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Bournemouth – A Town For All Seasons

Bournemouth has long been considered a seaside town and by extension a summer hotspot. While obviously true the area is also teeming with a great many attractions to be sampled and savoured no matter the season. Make no mistake, the south coast represents a holiday destination come rain, wind or shine.

To prove as much we’ve put together a selection of our favourite things to do throughout the year. We’d be delighted if you could join us whilst ticking the following off a personal bucket list…

Bournemouth Beach and Gardens

Granted, beaches truly come into their own during summertime when the sun is at its hottest, and there are sandcastles and deckchairs as far as the eye can see. When temperatures soar Bournemouth is unrivalled, bestowing on tourists miles of coastline and breathtaking views at every turn.

It would be wrong however to simply dismiss the front when there is a chill in the air. Winter is ideal for long walks and even cycle rides through picturesque gardens leading to the promenade and beyond. In fact cyclists are encouraged to maximise this period when bikes are permitted. Before setting out you can always plan pit stops wherein a well-earned, warming coffee can be enjoyed.

Forget not also that Bournemouth Gardens come alive every December with the now traditional  Christmas Tree Wonderland. No fewer than 100 illuminations line the pathway and spread festive cheer to all passers by.

As for the water itself, windier weather makes for great surfing conditions. Those who relish riding the waves will find no better setting across the south as they seek their latest adrenaline rush.

Were you planning a longer stay and desiring a nearby change of scenery come beach, the likes of Sandbanks, Swanage and Hengisbury Head are short bus rides away. Hop on the number 50 to reach the former in no time, you’ll be glad you did!

Oceanarium

The Bournemouth Aquarium – otherwise known as the Oceanarium – has just passed its twentieth anniversary and has certainly become one of the town’s leading tourist attractions. Packed to the brim with intriguing, mesmeric creatures, thousands of visitors come face-to-face with fish, invertebrates, reptiles, mammals and birds every year as a glimpse of life underwater captures the imagination.

Refurbished exhibitions such as the Great Barrier Reef Tank ensure this local institution continues to evolve and remain at the forefront of Bournemouth tourism. Better still, it is open all year round, making for a great day irrelevant of forecast.

Aviation Museum

It is not only those with a long-held dream to take to the skies that enjoy a trip to Bournemouth’s Aviation Museum. Billed as fun for all the family, this impressive collection of aircraft exhibits endures.

Interactive elements afford visitors the opportunity of experiencing just what is was like skirting the clouds in some of Britain’s most famous and beloved jets.

Amongst those models on display are the Vucan Bomber, the Piston Provost, the Vanguard and the Harvard – each steeped in history explained to you as you make your way round this sprawling, inspiring complex. It could be said no trip to the area is complete without immersing yourself in the local aviation heritage, of which we are rightly proud.

Go one step further and plan you stay around the Bournemouth Air Show, a thrilling festival of the sky every Autumn.

BIC

The Bournemouth International Centre was recently graced with the presence of the Queen of Pop no less. As endorsements go they do not come much better than Kylie Minogue herself. Yet the Australian songstress was just the latest in a long line of international stars to headline this epicentre of entertainment – with events and concerts staged almost daily.

The 2019 calendar already includes acts as enthralling as they are varied. Whether for the Russian State Ballet of Siberia or Bryan Adams be sure check scheduling and catch a show or two soon, the likelihood is you’ll be spoiled for choice.

The BIC even erect their own Cool Coast ice rink during winter months, channelling Central Park at its coldest and some would say finest.

Compton Acres

If scenic beauty is something you crave look no further than Compton Acres. Constructed as far back as 1920, Thomas Simpson’s personal project has expanded into an awe inspiring, privately owned set of gardens laid out in a circular route that makes for a quite unforgettable stroll.

Take in the Italian and Japanese Gardens, punctuated by the dining Wooden Valley and epic Rock & Water Gardens – the largest of its kind anywhere in the UK. By no means a strict summer venture, organisers are known to introduce Christmas themed café and restaurant options such as Breakfast with Santa when the time calls.

Whenever you plan to visit the Bournemouth area be sure to take in this wondrous slice of natural beauty.

Shopping

A shopping spree is never dependent on the season or weather. Indeed treating oneself is exactly that and almost a right of passage when holidaying. This makes Bournemouth a perfect destination, given our vast array of shopping options and outlets.

To begin with Commercial Road is less than a five-minute walk from Hotel Collingwood and features all the high street brands you are both familiar and unfamiliar with. A little further out but no less popular is Castlepoint – a retail park encompassing 40 shops within 41 acres. The likes of M&S, Gap and Topshop unsurprisingly lure fashionistas from far and wide to Castle Lane.

Elsewhere we have the Dolphin Centre in Poole, a short bus ride from central Bournemouth to the outskirts of town well worth a day trip.

AFC Bournemouth

We have taken great delight in watching AFC Bournemouth’s ascent to the top table of English football, a journey that has united the town. In a far cry from a decade ago – when the club almost seized to exist – they are now competing with some of Europe’s elite clubs in the best league in the world.

Every other Saturday then we can expect big names to rock up to the Vitality Stadium and take on The Cherries. Securing tickets is no mean feat but well worth the effort. Booking overnight accommodation meanwhile allows football fans to make a real weekend of it, taking in not only some brilliant football but everything else Bournemouth has to offer in the process.

So there you have it, just some of the great many things Bournemouth has to offer throughout the year as opposed to a particular season. If you feel inspired to visit any of the aforementioned do so as part of a wider trip and book to stay at Hotel Collingwood. We’ll be delighted to have you stay with and can even impart some local wisdom too!