Bournemouth Activities

  • 7 miles of sandy beach (4 with European Blue Flag)
  • Over 2,000 acres park and gardens
  • Vibrant nightlife, ideal for hen & stag parties
  • Easy access by air, road or rail – 95 minutes from London
  • Some of the warmest sea temperatures in the UK

Bournemouth is situated on the South Western coast in the county of Dorset at the mouth of the River Bourne.

In the past Bournemouth was only visited by smugglers and fishermen, but nowadays 88 million people visit Bournemouth every year, making it one of the most popular seaside resorts in England. Its pleasant southern climate lengthens the summer tourist season and attracts crowds of winter visitors.

With over seven miles of award-winning beaches and 2,000 acres of gardens and parks there are plenty of great locations for outdoor activities to be enjoyed.

All providers in and near Bournemouth Activities

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Parley Archery
83 Shaftesbury Road
Bournemouth, Dorset
DISTANCE: 1.59 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Archery...
Surfsteps
39 Leaphill Road
Bournemouth, Dorset
DISTANCE: 2.68 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Bodyboarding, Surfing...
Surfsteps – Bournemouth Surf School
39 Leaphill Road
Dorset
DISTANCE: 2.68 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Bodyboarding, Surfing...
Poole Windsurfing
Shore Road
Poole, Dorset
DISTANCE: 2.77 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Windsurfing...
Jetski Safaris Ltd
40 Salterns
Poole, Dorset
DISTANCE: 3.05 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Powerboating, Jet Skiing...
Easy Riders
91 Salterns Road
Poole, Dorset
DISTANCE: 3.16 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Kite Landboarding, Kite Surfing, Kiting, Powerboating, Wakeboarding...
Hengistbury Head OEC
Broadway Southbourne
DISTANCE: 4.37 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Dinghy Sailing, Kayaking, Powerboating, Rowing, Sea Kayaking, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Windsurfing...
Camouflage Paintball Bournemouth
Christchurch Road Hurn
Christchurch, Dorset
DISTANCE: 4.37 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Paintball...
Poole Harbour Sea Survival Ltd
Fleets Corner Fleetsbridge
Poole, Dorset
DISTANCE: 4.85 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Powerboating...
Shell Bay Watersports
Ferry Road Studland Dorset
DISTANCE: 5.15 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Powerboating, Windsurfing...
Avonmouth Watersports
37 Foxwood Avenue Mudeford
Christchurch, Dorset
DISTANCE: 5.67 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Dinghy Sailing, Windsurfing, Kayaking, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Powerboating, Sailing Schools...
Snowtrax
Matchams Lane Hurn
Christchurch, Dorset
DISTANCE: 5.71 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Skiing, Snowboarding...
Challenge Leisure
Matchams Leisure Park Bournemouth
Ringwood, Hampshire
DISTANCE: 7.13 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Paintball, Clay Pigeon Shooting, Quad Racing...
Fluid Skills
Colehill 83 Lonnen RD
Wimborne, Dorset
DISTANCE: 7.36 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Canoeing, Kayaking, Playboating, Sea Kayaking, Surf Kayaking...
Avon Tyrrell Activity Centre
Avon Tyrrell Activity Centre UK Youth
Christchurch, Dorset
DISTANCE: 8.49 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Abseiling, Archery, Assault Course, Bushcraft Course, Canoeing, Climbing, High Ropes Courses,...

History

Bournemouth is first mentioned in 1406, when a monk discovered an 18 foot long fish washed up at “La Bournemowthe”.

In the middle of the 19th century there were still only 26 buildings, but thereafter Bournemouth grew rapidly, especially after the coming of the railway.

Bournemouth has strong ties with some of the Britain’s greatest authors, including J.R.R. Tolkien and Enid Blyton, while Robert Louis Stevenson wrote Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde here. Mary Shelley, the creator of ‘Frankenstein’ is buried in Bournemouth along with the heart of her husband Percy.

The Beatles loved Bournemouth and played more gigs here than anywhere else in the UK.

Exploring the City

The city of Bournemouth offers many sights for visitors of all ages to enjoy. As a popular location for family days out there is a lot on offer!

The ‘Russell Cotes’ Art Gallery and Museum is well worth a visit. This Victorian exotic villa was built in 1897 as an extravagant gift to Russell-Cotes’ wife. The East Cliff Hall, as it is generally known, was then donated in 1907.

The Aviation Museum is a hands-on experience for the whole family, with many interactive exhibits. Sit inside some the cockpits of some of the most famous planes from the history of aviation including the English Electric Lightning and the mighty Westland Wessex Helicopter.

The Oceanarium, located on the seafront, offers a journey around the seas of the world, featuring wonders of marine species, reptiles, birds and mammals. There is also an open air cinema on the waterfront.

Nightlife

Nightlife is wild in Bournemouth with pubs, bars, nightclubs and a famous selection of strip clubs. Most of the nightlife is centered on and around The Triangle area of town.

There is a great selection of restaurants to suit all tastes, although the area is, understandably, famous for its seafood.

Bournemouth Beach

Bournemouth offers over seven miles of glorious, award-winning beaches!

With over 250 beach huts and stunning views of the Isle of Wight and the Purbecks, the beach is one of the most attractive in the UK. It is also one of the safest with RNLI Lifeguards based all the way along the seven-mile stretch.

With some of the warmest sea temperatures in the UK, Bournemouth is a popular both with holidaymakers and action-sports enthusiasts. It is a renowned location for a range of watersports, including waterskiing, kayaking, canoeing, surfing, zap cats and sailing.

For the more adventurous, why not take a stroll along Bournemouth Pier and use the zipline to get back to shore!

Jurassic Coast

Dorset’s Jurassic Coast is a stunning World Heritage site, recording 185 million years of history in its rugged cliffs.

Visitors to this stunning area can experience Lulworth Cove, Durleston Head, Dancing Ledge and Durdle Doors’ famous rock archway.

Hengistbury Head is a headland into the English Channel of international importance, because of its archaeological sites, ranging from the Late Upper Palaeolithic Age up until the Roman settlement in Britain.  Its history covers the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages. It is also a local nature reserve.

The dramatic ruins of Corfe Castle stand on a natural hill guarding the principal route through the Purbeck Hills. The castle hosts many activities to teach visitors about the history of the castle in a fun and interactive way.

Boscombe

Boscombe is a suburb of Bournemouth located in the east. The first pier was opened in 1889 but later became unsafe and was restored and re-opened in 2008.

The pier has an Angling Club for fishing off the pier and various hand-crafted musical instruments made especially for use on the pier which you can try out for yourself.

The Boscombe Devil is a gargoyle facing Boscombe’s Grand Theatre (now the 02 Academy).  It was placed there by the Lord’s Observance Society in the 1920’s to show disapproval against the theatre’s opening on Sundays. The theatre was said to have been cursed as a result.

New Forest

The New Forest is located around 30 minutes’ drive from Bournemouth and offers a wealth of places to visit and explore, including some of the best UK’s best gardens, museums, leisure and wildlife parks.

Ponies, donkeys and cattle all roam freely through the Forest’s picturesque villages, giving guests the chance to step back in time!

The New Forest is best enjoyed as part of a horse riding experience, cycling or on foot.

Weymouth & Portland

Weymouth, located to the west of Bournemouth, is a busy harbour town and one of the best sailing destinations in the country.

Chosen as the home of sailing at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the area can look back with pride after hosting an amazing sailing competition.

The legacy of which has been some of the best watersports facilities found anywhere in the World.

Outdoor Activities

Bournemouth is popular with outdoor enthusiasts looking to try a wide range of activities due to its fantastic natural landscapes. This makes it an ideal destination for fun weekends away and stag or hen parties.

Some of the most popular include cliff climbing, archery, rifle shooting, quad trekking and paintball.

Festivals

There are various festivals held in Bournemouth each year, which attract a wide range of visitors to this beautiful area!

In spring, Bournemouth Wheels Festival roars into action with displays and demonstrations featuring monster trucks, supercars and quad bike stunts.

In August, it’s the annual Bournemouth Air Festival – the biggest event of its kind in the world.

Summer Live is held from 1st July – 14th August in Bournemouth Square with live music and entertainment, outdoor bar and live art demonstrations and more. You can also join in the Beach Feast in the month of July with street food, cocktails and live music.

Candlelight Night is held on 24th August at the Lower Gardens creating a magical atmosphere.