled plants from all over the world. Includes an Exotic garden with koi carp, ornamental grasses and a water garden.
Tel: 01202 873931
Bournemouth Aviation Museum Bournemouth International Airport, Christchurch
Dedicated to preserving and presenting operational examples of historic military jets. Featuring jets from the 50's and 60's including Sea Vixen, Sea Prince, Meteors. Vampire non flight Mig 21. Wooded picnic area, ideal for watching the aircraft.
Open: Daily from 10am. Tel: 01202 580858
Bournemouth Tourist Information CentresBournemouth Tourist Information Centre
Westover Road, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH1 2BU. Tel: 0906 80 20 234
Christchurch Tourist Information Centre
23 High Street, Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 1AZ. Tel: 01202 471780
Poole Tourist Information Centre
4 The High Street, Poole, Dorset, BH15 1BW. Tel: 01202 253253