If you’re planning the best long weekend in Bournemouth then I have you covered. This day Bournemouth itinerary will ensure you have the best time in one of England’s most beautiful coastal cities!
Bournemouth is the largest town in Dorset, has award-winning beaches, plenty of attractions for families and adults alike. It’s no wonder that Bournemouth is a popular destination for a weekend away.
Getting to Bournemouth
Bournemouth has great transport links from across the UK from trains, buses and even an airport. Bournemouth airport is located around twenty minutes outside of the town centre, but if you’re arriving at the airport, there are plenty of transport options available.
Arriving In Bournemouth By Train
If you are considering taking the train to Bournemouth, you will find plenty of rail routes from all over the UK. A train from London to Bournemouth will take around 1 hour and a half making it very accessible.
Bournemouth train station is around 15 minute’s bus journey into the town centre or a 20 minute walk
Bournemouth by Bus
You can get a coach from London, Victoria Coach Station to Bournemouth in just 2 hours and 40 minutes. One way ticket just costs £9 from the mega bus.
Bournemouth by Car
If you are considering driving to Bournemouth it will take you around 2 hours and 30 minutes depending on the time of day and traffic from London. From Brighton, where I live, it only took me 2 hours to get there as there was no traffic.
Weekend in Bournemouth Itinerary.
Get up early so you can arrive in Bournemouth early and make the most of the day. The first stop will be your accommodation. If you drove there like me, then you can park up as check-in is in the afternoon so gives a few hours to get some lunch and to take in your surroundings and see how far the beach is from your hotel.
Start the day with breakfast at your hotel if they offer breakfast otherwise there will be lots of cafes in Bournemouth town centre that offer breakfast or you can go to Weatherspoon’s as I did.
Once you had breakfast then get ready to head out to explore the Bournemouth beach. The best way to start at Bournemouth Pier. A Victorian pier with an amusement arcade, theatre, cafe, and seasonal boat trips along the coast.
After you have finished with Bournemouth Pier, enjoy a walk along the seafront towards Boscombe Pier. The walk is around 1.5 miles in length and depending on your pace and takes about half an hour.
When you arrive at Boscombe Pier there is a nice restaurant called Urban Reef that is a cafe/deli with a beach-side terrace and contemporary glass-fronted restaurant with a balcony.
Once you have walked back to Bournemouth Pier, I suggest you got the Bournemouth aviary to see all the wonderful tropical birds they have there. It is located near the Bournemouth gardens before you head back to the hotel to get ready for dinner.
For dinner, head over to Chicken and Blues. It was awarded the prestigious title of Best Family Restaurant in the UK in the Deliveroo Restaurant Awards. Its chicken is marinated for 48 hours in a blend of secret spices before being served by the half, whole, breast, or leg, or tucked into a tasty wrap. Veggies and vegans are surprisingly well catered for too.
Get up early as you will be heading for a day of exploring. There are many are beachfront cafes in Bournemouth, so why not start your day experiencing a breakfast different from your hotel. After having breakfast, head off to Corfe Castle
Corfe Castle is a village in the Dorset countryside. It is a site of a ruined castle of the same name. Run by National Trust, it was built in the early 12th century for King Henry I, William the Conqueror’s son. For lunch, you need to try the Corfe Castle Village Bakery that is filled with sandwiches, Cornish Pasties, cakes, and pastries.
After you have explored all of Corfe, head down to Swanage. Swanage is also a coastal town and civil parish in the southeast of Dorset, England. It is a smaller, quieter town than Bournemouth. There are a few fish restaurants by the sea so head to one of them for dinner.
I suggest you go to Gee Whites a great seafood restaurant with views of the beach. I had the tuna and it was lovely. After your food, you feel bloated so just behind the restaurant take a walk in the park called The Downs. There you will enjoy great views of the town, sea and the famous The Foreland.
Once you get back to the hotel get ready for your night out. I suggest you head out to DYMK Bar & Club. Its the only gay club in Bournemouth. It has great music and you get served by drag queens and they’re very friendly.
Then if you want to, go to another club. Or if you’re not interested in that one, then next door is a great bar called the Dancing Jug.
On the final last day in Bournemouth, head out to a nearby town called Poole. Poole is another coastal town in Dorset, southern England, known for its large natural harbour and sandy beaches. Its Old Town has Georgian houses and Poole Museum.
While you are in Poole I suggest booking one of the many boat trips that explore the many islands around Poole.
I highly recommend you go to Brownsea Island, also archaically known as Branksea, which is the largest of the islands in Poole Harbour. The island is owned by the National Trust. The boat trips to Brownsea are normally 3 hours or longer and depart two times a day 11am or 2pm.
All the other boat trips go past it but don’t stop. I went on a boat trip that was £10 and lasted 70 minutes and went past 5 islands and the guide provided us with lots of interesting facts about them. The boat went past Millionaires Row’ in Dorset—now the world’s most expensive coastal street. A waterside street made up of just 13 houses in the south of England is now officially the most expensive stretch of coastal real estate in the world, with a staggering combined property value of £93m.
After that is done on the way back head to Studland a stunning beach. The beaches at Studland are called Shell Bay, Knoll Beach, Middle Beach, and South Beach. All are owned by the National Trust. Ideal for water sports and includes the most popular naturist beach in Britain.
On the day back, pop into the supermarket to get food for the BBQ and a disposable BBQ. But note: You can only have a BBQ after 6pm on Bournemouth beach. Park the car then head to the beach for a lovely BBQ dinner on the beach.
This is the morning you will be checking out of the hotel, so get packing then put everything in the car and head out in town for your last breakfast, or if the hotel offers it then with them. If you’re not in a rush to start the journey home, why not spend some time enjoying more of the local area.
On the way home stop off at Christchurch. It is a small town and civil parish in Dorset on the south coast of England. There is a castle there to visit. It is a Norman moat and Bailey castle.
As well as that, Bournemouth Aviation Museum is located in Christchurch. It houses several aircraft, aero engines, cockpits, and a limited number of ground vehicles. Or you can go to Red House Museum and Gardens that is a museum of local history located in Christchurch, Dorset.