Destination guide

Enjoying your Bournemouth holiday rental

People have been flocking to Bournemouth holiday lettings since the heyday of the Victorian era. Drawn by the sparkling sands of the Dorset coast, they came to splash in the frothing waves of the English Channel and soak in the steaming spa rooms of elegant hotels. Fast forward 150 years and the town still reigns as one of Britain's favourite seaside escapes. Bustling promenades laden with chippies combine with a traditional pier to ensure there's always plenty of Punch-and-Judy-style family fun on offer. A wild nocturnal scene of chic bars and shanty pubs takes care of after hours. And the gorgeous nature reserves of greater Dorset keep adventurers on their toes.


The Victorian heritage of Bournemouth

There was a time when Bournemouth was just a remote section of wild coast where smugglers and sailors would meet in salt-washed sea taverns. Then came the Victorians, who prized the yellow-hued sands of Bournemouth Beach and the fair weather that rolls through from May to September. Elegant villas and opulent spa hotels started popping up along the shores in the 1830s. Later, the iconic Bournemouth Pier was built, along with the pretty promenades seen today with their reams of fish and chip shops and ice-cream parlours. Those staying in Bournemouth holiday cottages in the Dorset countryside can also enjoy some older treats – take 11th-century Corfe Castle, with its stone keeps rising from the ruins to tower above the green Purbeck Hills.


Sightseeing in and around Bournemouth

Do you want to find attractions to see in the area? Venture out of your holiday home and check out everything that Bournemouth has to offer. These are some of the most popular attractions to put on your list, all within 30 miles (48.2 km) of the city centre:

  • Monkey World Ape Rescue Center (14.9 mi / 24 km)
  • The Square (0.1 mi / 0.1 km)
  • Oceanarium (0.3 mi / 0.5 km)
  • Bournemouth Pier (0.4 mi / 0.7 km)
  • Meyrick Park Golf Course (0.6 mi / 0.9 km)
  • Alum Chine Beach (1.1 mi / 1.7 km)

Seasonal weather in Bournemouth

If you're hoping to enjoy some warm-weather activities on your holiday, August, July, September and June are the hottest months to visit, when temperatures average 19°F.

Natural features

Exploring the beaches and other natural features in Bournemouth

Travellers appreciate the beautiful gardens and beautiful ocean views, which is just a taste of what Bournemouth has to offer. Whether you're looking for fun outdoor activities or just want to take in the scenery, Bournemouth is a great place to get out in nature. These are some of the area's noteworthy features, all within 30 miles (48.2 km) of the city centre:

  • Bournemouth Beach (0.4 mi / 0.6 km)
  • Brownsea Island (4.5 mi / 7.3 km)
  • Bournemouth Lower Gardens (0.1 mi / 0.2 km)
  • Alum Chine Beach (1.1 mi / 1.7 km)
  • Knyveton Gardens (1.1 mi / 1.8 km)
  • Queens Park (1.8 mi / 2.9 km)
How to get there

Transport to and around Bournemouth

Fly into Bournemouth (BOH-Bournemouth Intl.), the closest airport, located 4.5 mi (7.2 km) from the city centre. If you can't find a flight that works for your travel itinerary, you can also fly into Southampton (SOU), which is 27.7 mi (44.6 km) away.

If you're travelling by train, make your way to Bournemouth Station or Pokesdown for Boscombe Station and explore the city from there.

How to get around

How to get around Bournemouth

Hopping from Bournemouth Beach to the bustling pier and back again is best done on foot. In fact, those staying in the heart of town will find that most of the pubs, museums, restaurants and attractions are all linked by pleasant promenades or pavements. A Getting About ticket is a great idea if you want to make use of local buses, which run all the way out to Poole and surfer-chic Boscombe, along the coast. Those staying in Bournemouth holiday cottages in the green Dorset countryside might prefer to rent a car. It's wise to hit town early on summer days if you're driving – junctions from the A roads can get congested with beach-bound families.

Food & drink 

The foodie flavours of Bournemouth

A stay in a Bournemouth holiday cottage isn't just about hitting the sun-splashed beaches of the South Coast and revelling on the buzzing pier. You can also enjoy a whole medley of foodie treats in this corner of England. The national favourite, fish and chips, is one of the mainstays of the promenades – you'll see traditional fish bars sizzling up battered cod and piles of potato all along Bournemouth Beach. Meanwhile, the range of shanty-style taverns and gastropubs offers a menu of other regional tastes, whether that's a gravy-doused roast on a Sunday or a glass of West County cider to sip in a beer garden.

Essential info

Key facts for those staying in Bournemouth holiday homes

  • Bournemouth is very much a summer resort, so you can expect prices to creep up as you approach months like June, July and August
  • Unpredictable weather – even in the summer – means it's wise to pack a raincoat for Bournemouth
  • Be ready to share the pubs and clubs with stag and hen parties, especially if you're staying in a Bournemouth holiday home in the centre of town
  • Always pay attention to safe swimming markers and lifeguard warnings when visiting Bournemouth's beaches
  • You can use UK emergency number 999 to contact the coastguard in case of any emergency related to the sea or coastline around Bournemouth

Where to stay around Bournemouth?

Our 2019 accommodation listings offer a large selection of 1,206 holiday lettings near Bournemouth. From 437 Houses to 296 Cabins, find unique self catering accommodation for you to enjoy a memorable holiday or a weekend with your family and friends. The best place to stay near Bournemouth is on HomeAway.

What are the most popular destinations to visit in Bournemouth?

There are many lovely places to stay for a long holiday or just a weekend break in Bournemouth. From HomeAway travellers, the popular destinations to visit are:

  • Bournemouth Beach: 1,825 holiday homes
  • Bournemouth City Centre: 149 holiday homes
  • Boscombe Pier: 1,797 holiday homes
  • Alum Chine Beach: 1,830 holiday homes
  • Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum: 1,824 holiday homes

HomeAway offers you the possibility to discover many other popular destinations in Bournemouth! Please use our search bar to access the selection of self catering accommodations available in other popular destinations.

What are the main cities to discover in Bournemouth?

Whether you are travelling solo or with family and friends, here are the cities in Bournemouth with the largest selection of holiday lettings for a perfect city break:

  • Swanage: 929 holiday lettings
  • Lymington: 1,295 holiday lettings
  • Southampton: 539 holiday lettings
  • Poole: 1,191 holiday lettings
  • Christchurch: 1,221 holiday lettings

For other cities, please use our search bar to access the selection of holiday homes available.

Can I find easy access holiday homes when travelling by plane to Bournemouth?

Yes of course. Our owners offer a large selection of self catering accommodations near to airports. Airports with a large selection of self catering accommodations in Bournemouth are:

  • Ringwood (RNW-Ringwood Bus Station): 1,919 self catering accommodations
  • Poole (POQ-Poole Bus Station): 1,632 self catering accommodations
  • Bournemouth Airport (BOH): 1,795 self catering accommodations

For other airports, please use our search bar to access the selection of holiday rentals available.

What are the most popular points of interest and landmarks to stay near in Bournemouth?

HomeAway offers a large selection of holiday lettings near great places to visit in Bournemouth. From HomeAway travellers, the top popular points of interest to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend are:

  • Bournemouth Beach: 1,825 holiday rentals
  • Boscombe Pier: 1,797 holiday rentals
  • Alum Chine Beach: 1,830 holiday rentals
  • Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum: 1,824 holiday rentals
  • Bournemouth International Centre: 1,811 holiday rentals

But there are many other points of interest around Bournemouth listed on HomeAway where you can find your place to stay. Just write your wanted destination in our search bar and have a look at our selection of holiday accommodations.

Explore destinations around Bournemouth