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A snapshot guide to Bournemouth

Bournemouth

Sunny Bournemouth is a popular coastal town on the south coast of England. It has its roots in Victorian England, when the regeneration of the railway meant holidaymakers flocked in their droves. The town centre features many examples of Victorian architecture, and the 62m spire of St Peter’s Church, one of three Grade I listed churches in the borough, is a local landmark.

Attracting over five million visitors each year, from stag and hen parties to coach trips, Bournemouth is the perfect spot for leisure, entertainment, culture and recreation. It boasts a vibrant nightlife, with a fantastic selection of clubs, bars and restaurants, as well as Bournemouth International events centre, the Pavilion Theatre and O2 Academy entertainment venue… There’s something for everyone!

Alongside the beautiful beach, there are five public parks to enjoy, as well as two piers, offering traditional seaside entertainment. Travelling to Bournemouth is easy, whether by road, rail or air. It is linked to the M27 via the A31 at Southampton, and there are frequent National Express departures to London Victoria, and Heathrow and Gatwick Airports. The town has two railway stations – Bournemouth and Pokesdown – along with an airport, running direct flights to 23 international destinations in nine countries.   

As you would imagine, tourism is very important to the local economy, accounting for around 15 per cent of all employment in Bournemouth, and approximately a third of town centre businesses serve the leisure industry. Three of the nine companies that are listed as the most internationally growing businesses in the south are situated in Bournemouth. These include Imagine Publishing Group Ltd, Emerge Ltd (communications agency) and Aim Aviation Ltd (aircraft cabin interiors design and manufacturing).    

Bournemouth Borough Council operates a two-tier comprehensive system, whereby pupils attend one of the 26 primary schools in the borough before completing their education at a secondary school. Bournemouth is one of only a few local authorities in England to maintain selective education, with two grammar schools, 10 comprehensive schools, a small number of independent schools and a further education college. There are also two universities in the town – Bournemouth University and Arts University Bournemouth, both of which are located across the boundary in Poole.

In terms of house prices, most property sales last year were flats, which sold for an average of £197,391, while the overall average house price was £279,937, up 5 per cent on the previous year.

One survey suggests the happiest people in the UK live in Bournemouth. With year-round entertainment and a stunning coastline on your doorstep, how can we argue with that?