Bournemouth is a seaside resort town in the county of Dorset on the south coast of England. Founded in 1810 and first became recognized as a town in 1870. Its proximity to the Jurassic Coast and Poole Bay has turned Bournemouth into a prized summer holiday destination.
The cream of Victorian society including royalty flocked to Bournemouth. Eager to sample the relaxing ambience of the town, breathe its healthy air, bath in the pure sea water and unwind at leisure.
The first spa hotel was built in 1885 - the Mont Dore Hotel (now Bournemouth’s Town Hall). The hotel also offered the Mont Dore cure which was said to be a healing water and could not be found anywhere else in England. Sea and pure water from the Bourne stream were pumped into the basement of the hotel to allow the additional luxury of soaking and perspiring in Turkish and salt baths.
Since then, Bournemouth has grown into a thriving seaside resort and many of the big hotels offer spa treatments of their own as well as spa and beauty boutiques peppered throughout the town centre catering for men as well as women.
In recent years, Bournemouth's growing population of students, gays and surfers have given it a more bohemian image than a typical south coast retirement town, leading to the nickname "BoMo".
Bournemouth has a year round mild and temperate climate. The warmest months are May to September which is when you will enjoy long, hot and sunny days. Bournemouth's annual rainfall is well below the national average.
Video of Bournemouth England 2012 © Joe Mendonca
Bournemouth is famous for its 7 miles of?golden sandy beaches?and clean seas. The Pier is almost in the middle of the beach and offers a small fair, boat trips, an arcade and some other shops.
Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum?- museum and gallery with collections of 19th century art and Japanese artifacts. The interior of the museum is worth seeing because it is lavishly decorated and shows the Victorian interests in eccentric collecting and other cultures, especially Japan and China. Admission free.
St.Peter's Church. The famous author Mary Shelly who wrote 'Frankenstein' is buried in the churchyard of this church along with the heart of her husband the Romantic poet, Percy Bysshe Shelly.
Bournemouth Pier, includes a theatre
Central Gardens?award-winning park
Bournemouth Eye, tethered balloon flights.
Bournemouth International Centre?- concerts and exhibitions.
Bournenmouth Air festival. Free, every August.
Bourne Free?(Bournemouth's Pride Festival),?Bournemouth's annual gay pride festival Bourne Free.
The?Dorset?and?Hampshire?region surrounding Bournemouth has been the site of human settlement for thousands of years. However, in 1800 the Bournemouth area was largely a remote and barren?heathland. No one lived at the mouth of the?Bourne River?and the only regular visitors were a few fishermen, turf cutters and gangs of?smugglers?until the 16th century. During the?Tudor period?the area was used as a hunting estate, 'Stourfield Chase', but by the late 18th century only a few small parts of it were maintained, including several fields around the Bourne Stream and a cottage known as Decoy Pond House, which stood near where?the Square?is today.
With the exception of the estate, until 1802 most of the Bournemouth area was?common land. The?Christchurch Inclosures Act 1802?and the Inclosure Commissioners' Award of 1805 transferred hundreds of acres into private ownership for the first time. In 1809, the Tapps Armspublic house?appeared on the heath. A few years later, in 1812, the first residents, retired army officer?Lewis Tregonwell?and his wife, moved into their new home built on land he had purchased from?Sir George Ivison Tapps. Tregonwell began developing his land for holiday letting by building a series of sea?villas.?In association with Tapps, he planted hundreds of?pine trees, providing a sheltered walk to the beach (later to become known as the 'Invalids walk'). The town would ultimately grow up around its scattered pines. In 1832 when Tregonwell died, Bournemouth had grown into small community with a scattering of houses, villas and cottages.
In 1835, after the death of Sir George Ivison Tapps, his son Sir?George William Tapps-Gervisinherited his father's estate. Bournemouth started to grow at a faster rate as George William started developing the seaside village into a resort similar to those that had already grown up along the south coast such as?Weymouth?and?Brighton.?In 1841, the town was visited by the physician and writer?Augustus Granville, the author of?The Spas of England, which described health resorts around the country. As a result of his visit, Dr Granville included a chapter on Bournemouth in the second edition of his book. The publication of the book, as well as the growth of visitors to the seaside seeking the medicinal use of the seawater and the fresh air of the pines, helped the town to grow and establish itself as an early tourist destination.
In the 1840s the fields south of the road crossing (later Bournemouth Square) were drained and laid out with shrubberies and walks. Many of these paths including the 'Invalids walk' remain in the town today; forming part of the Pleasure Gardens which extend for several miles along the?Bourne?stream. The Pleasure Gardens were originally a series of garden walks created in the fields of the owners of the?Branksome?Estate in the 1860s. Parliament approved the Bournemouth Improvement Act in 1856. Under the Act, a board of 13 Commissioners was established to build and organise the expanding infrastructure of the town, such as paving, sewers, drainage, street lighting and street cleaning.
During the late 19th century the town continued to develop. The Winter Gardens were finished in 1875 and the cast iron Bournemouth?Pier?was finished in 1880. The arrival of the railways allowed a massive growth of seaside and summer visits to the town, especially by visitors from the?Midlands?and London. In 1880 the town had a population of 17,000 people but by 1900, when railway connections were at their most developed to Bournemouth, the town's population had risen to 60,000. It was also during this period that the town became a favourite location for visiting artists and writers.
As Bournemouth's growth increased in the early 20th century, the town centre spawned?theatres,?cafés, two?art deco?cinemas?and more hotels. Other new buildings included the war memorial in 1921 and the Bournemouth Pavilion, the town's concert hall and grand theatre, finished in 1925. The town escaped great damage during the?Second World War?but saw a period of decline as aseaside resort?in the postwar era.
In 1985, Bournemouth became the first town in the?United Kingdom?to introduce and use?CCTV?cameras for public street-based surveillance.