Bournemouth: Britain’s best beaches
This coastal city is often overlooked, but Bournemouth has a lot to offer – not least its weather. It experiences more daily hours of sunshine than anywhere else in the UK, as well as fewer rainy days. Besides this, Bournemouth offers extensive coastline and an interesting centre packed with diverse attractions for you to enjoy during your immersive English experience.
Read on to find out what you can see and do in this city and why Bournemouth might just be the perfect place for your English course!
The city of Bournemouth is known throughout the UK for its stunning beaches. These aren’t to be underestimated – the coastline of Bournemouth is a whopping 10 km long, and 9 of its beaches have Blue Flag Awards!
If you like long walks on the sand, sunbathing, or swimming, then this is the ideal British study location for you. If that isn’t enough, you can also go snorkelling, kayaking, scuba diving, and more off Bournemouth’s coast. All water sports enthusiasts will find something to do on these beautiful beaches. What’s more, our English schools in Bournemouth are close to the beach, so you’ll have easy access to the sea after your lessons have finished.
For indoor fun, the Oceanarium is right by the beach. If you want to learn more about the world beneath the water’s surface, this is the place to go. You can discover the 1,000+ animals that call this place home, watch or take part in daily feeds, and walk through the recently refurbished underwater tunnel for an up-close look at nature. Animals to look out for are the sharks swimming above the tunnel, the cute Humboldt penguins, and the adorable otter family.
Afterwards, you can sit in the Oceanarium’s on-site café and enjoy the views of the beach just in front of you. This café is open to all, so you don’t have to visit the aquarium to enjoy a drink here.
Close to the Oceanarium, is another beach attraction: the city’s famous pier. For a small fee you can stroll along the boardwalk and check out the different stores lining this Victorian promenade. If you’re peckish, why not dine in one of the restaurants? Or, if you’re looking for some traditional English seaside fun, visit the pier’s arcade and try your luck on one of the penny pushers. What better way to get to know your new-found friends from your language classes?!
The gardens of Bournemouth
Close to the city centre are three public parks: The Upper, the Central, and the Lower Gardens. All offer something different, but all let you escape the bustle of city life and surround yourself in wonderful greenery.
The Upper Gardens are the quietest. Containing themed areas covering European, Asian, and American flora, you’ll find plants and trees from around the world here. There’s even a North American Giant Redwood, which is believed to be the tallest tree in the country. There is also an impressive Victorian-style water tower that looks like it could once have been part of an ancient castle. The gardens here are ideal for a tranquil afternoon picnic surrounded by nature.
In the Central Gardens you’ll find more local plants, including a Rhododendron Walk and extensive heather beds. There are information boards placed around the park giving details of the species planted here and the Gardens’ history. If you’d like to blow off some steam, you can hire the tennis courts here by the hour and enjoy a match with your classmates.
The Lower Gardens also give you a good insight into the local flora, but are best known for their free-time activities and attractions. In summer, the park comes alive with music played in the bandstand, and there are often art exhibitions here. Throughout the year, visitors can see the aviary and the 1930s rock garden, or play a spot of mini-golf on the public course. This park is close to the beach and the city’s main shopping centre, so you can easily get to other nearby attractions once you’ve had your fill.
Since Bournemouth is a university city, it boasts excellent nightlife. You can visit casual late-night pubs, enjoy a meal by the beach as you watch the sunset, or try out a VIP club and dress to impress – there’s a range of entertainment for all tastes!
Bournemouth also has a well-established LGBTQ+ community centred around The Triangle area. Here you will find a vibrant hub that’s well-known for its great eateries, its colourful art studios and music bars, and its selection of interesting shops.
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One great way to experience the city’s art scene is to attend a show at one of its many theatres. If you prefer music, you’ll find a wide range of open mic nights, acoustic sets, and DJ sessions in the outer districts of Westbourne and Southbourne. We recommend heading here if you want to explore further afield and experience authentic local music in a cosy English pub. Life in the city doesn’t stop when the sun goes down, that’s for sure!
If you want to learn more about the city’s events and activities, check out the What’s On section of the official tourism website! This way you can find out what’s planned during your course and what not to miss.
Excursions outside Bournemouth
With Bournemouth as your hub, you can access a host of other incredible English places. Our Bournemouth language schools often arrange full-day or weekend trips to nearby locations, conducted in English and led by a teacher. These fun and informative excursions are the ideal way to learn more about English history and life in modern Britain. Our schools will also be more than happy to help you with your own itinerary.
One popular destination on our schools’ activity programme is the UK’s incredible capital: London. Here you can get to grips with big city life and learn a great deal about English culture and history. You can take a ride on the London Eye and enjoy the view over the Houses of Parliament, or walk along the Thames and visit the famous London Dungeons. Near here you’ll find a huge number of iconic British monuments, including Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. Those who want to learn more should visit one of the city’s world-class museums – there are plenty to choose from!
If London is too modern for you, why not visit Stonehenge? You and your class can tour this UNESCO World Heritage Site and get a deeper understanding of what purpose it might serve. It’s believed that the construction took around 1,000 years (from 3000 BC to 2000 BC), and experts around the world still can’t explain how the ancients did it. This stunning site has a museum and an exhibition space in its visitors’ centre to give you more information about the structure. Fun fact: Did you know that some of these stones came all the way from Wales?
Another great nearby destination is the city of Oxford. Home to the oldest university in the English-speaking world and to a wide range of architectural styles, this is just the place for history buffs. You can visit some of the city’s many museums, stroll around the magnificent centre, or take a look at the world-famous University Colleges. Christ Church Cathedral, St. Mary the Virgin Church, and the Botanical Gardens are also well worth a look. As a much smaller city, Oxford is less busy than in London, but it can offer you an immersive cultural experience you’ll never forget.
Our English schools in Bournemouth
We have two excellent English language schools in Bournemouth to choose from. Both schools offer a highly personalised immersive experience, plus expert tuition and interesting activity programmes. Our friendly colleagues are happy to help you make the best of your time in England and to advise on what you can do after class.
These language centres also offer art classes, comedy workshops, music sessions, and even ukulele tuition! These extra activities are perfect for students who love the arts. An English course in Bournemouth will give you the chance to grow, meet new friends, and discover a new side to yourself, as well as helping you to rapidly improve your English skills.
We can help you to figure out which course fits you best and when to go. Contact us via email or phone to find out more!