Charming. There is no better word to describe Bournemouth.
As much as I love the hustle and bustle of the city, travelling outside of London is something I greet with open arms every time. The English countryside is a beautiful sight. As a tourist, simply sitting in the train can be an enjoyable experience. Taking in the dramatic rural landscape is both exhilarating and relaxing at the same time. You are greeted by things that feel as if they came straight out of a story book – rolling hills, wild horses, peaceful woodlands, lovely old homes and estates, and winding country roads.
Bournemouth had all this and more. Being a town by the sea, it offered a beautiful beach that stretched on for miles. The island girl inside me got all excited until I remembered that the weather was freezing. Still, being close to the water was inspiring and calming, which was characteristic of Bournemouth as a town. It had both that quiet and historic feel while having a vibrant and cosmopolitan community. As an outsider looking in, it was what I had in mind as a quintessential English town. It was, in all aspects, lovely.
My boyfriend and I went to see our friends Hadyn and Nicky a few weeks ago, and they were such amazing hosts! It is always nice to come to a place where you know someone who can take you around, but they surely exceeded expectations. With just a weekend to spend time with them and experience Bournemouth, they picked a few activities that really made for an unforgettable way to experience this beautiful place.
If you are looking into what to do in Bournemouth, I’ve outlined the three highlights of our trip, which you should definitely try!
True story. When I was around 8 years old, I was a fat child and I wasn’t allowed to ride a pink carnival pony. (Which btw was only amusing when I was 8. Say no to painted ponies!) Since then, I have spitefully stayed away from horses but secretly wished I could someday ride one. That being said, you can imagine the sheer joy that came over me when I found out we were riding horses in Bournemouth. Hadyn had arranged for us four to do an hour ride through Arniss Equestrian, which was more than just a repressed-childhood-issues redeeming experience – it was an item off the bucketlist, and in a grand way! Riding a beautiful horse while admiring the idyllic views of Bournemouth was breathtaking, to say the least! Arniss Equestian’s guides were friendly and lovely people, and their horses were gentle giants. The trail was a majestic 50 acre site where all you see from end to end was picturesque country scenery. WOW. Just. WOW.
Old Pubs and Posh Lunches
While old pubs are not unique to Bournemouth, having lunch in a pub outside of London can be a surprisingly indulgent affair. We enjoyed a superb lunch of venison, calf liver, and duck while spending less than we would in the city. The pub’s old interior inspired nostalgia, and the food felt like it was prepared with earnest love and care. Looking around, you see that people seem to know each other, and being in the middle of it made you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Seaside Fish and Chips
If you were to have the ever so English dish, Fish and Chips – you will want to have it in a seaside town like Bournemouth. My boyfriend had banned me from eating fish and chips in London until I’ve tried the best in Bournemouth. It was worth the wait! Fresh from the water and hot out of the kitchen, you will not find better Fish and Chips anywhere. Imagine the perfect crunchy batter around juicy meaty cod, served with chips (aka fries) soaked in vinegar! YUUUUM. Sitting on a bench admiring the views and sounds of the sea while enjoying a hot box of fish and chips was a dining experience like no other. The delicious food, gorgeous ambiance, and great company is one that is bound to stick with you.
There are many other places to explore in Bournemouth, but if you have 24 hours to do it, these are definitely the Top 3 things to check out! If you are looking for a relaxing weekend in Bournemouth you can also check out my friend Nicky’s Massage Therapies for a reinvigorating sesh!
I’ll be seeing you again, Bournemouth. Thanks again, Hadyn and Nicky!
Check out more pictures from our trip in the Slideshow below!