Miles of sandy beaches, clean sea air, beautiful gardens, buzzing nightlife, and a food scene bulging with fresh seafood and fine English produce: what's not to love about Bournemouth?
A perennial holiday favourite on the south coast of England, in the stunning and diverse county of Dorset, Bournemouth is a classic British seaside town with a real mix of the traditional and the modern. You'll find old-fashioned sweet shops snuggled up against cutting-edge fashion boutiques, and fish and chip shops rubbing shoulders with fine dining establishments. Bournemouth has something for everyone, and hotels in Bournemouth cater for the wide range of visitors that the coastal town attracts.
From cosy budget B&Bs and grand old Victorian seaside hotels, to luxury hotels with magnificent views of the coastline and the kind of facilities you'd expect in a hotel in the capital, Bournemouth hotels have moved with the times and you can expect to find comfortable and spotless rooms, whatever your budget. However, don't expect to find many big name hotels in the town. They are limited to Best Western, Britannia and Ramada, and the budget chains such as Travelodge and Premier Inn. Instead you will find many individually run hotels.
There are various areas to choose from when selecting your accommodation in Bournemouth. The central areas of the town provide a good range of accommodation to suit most budgets, though they often command higher room rates than hotels based in areas a little further out of the town centre, such as those towards the west, in Westbourne and Poole, and to the east, towards Boscombe, Southbourne and Christchurch.
A bustling harbour town, Poole is a good choice for nice hotels and seaside dining. Christchurch has a more natural feel to it, and is a great option for holidaymakers who like to be closer to the great outdoors. The towns of Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch pretty much run into each other, so staying in a hotel in any of these areas offers easy access to the attractions of the wider area.
During weekends and peak seasons, many hotels demand a stay of at least two nights.
Top five attractions
To the west of Bournemouth is one of England's most marvellous natural wonders. Go fossil hunting on this ancient and fascinating coastline.
The nearby Purbeck Hills are perfect for a coastal walk to burn off those fish-and-chip calories. There are many stretches of the chalk downs that can be easily accessed. Take in Corfe Castle too, which can be found in a gap in the hills.
Miles of golden sands and clean seas stretch out across the front of Bournemouth and its neighbours. Whether the sun shines or not, pack a picnic, grab an ice cream, make sure you've got buckets and spades for the kids, and hit the beautiful and safe beaches.
It's always worth having a rainy-day plan in England. The Oceanarium in West Beach is perfect for just such an occasion, with hundreds of creatures to see.
The town is as well regarded for its stunning gardens as it is for the beaches. Witness the Victorian splendour of the Lower, Central and Upper Gardens, or see the tropical displays at Alum Chine.
Friday Family Fiestas; summer: Throughout July and August, families flock to Pier Approach and the Lower Gardens to dance, see shows and fire performances, and gaze at the fireworks every Friday at 10pm.
Bournemouth Carnival Week; July/August: All sorts of fun family events take place during the week-long programme.
Bournemouth Air Festival; August/September: Huge crowds gather on the beaches to see the spectacular aerial acrobatics in the skies. Seafront hotels in particular will be in demand during this event.