1st Jul 2012 8:44am | By Ruth Roxanne Board
Nestled in a bay on the Dorset coast, Bournemouth is a sleepy seaside town by day and party central at night.
DAY 1 09:00 Recently voted the best beach in Britain, it’s a splendid setting for a break.
First stop, and your base for the day, is the quintessential British Beach Hut, available to hire from £34 per day during July and August. Just down the road at Boscombe, the stylish Beach Pods are £190 per week. Designed by Wayne Hemingway, these trendy huts will provide you with oodles of retro beach nostalgia, as well as offer some much-needed shade.
11:00 A few hundred yards’ walk along Undercliff Drive will lead you to the Bournemouth Surf School. Take a lesson for £35 or hire a wetsuit and board for £10 for two hours and a try out the town’s artificial reef.
13:00 After all that strenuous activity, refuel at Urban Reef, located at the rejuvenated Honeycomb Beach, with a crab wrap for £8.50 and smoothie for £3.60.
14:00 Continue the action with a bike ride. Hire some wheels at Front Bike Hire from £5 for the hour (or £15 for 24 hours) and ride east past Boscombe Pier and the quiet Fisherman’s Walk beach to the Bronze Age site of Hengistbury Head. Here you can see an abundance of local wildlife, plus the historical ‘double dykes’.
15:00 Head back to your beach hut and take the land train (01202 451 781) from Boscombe Pier to Bournemouth. The train leaves every 20 mins during peak season and costs £2 one way or £5 for a day pass. Explore the seafront and grab an ice cream from the arcade entrance as you stroll along the Victorian Pier. If the weather is a little inclement, push past the kids at The Oceanarium for a £9.95pp underwater aquarium experience where you will learn the secrets of the ocean.
17:00 Take a walk through the blooming marvellous Bournemouth Gardens, pull up a deck chair and listen to the big tunes at the band stand. Grab a putter and have a go at the Crazy Golf (01202 451 781) circuit for £3.30pp.
19:00 Just a bit further north through the lower gardens is the Bournemouth Balloon. This permanent fixture rises to the height of 150m and gives a 360-degree panoramic view. Tickets cost £12.50pp.
21:00 Grab a classic burger for £6.95 and a beer from £3.10 at hipster bar Sixty Million Postcards. Check out the local musos and keep eyes peeled for a visit from famous alumni.
23:00 Finish the night off by hitting ‘the strip’ for a well- deserved boogie. Walkabout is a popular choice with the locals for a bit of cheese or Chilli White for posing and pulling. Hit Camel Bar for a shisha in the underground garden and party on until 6am.