Dorset is unarguably one of the most beautiful counties in England or the UK, and arguably provides scenery that many would consider to be typically English. Green, lush and hilly, Dorset was where I spent my teen years, and where my parents still live. Yet it has been said that Dorset is a bit of a sleepy place, mostly for families and those looking to escape the busier northern cities. And so in this article (with some more to come on the same theme) I wanted to show you one of the cities you’ll find in Dorset. Dorset is not a huge county and is well-connected so you shouldn’t have any issues getting around. Trains, buses and coaches all make their way here from centrally located Birmingham, and southern London and Bristol - often the three cheapest airports if you are coming from inside the European mainland. Close by is one of the finest beaches in Europe, Lulworth Cove and the stunning Durdle Door.
In 2007, the people in Bournemouth reported happiness higher than any other city in the UK. The combination of a relatively sunny climate (relative – not compared to Valencia where I currently live, but sunny enough), a long and quite clean and nice beach and plenty of families and students make Bournemouth a really genuinely nice city to walk around. Year round there are flowers in the gardens and streets, and an atmosphere created by the increased sun that goes some way to explaining why Bournemouth and Brighton are so popular for visiting Spaniards and Italians.
Bournemouth beach is one of the most popular attractions in the city, and for good reason. It’s a impressively nice beach considering its sat right in the middle of the largest Dorset city. The beach is only a five minute walk from the city centre (which has a lot of high quality shops – Dorset is quite a wealthy area and prices are higher in the south than the north) and is perfect for relaxing with a beer or a coffee after a day of shopping.
Bournemouth Pier is nothing to be particularly excited about, but in and around its legs, you can very often find decent waves. The last time I surfed there was a few years ago, and I made the mistake of trying to get into the water in November. Suffice it to say that it wasn’t a good idea. However during the warmer months (May to August) you can surf with a thin wetsuit, and the waves at this beach are consistent, small and fun. An ideal beach to learn to surf on. The shopping streets are wide and although busy on Saturdays, not especially so. The people seem happier than in Newcastle or Liverpool and it’s a place where you can surf, sunbathe and see friends. Well-connected with London and Birmingham and Bristol, Bournemouth is the ideal beach getaway in England that you weren’t expecting.
Cover Picture credit © iStock/ianwool
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