Bournemouth beach is a long glorious stretch of wonderful soft sand and freezing cold water. The pier has its own amusements, a small theatre and bar and a brand new zip wire that takes you from the top of the pier to the beach below.
When the annual air festival is here you can’t see the sand through the people because everyone likes to bring every possession they own and every relation they have, close or distant.
Unlike the rather skanky beaches around the Kent coast, Dorset’s beaches are very well kept, very popular and show no signs of decline.
Poole & Sandbanks
When I tell people that I once lived in Poole they assume that I’m a rich upper class socialite. This is not the case. There are many other places in Poole besides the very expensive Sandbanks.
Apart from the water sports and beach there’s sod all else to do in Sandbanks. Unless you like dribbling over rich people’s homes.
For the common and poor folk among us there’s other places to visit in Poole including the entertainment and food hub that is Tower Park.
There’s also a rather lovely park near the town centre where swans regularly terrorise children and adults can pay a ridiculous sum of money for an ice cream or to go on the little pathetic train that goes around a small section of park.
A word of warning when visiting Poole is to stay well away from the bus station. As far as you can. It’s a horror that no one should have to endure.
Unlike Poole’s more family focused town centre, Bournemouth is very much focused on students. Mainly because there’s two universities here and it’s very popular with foreign exchange student programmes.
The shops are vast but you’ll struggle to find a pound shop; unlike Poole, which is full of them. It’s very hilly in Bournemouth (though not as hilly as Edinburgh) so shopping here can turn into a bit of an exercise class.
As you’d expect there are lots of bars and clubs in Bournemouth, and some of them are pretty good. There’s also the essential Wetherspoons, which unlike other Wetherspoons, is mainly full of students rather than old smelly men.
With two entertainment venues, a load of shops and a magnificent beach, Bournemouth is one of the best places in Dorset.
The gay triangle
You’re gay and want an awesome night out in Bournemouth? Hooray! Oh, you’re a gay woman and want an awesome night out in Bournemouth? Maybe try the cinema?
Yes, there’s some great pubs in the gay district (at the top of Bournemouth centre near the Tesco and library), but they are full of men. And students. You may find a few women, but they are scarce.
I went to university in Bournemouth and ventured to the pubs and clubs in the triangle but not once did I hook up with anyone.
I rather hope that’s because there wasn’t many women rather than my lack of sexual appeal, or because I’m totes uggers. No, I know it’s not because I’m totes uggers, because I’ve been out in the lesbian scene in London and people have actually told me that I am not uggers. Before ripping my clothes off and making sweet sweet love to me.*
*This may or may not be true.