I was recently asked by Travelodge to share my Hidden Gems about my hometown of Bournemouth. Being a Dorset girl, and a resident of Bournemouth all my life, I was certain I could uncover some of my favourite spots with you all! And if you’re reading this thinking, Bournemouth, where’s that? Allow me to share a brief history lesson for you ;).
Bournemouth is a large coastal resort town on the south coast of England directly to the east of the Jurassic Coast and a World Heritage Site. To the West lies Poole (with a world famous harbour and yes, the home of LUSH!) and Christchurch lies to the east. This conurbation, where now roughly 465,000 live, is the place I call home.
Before Bournemouth was founded in 1810 by Lewis Tregonwell, the area was simply deserted heathland occasionally visited by fishermen and smugglers. It was initially marketed as a health resort and Bournemouth received a boost when it appeared in Dr Granville’s book, ‘The Spas of England’. With the arrival of the railway Bournemouth experienced accelerated growth, and it became a recognised town in 1870. Originally it was historically part of Hampshire, but it joined Dorset with the reorganisation of local government in 1974.
Bournemouth town centre has notable Victorian architecture and the spire of St Peter’s Church (where I took virtually all of my music examinations!) is one of three Grade I listed churches in the borough, and has become a local landmark. Bournemouth’s location has made it a very popular destination for tourists, attracting over five million visitors annually with its beaches and popular nightlife. The town is also a regional centre of business, home of the Bournemouth International Centre or BIC, and a financial sector. Most recently the development of Bournemouth Airport has meant that tourism is ever increasing.
Travelodge have 4 hotels in the Bournemouth area which cover a vast variety of the hidden gems I’m about to tell you all about. They are as follows: Travelodge Bournemouth Seafront Hotel, Travelodge Bournemouth Hotel, Travelodge Bournemouth Cooper Dean Hotel and Travelodge Christchurch Hotel.
My Favourite Eating Spot #HiddenGem
Travelodge Bournemouth Seafront Hotel
Bournemouth is buzzing with a huge nightlife scene and so if that’s your thing you won’t struggle to find an array of quirky bars and pubs. For me however, that’s actually not my scene at all, and I much favour places like Westbourne which is home to a bustling vintage and independent vibe. One of my favourite spots I would take my friend’s to is Dot’s Tea. With everything from vintage linen, bunting, to the pretty glass sugar bowls and mismatched bone china crockery, this little tea room is a nostalgic treat where you can satisfy your sweet-tooth with an array of homemade scones and cakes complimented by tea, smoothies and milkshakes. And afterwards, be sure to walk around the Victorian arcades and shop in the gorgeous independent boutiques.
My Favourite Shopping Spot #HiddenGem
You may just recognise this photo from a recent blogger event because my next hidden gem is the Bournemouth Vintage Emporium. This emporium is the home to all things vintage and a place where lots of my favourite independent vintage sellers such as What Alice Found, and Bohemia have come together under one roof to sell their vintage finds or creations. It really is the epitome of a treasure trove and if you’re a vintage lover it’s an absolute must-have. And if you’re a serious vintage lover I’d also thoroughly recommend you wander down to Pokesdown to explore the rest of Bournemouth’s Vintage Quarter.
My Favourite Cultural Spot #HiddenGem
Travelodge Bournemouth Seafront Hotel
My final hiden gem in Bournemouth is the Russell Cotes Museum. This stunning house now museum was once home to Sir Merton Russell-Cotes (1835-1921) and Lady Russell-Cotes (1835-1920) and it is now one of the most important and fascinating museum-houses in England. It holds collections of international status and perfectly reflects the Victorian fascination with world cultures. I have visited this museum so much during my studies, and during work experience, and yet every time you visit you will be guaranteed something new you didn’t spot the last time. There is also a lovely little café on the top floor and the surrounding grounds feel very Secret-Garden-esque. Have fun exploring this beautiful museum and you’ll be spoilt choice with photo locations as it my favourite spot for finding the most breathtaking views of Bournemouth and the surrounding area.
I hope you enjoyed my favourite spots in Bournemouth. Have any of you been to Bournemouth? If not, I hope you’ve found some places to start exploring and if you have, where did you love?