Things To See and Do in Bournemouth
Looking for things to do in Bournemouth? We've got it covered! Whatever the time of year and whatever the weather, you will never struggle to discover, experience and be inspired by the variety of activities and attractions on offer in Bournemouth. From iconic tourist attractions to beachfront fun, there are always new and exciting experiences to try.
Rain or shine, Bournemouth and the surrounding area offers a range of superb activities and attractions to keep you entertained: historic houses, gardens, galleries, castles, theme parks, museums, theatres, aquariums, amusements, indoor play centres, leisure centres and waterparks. The choice is endless.
And with Bournemouth Beach being named as the UK's best beach (and the fifth best in Europe) we're sure you'll have a brilliant time on the beach whatever time of year you visit.
Fun for all the family
There are plenty of family-friendly places to visit in Bournemouth and you’ll also find arts and crafts activities at many of our attractions and activity centres.
Fancy trying a new activity or sport? How about zip-lining and rock climbing, golf, go-kart racing, dance, indoor laser tag and high-rope activities – you’ll be spoilt for choice! The Bournemouth and Poole coast offers a fantastic range of watersports to try. Surfing, paddle-boarding, kayaking, sailing, jet-skiing and power-boating, to name a few.
For a more leisurely way to enjoy the breath taking coastal views, book a trip on a local boat cruise or hire a private charter for a day. You could also hop on a Purbeck Breezer bus to explore further afield towards Poole and Purbeck.
Bournemouth is also home to one of the UK’s most fascinating cultural attractions – the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum is a treasure trove of paintings and artefacts from around the world.
Explore the world class seafront with its Pier, amusements, eateries and of course Bournemouth's aquarium - Oceanarium. From family attractions and a historic house-museum to picturesque walks and outdoor activities, as well as restaurants and bars – Bournemouth’s coastline is the jewel in its crown.
Bournemouth's entertainment and nightlife
Bournemouth has plenty for culture lovers with some of the best entertainment venues around including the Bournemouth International Centre (BIC) and the Pavilion Theatre, offering live entertainment from children’s shows and comedy to ballet and ice dancing. Visitors and local people are drawn from miles around to visit these major entertainment venues.
Are you seeking events and festivals which will suit all the family? Bournemouth has an extensive and varied event programme which will entertain all ages. Find out what's on during your visit by checking the events calendar. Highlights of the Bournemouth festival calendar include:
- The Bournemouth Air Festival – held in August
- Bournemouth Arts by The Sea Festival – held in October
- Bournemouth at Christmas – held from mid November until end of December
Love the outdoors?
Make the most of Bournemouth's historic sites, nature reserves, ancient forests, coast and countryside.
Why not join a local guided tour? On foot or by bus, they’re a great way to discover hidden gems and must see locations. There are also bikes for hire – a fun and energetic way to enjoy the stunning scenery and fresh sea air.
Explore character coastal villages
Jump aboard one of the famous land trains, sit back and enjoy the seafront scene as you are swept along the Promenade. You can travel from Bournemouth Pier to Boscombe Pier and onto Boscombe High Street via Boscombe Gardens or from Bournemouth Pier to Alum Chine and along the new route from Boscombe Pier to Bournemouth Pier via the East Overcliff. Please note - the land trains are running a reduced service due to Covid-19.
There’s plenty to see and do just a few minutes outside of Bournemouth town centre. Visit the coastal villages – Boscombe, Southbourne and Westbourne – each a bustling destination in their own right with unique characters and a variety of shops, cafes and more.
For further information on things to do and attractions, visit the Bournemouth Tourism website.
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