Bournemouth is a British institution–a seaside resort in a Victorian setting, with a few very modern touches. Initially established as a spa town and holiday resort, today it is perhaps more famous for its large student population, which has transformed old-fashioned Bournemouth into a young and fun city with an abundance of nightlife. The beach is still the focal point of the city, and during the summer months, it is packed with day-trippers and locals enjoying an ice cream in the sun. Stroll along the iconic Bournemouth Pier and take in the view of the beachfront, with its stripy deck chairs and sandy picnics–a classic British scene.
Location: Bournemouth–on the English Riviera
Sitting on the south-west coast of England, you can see the distant outline of France from Bournemouth beach on a clear day. It has been a popular resort since the Victorian era; due to its accessibility–it is just 30 miles from the shipbuilding city of Southampton, six miles from Poole, and 100 miles south-west of London.
Business: An economic chameleon
Bournemouth has undergone a number of economic shifts over years. Initially known as a resort town with a booming tourist trade, the establishment of Bournemouth University in 1992 brought new student and academic interests to the city. Now it is re-inventing itself as a finance and business hub, which is based at the modern Bournemouth International Centre.
Culture: A culture of happiness
A 2007 survey found that people living in Bournemouth were among the happiest in the UK. This may be due to the thriving cultural scene, which truly has something for everyone. The student party scene has passed into legend, while a range of world-class concert halls brings a steady stream of musicians and performers to the city. The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra is one of the most celebrated in the UK and performs around 130 times per year.
Activities: Be a good sport
Like most British cities, Bournemouth natives are passionate about the local football team, Bournemouth FC. Try to visit a match while you are there and experience the extraordinary atmosphere of the local fans. There is a huge range of seaside activities for kids, including a popular aquarium where visitors can learn more about life on the other side of the beach.