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A winter holiday in Bournemouth

Friday, January 18th, 2008

Bournemouth, Dorset… Just the name offers up a pleasant ring of Olde England that conjures images of Victorian greenery, of delightful adventures — perhaps in search of the mouth of the Bourne as it pours into the Channel — of families and amusement centers and fish & chips and sandy beaches. Yes, as a seaside town on the southern coast of England, Bournemouth draws visitors all summer long, and as ice cream vendors ply their trade near the famous pier and bands play until late in the evenings in the Pleasure Gardens, people from all over Europe enjoy the long days and entertainment-filled nights.

But as lovely as Bournemouth is in summer, it is winter that brings out its very best. Those sandy beaches are packed wall-to-wall … or groyne-to-groyne, as the case actually is … the summer long with sun seekers, but once winter rears its chilly head and begins to blow in from the Russian Steppes those same seven miles of shore are wide open to anyone with a yearning to walk, or run, and a thought to quietly ponder life’s wonders and the beauty of nature.

Peaceful Contemplation in Bournemouth’s Central Gardens

Frosty mornings are perfect for strolling Bournemouth’s Central Gardens. The azalea and rhododendron profusion, not always in bloom but impressive in leaf no matter, give the eye a comforting wander and feet take comfortably to the groomed paths and tiny bridges. Willows and chestnut trees share space with man-made structures built to please, some from the days when Queen Victoria ruled the Empire, and scampering squirrels keep a visitor company, and amused.

Windswept and blustery, the cliffs above the coast give dramatic views out to sea and bring to mind a hundred stories from the days before traffic plied the town’s roundabouts. Romantic tales of lost love, of tragic women waiting for their men to return from sea, come to mind, inspiring no little passion in today’s visitors.

Warming stops at pubs

And what’s better after a chilly walk than a pop into a pub? There are many in Bournemouth, and in most you’ll find a fire in the grate, a hot cup of tea, or a pint of the publican’s best if you prefer. With fewer visitors in winter months, the bar is in easy reach, the wait shorter, and the barkeep more willing and able to give some local scoop on “must dos” off the normal
tourist trail.

The Moon in the Square Pub is handy to beach strollers, and the Hog’s Head in the near village of Westbourne is a worthy destination for those who choose to explore the neighborhoods at the far end of the Central Gardens. Both serve hearty, warming meals in addition to liquid fare and are worthy destinations in their own right.

Raising the temperature in nightclubs

With many institutions of higher learning based in the town, Bournemouth retains an international flavor all year round, and where some smaller cities in England go quiet after dark in the months dark comes early, this one continues to hop to a party beat no matter what the time of year.

Very near the Town Center, the Empire Club on Holdenhurst Road and Club 176, just around the corner, are popular nightclubs. Offering something for visitors young and not so young and serving a range of musical tastes, dancing the night away is another great way to keep the chill from the bones over a cold Bournemouth winter.

Bournemouth in summer is lovely, no doubt, but a winter break there will build memories that will warm the heart for years to come.

Find a place to stay in Bournemouth

Photo originally posted by cgt

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About the author

Venere Travel Blog writer sandra hanks benoiton

Although always a traveler, Sandra Hanks Benoiton now spends most of her time writing the world from the veranda of her home on the Indian Ocean island of Mahé in the Seychelles. Well known and respected for her advocacy on behalf of the world's children, she also authors works of fiction. A collection of her short stories, "Papaya ... and other seeds", is to be released this year and will include "Beggars Would Ride", the tale from which the short film "Wish" was adapted.”

5 responses to “A winter holiday in Bournemouth”

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  1. Chris says:
    April 15th, 2008 at 15:04

    Bournemouth and the rest of Dorset offer a host of events and activities both in winter and summer. A large number of these can be found in

  2. Gordon Fong says:
    April 18th, 2008 at 17:11

    For anyone interested in eating and drinking in Bournemouth I have a section on my personal blog that people can check out if they are stuck. Hopefully it will prove useful.

  3. ian says:
    July 14th, 2008 at 11:45

    A great place to visit in either winter or summer. There are hundreds of things to do and places to go in Bournemouth. Something for everybody. Unfortunately so far this year it has been difficult to distinguish one season from the other.

  4. Leo says:
    January 25th, 2010 at 17:46

    Hey, it’s a good place to go in the winter, even if you can’t spend all day on the beach. Local Bournemouth pubs and nightclubs are some of the best on the South coast.

  5. henrywilliamsonn says:
    February 14th, 2014 at 10:22

    Really Bournemouth is a worth visiting place during Winter.

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