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* Sizes listed are approximations. Please contact the agent to verify actual sizes.

Bournemouth Area Guide

Bournemouth West Beach Image courtesy of Flickr user bobchin1941

Sitting on the coast between Plymouth and Southampton, Bournemouth is the largest town in Dorset, and with Christchurch and Poole, is part of the South East Dorset conurbation. Bournemouth only began growing extensively at the end of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, when railroads brought in new residents and tourists. Since then, it has continued to grow, though more slowly.

These days, the service sector employs about 93% of the workforce in Bournemouth. Major employers include JPMorgan, Palmair, Unisys, Lloyds TSB Insurance and Imagine Publishing.

Bournemouth and the surrounding suburbs include Boscombe, Westbourne, Pokesdown, and Winton, amongst many other areas. Boscombe is home to several of the arts and entertainment venues, and Westbourne is the more affluent residential and shopping area. Pokesdown is known for its many vintage, retro and antiques shops. Winton is popular with students because of its proximity to transport links and the two university campuses.

Demographics

Bournemouth is home to around 183,500 people, of which almost 67% were of working age. This is slightly more that the 64.6% in England and Wales as a whole. There were fewer children aged 15 and younger in Bournemouth: 15.4% compared to 18.8% in England and Wales. There were also slightly more people in retirement age in the town, with almost 18% of the population being that age. This is compared to 16.5% in England and Wales. This lines up with Bournemouth's reputation for attracting retirees.

Bournemouth does not have much ethnic diversity. About 92% of the population classified themselves as white British, compared to 87.5% in England and Wales.

As of December 2012, the unemployment rate was 2.6%, the same as the unemployment rate for the southwest of England. It is much lower than the unemployment rate for Great Britain, however, which is 3.8%.

Education

The primary schools in Bournemouth are fairly evenly spread throughout the area, and many are rated good or outstanding by Ofsted. Outstanding primary schools include St Mark's Church of England Aided Primary School and Queens Park Infant School. There are also several independent primary schools with excellent reputations, including girls' day and boarding school Talbot Heath School.

Outstanding secondary schools include Bournemouth School and Bournemouth School for Girls, both of which have recently converted to academy status.

The two universities associated with the town, Bournemouth University and The Arts University Bournemouth, are actually located in Poole.

Transport

The A338 is the main route into and out of the town, joining up with other major roads to destinations around the south of England. Bus services are run mainly by two companies, More Bus and Yellow Buses. They provide routes that reach most parts of the town and the surrounding areas. There are also some council-funded services to benefit those on less commercially viable routes.

Bournemouth has two railway stations, Bournemouth and Pokesdown, connecting the town to many parts of the country. Direct lines include those to London Waterloo, Oxford, Birmingham, Manchester and many coastal towns. There are also three funicular railways connecting the seashore to the cliff tops at various points along the coast.

Bournemouth Airport is just outside of the town, in the village of Hurn. Destinations served include Geneva, Dublin, Rhodes and Lanzarote.

Amenities and Shopping

Although it is not a large city, Bournemouth does seem to have more than its fair share of amenities and shopping options, largely because of its many tourists.

Museums, theatres and venues

The Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum is perhaps the most well-known museum in Bournemouth. It has extensive collections of 19th century paintings, sculptures and Japanese artwork. The Bournemouth Aviation Museum lets visitors get up close and personal with over 50 displays.

The Pavilion Theatre was built in the 1920s and retains many of its period features. It hosts a varied programme of theatre, opera, comedy and concerts. Behind it sits Pavilion Dance hall, where contemporary performances and classes are held. The Bournemouth International Centre (BIC) is a large venue that puts on theatrical performances, comedy shows, concerts by internationally famous bands and singers, as well as conferences and other events. The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra plays in and around Bournemouth and is based at the Lighthouse in Poole. The suburb of Boscombe has a large O2 Academy, which hosts club nights and local and international music acts.

Festivals

Bournemouth hosts a large number of festivals each year. The Bournemouth Carnival is a children's festival featuring chalk drawing and sand castle competitions, a large parade, live music and food. Classic Cars On The Prom showcases classic cars, motorcycles and more. Bournemouth Arts by the Sea Festival showcases performance art, literature and music. Bourne Free is a gay pride festival and has also become a general celebration of diversity, acceptance and inclusion. The food festivals in Bournemouth include the Big Bournemouth Beer Festival, established in 2009, and the Bournemouth Food and Drink Festival, which began in 2010.

Sport

Bournemouth has one professional football team, League One's AFC Bournemouth, and Bournemouth F.C., the older of the two clubs, plays in the Wessex League Premier Division. Bournemouth Rugby Club plays rugby union in the National League 3 South West. Both the Dorset County Cricket Club and the Bournemouth Cricket Club are based in the town. The BIC has become a venue for one of the Premier League Darts Championship rounds.

Bournemouth is also fantastic for water sports. The Westover and Bournemouth Rowing Club is an amateur coastal rowing club which competes in many regional regattas, and the coastline is ideal for windsurfing and kitesurfing.

Shopping

Bournemouth is ideal for shopping, as most of the centre of the town is pedestrianised. The Avenue Shopping Centre on Commercial Road has a small collection of shops including The Perfume Shop and Marks and Spencer. Westbourne, sometimes called The Village, has boutiques and beauty shops mixed in with restaurants and cafes. Christchurch Road in Boscombe is lined with antiques shops, and near there is a large open air market held on Thursdays and Saturdays.

Just three miles from the town centre, Castlepoint Shopping Park is the largest shopping centre in the area. It has more than 40 shops, including B&Q, Miss Selfridge, Topshop and Asda.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact editor@primelocation.com

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.