If you're looking for a UK holiday destination that offers more than sand, sea and ice cream, consider Bournemouth. Finding something of interest to do in Bournemouth is as simple as ABC. Here's how.
Arts – Bournemouth hosts its fifth ‘ Arts by the Sea Festival for ten days from 9 October – 18 October 2015. Multiple venues in around Bournemouth town centre, lower gardens and the sea front showcase dance, music and the visual arts.
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Local artists will be involved with commissions and competitions and a theme of the festival will be light in recognition of 2015 being, the year of light.
Bournemouth plays host too many art festivals and events throughout the year.
The festival's opening weekend is family orientated with lots of family activities involving local artists. Last year's festival featured a Canadian female rock band, a gothic spectacular, classical music, pop and explores over a hundred years of Indian cinema through live music.
Interested in fringe art? Bournemouth's Emerging Arts Fringe platform introduces a diverse range of fringe art and performers during the Bournemouth Arts Festival by the Sea. This year's festival features music, theatre, workshops, talks, poetry and a film festival. The Emerging Arts Fringe website and social media promotes fringe artist to raise their profile to the industry and public.
A fairytale, turreted house built on a cliff overlooking the sea houses a unique art collection. The house was the ultimate romantic birthday from Merton Russell-Cotes to his beloved wife Annie. The art gallery houses pictures from their worldly travels, high art and nineteenth century British Art as befitted a Victorian art collection. A well-stocked art shop is also available at the Russell-Cotes art gallery and museum full of art inspired gifts and information.
The Pine Walk Art exhibition runs throughout the summer in the lower gardens showcasing local artists who offer their art for sale. This exhibition has been running since 1956 and is well worth a visit.
Beaches – The majority of Bournemouth's sandy beaches are in a bay, bordered by cliffs. The sea temperatures are amongst the highest in the United Kingdom. This makes Bournemouth the ideal destination for those who want a traditional beach holiday.
If lying on a beach with the occasional dip in the sea to cool down isn't you, don't despair. Bournemouth' beaches have activities to suit all the family. Activities such as sea kayaking, surfing, body boarding and jet sking are available for those seeking an adrenaline rush. For those who enjoy sports there are beach tennis and football and there's fishing and rock pooling for those seeking a seaside experience.
There are plenty of facilities on or close to the beaches too. Deckchairs and beach huts are available to hire on a daily basis. Family friendly cafes, pubs and restaurants are plentiful and add to the ambience of the beachfront.
Bournemouth had 4 blue flag and 2 seaside award beaches in 2014. They are clean and well maintained. Safety is a primary consideration; on blue flag beaches there are lifeguards, first aid points and kid zone areas. The proximity of Bournemouth's pier beach to the lower gardens makes it possible to cool off in the verdant gardens, often with the chance to listen to live music.
The Russell-Cotes museum is a must visit for those who enjoy history and culture.
Culture – Bournemouth is a definite place to visit for cultural pursuits. The Russell-Cotes museum houses an eclectic collection of Victorian treasures, collected by Merton and Annie Russell-Cotes throughout their lives. There are treasures from the Japan, Russia, Scandinavia and Spain or all displayed in themed rooms. The gardens reclaimed from the sand dunes still retain much of their Victorian splendour, particularly the Japanese garden.
The Bournemouth International Centre is the venue for high profile concerts, exhibitions and conferences. Similarly The Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre and Ballroom regularly hosts plays, musicals, concerts and dances. Bournemouth also hosts an annual jazz festival in September.
With so much going on, you'll be spoilt for choice! Bournemouth is the perfect destination for the Arts, Beaches and Culture. The Hermitage Hotel is particularly recommended is an ideal quality hotel to stay in during your stay in Bournemouth.
Image credits: Lets Go Out Bournemouth and Poole and Capt Gorgeous.