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Discover hidden charms

Hidden gems around Bournemouth, Poole and beyond

Everyone knows Bournemouth, Poole and the surrounding areas for the incredible beaches, dramatic coastline and abundance of green spaces to enjoy.

But while the hidden charms of our coastal towns may not be as well–known as our famous landmarks, they form some of the most cherished memories among our students and staff.

Read on to discover a mix of hidden gems, in no particular order, to seek out this summer. Who knows – you might uncover some more as you venture out and about. There really is so much to see and do.

Bournemouth’s Central & Upper Gardens

Take a walk through the Upper Gardens and you will come across the Gothic style Victorian water tower, styled after a castle turret

Bournemouth is well known for its lively Lower Gardens but head against the crowds and you will come across the Central Gardens, located just off The Square.

The Central Gardens are the perfect place to enjoy a picnic among the shadiness of the hundreds of trees which line the paths. 

If you are keen to escape the busyness of everyday life, why not try Park Yoga which takes place every Sunday in the Central Gardens throughout the summer. Plus it’s free, so just turn up with your yoga mat (or equivalent) and enjoy some time for you.

Follow the stream through the Central Gardens and you will arrive at Bournemouth’s Upper Gardens which end at Coy Pond in Poole. The Upper Gardens are also home to hundreds of trees and plant species specifically from across Europe, Asia and North America, giving the area a distinct character.

Escape to The Blue Pool, Wareham

The Blue Pool is a unique and tranquil beauty spot located between Wareham and Corfe Castle

Jump on the train from Bournemouth station and in just 20 minutes you will be in Wareham, home to the beautiful Blue Pool.

Follow the sandy paths which will lead you in two directions, either up steps to views of the Purbeck Hills or down steps to the water’s edge  many would say that these are both Instagram-worthy shots during a trip to Dorset.

Once a clay pit, the colours of the Blue Pool frequently change  sometimes green, sometimes turquoise  as tiny particles of clay filter through the waters.

The Pool is flanked by over 20 acres of heathland and woodland, inviting you to explore further.

Bournemouth’s Vintage Quarter

Image courtesy of @bournemouthvintageemporium. The retro frontage of the Bournemouth Vintage Emporium

Just a few minutes away by train from Bournemouth is Pokesdown, AKA Bournemouth’s Vintage Quarter, which has established itself as the place to go for everything retro, antique and second-hand. If you are looking for somewhere a little different when it comes to shopping, this is well worth a visit.

Seek out the Bournemouth Vintage Emporium, a treasure trove of curiosities, with over 50 traders and artists all under the one roof, selling vintage and unusual items that you won’t find in Bournemouth’s town centre. There’s even a quirky Victorian tea room to enjoy (we hear that the cream teas are pretty special too).

Poole Harbour watersports

Kitesurfers enjoying the waters of Poole Harbour

Poole is well known for its natural harbour – the second largest in the world and largest in Europe.

If watersports are your thing (whether you are keen to try your hand at a new sport or you’re a bit of a pro already), then the calm, shallow waters of Poole Harbour certainly won’t disappoint.

You name it, the Harbour can offer it  windsurfing, kitesurfing, paddleboarding, surfing, kayaking, wakeboarding, jetskiing  the list goes on. 

After a busy day at sea, why not enjoy a beach picnic or BBQ  and watch the stunning sunsets which the area is so well known for, especially on Evening Hill.

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