"Bournemouth - where Tolkien holidayed!" Top 5 Page for this destination Bournemouth by ettiewyn
Bournemouth Travel Guide: 207 reviews and 462 photos
I had wanted to go to Bournemouth for a long time, mainly because it was the place where famous writer J.R.R. Tolkien, my all time favourite author, had holidayed for many years and even lived for three years. I wanted to see the town that had attracted him and his wife so much!
When my big UK trip crystallized into actual plans, I decided that I wanted to spend about a week in the area and to explore some places in Dorset and Hampshire. I was looking for a place where I could make a base and reach all the places I wanted to see by public transport, and in the end I decided for Bournemouth - not only because of Tolkien, but because it provided good train connections, because there was a company offering guided tours to some of the more remote places in Dorset, because I found a nice b&b, and because I thought it would be nice to spend some time on the beach.
However, I was not sure what to expect of Bournemouth. Most reports of my friends and on VT were not that favorable and I imagined a boring party town that does not have much else on offer.
But how wrong I was - I absolutely loved Bournemouth!!!
I stayed for nine nights and spent three days in the town itself, doing day trips to other places on the remaining days. Yes, it is true - the town centre of Bournemouth is not particularly pretty, but rather quite boring. And there certainly are many elderly people as well as many young party people.
Maybe it was because it was not yet high season, and so it was not nearly as crowded as it must be in summer, but I found nothing of it disturbing. I also saw many young families, and many locals, and I just found the atmosphere quite pleasant. I visited the beautiful gardens, the fantastic art museum, discovered more Tolkien remembrances than I had expected, and enjoyed a long walk on the beach. Using the train was fantastic, as my b&b was very close to the station, and so I had a really enjoyable stay in Bournemouth.
I especially liked the incredibly good weather - I was so lucky on this trip! - and that the town is so green. So many green bushes and trees, the birds singing and the sun shining, the fantastic beach and very friendly locals... I couldn't have wished for more!
Bournemouth itself is one of the younger towns in the UK, it was only founded in 1810 and over the following decades became a very fashionable resort famous for its good weather and its hospitals. In the Victorian age, many people came here to be treated for consumption and chest infections. Made famous by very good doctors and its mild climate, Bournemouth was one of the most popular resorts in the UK, and many rich and famous people came here to enjoy its amenities. After this period was over, it still remained to be a favourite place for retired people, and now a mecca for language and summer schools as well as stag and hen parties - quite an odd mixture maybe, but coming here off season I did not see the effects so much.
It is still possible to see remainders of the glorious past, and I was simply happy to visit some places connected to Tolkien - you can read about it in my tips.
- Pros:A great beach, beautiful gardens, interesting literary connections, a good base for discovering the south of England
- Cons:I think that it must be very, very crowded in high season
- In a nutshell:There is so much more to it than I expected!
A wonderful museum that surprised me very much! I read about it in my travel guide and decided to go. The museum is... more travel advice
The Gardens are formed of three different parts: The Upper Gardens, the Central Gardens and the Lower Gardens. They are... more travel advice
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