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Discover the local area

Take a tour of Bournemouth

Bournemouth isn’t just a great place to study – it’s also an amazing place to live. From our seven miles of award-winning sandy beaches to the bustling town centre and neighbouring areas like the Jurassic Coast and New Forest, there’s something for everyone here. And when you feel like heading further afield, you’ll also find we’re well connected – just shy of two hours from London on the train and close to the likes of Bath, Portsmouth, Southampton and Winchester.

To give you an idea of just how much the area has to offer, we’ve listed out some of the highlights. 

Our famous beach

The obvious place to start, Bournemouth’s beach currently has a trio of awards under its belt, from the best beach in the UK to the 6th best in Europe and 20th in the world (TripAdvisor 2019). More recently, Keep Britain Tidy awarded 9 South Coast beaches, which stretch from Sandbanks through to Bournemouth and onto Southbourne, with 5 Blue Flags and 7 Seaside Awards.

And whatever the weather or time of the year, there’s always loads to enjoy along the coastline. From relaxing on the beach enjoying the sun or wrapping up warm for a bracing walk, to the huge variety of water sports on offer and the world’s first pier to shore zip, the golden sands are just the tonic for a break from your studies.

The parks and Lower Gardens

If you fancy a break from the sand between your toes, the leafy green parks and Lower Gardens are a great alternative to the beach. From the Bournemouth by the Sea art festival to tennis courts, mini-golf and pop-up food outlets, the gardens are a picturesque place to while away the hours.

Over the festive period, the Gardens are transformed as part of the Christmas Tree Wonderland, alongside the impressive SKATE Bournemouth outdoor ice rink.

Daisy Hockley, BU student

“I love living in Bournemouth all year round. If it isn’t ice skating in the Lower Gardens in the winter, wandering around pretty Christmas markets, then its sipping cocktails on the beachfront at Aruba in the summer.”

– Daisy Hockley, BA (Hons) Events Management

Our vibrant town centre

You name it, the town centre has it. Whether you’re seeking out hustle and bustle or a chilled-out vibe, there will be a place you can enjoy. There’s loads of choice when it comes to coffee shops (great for studying in), pubs, bars, clubs, music venues, restaurants and theatres, including the new BH2 complex, featuring a state-of-the-art multiplex cinema.

The shops in town offer a good mix of high street brands, department stores and independent boutique stores, with Southampton’s major shopping destination Westquay just a short train journey away.

Elvis Fernandez, BU student

“Student night is every night in Bournemouth, so if you’re into your nightlife you can’t beat it! However if you just like the occasional night out, Bournemouth has something for everyone.”

– Elvis Fernandes, BA (Hons) Business and Management

Breath-taking scenery and neighbouring locations

BU boasts an enviable location for to explore some great places, including both the Jurassic Coast and New Forest. The Jurassic Coast is England’s only natural UNESCO World Heritage Site, easily reached by either bus or train. The New Forest National Park is also on our doorstep, just a short train hop away.

What’s more, we’re lucky to have a number of fantastic neighbourhoods, such as Boscombe, Charminster, Winton and Westbourne – all of which have their own unique culture and offer a friendly, metropolitan feel. They also have great transport links to either of our campuses and into town, making them popular places for our students to live after their first year.

This eclectic mix of natural beauty spots, a great social scene and busy calendar of events marks Bournemouth out as a destination of choice for almost 7 million people who pay us a short visit each year.

But when you come here to study, you get to enjoy all of the town’s most attractive features on a more permanent basis. In fact, many of our students like the area so much that they choose to settle here after graduating – and it’s not hard to see why.

Student life

Student life

There’s so much to enjoy both on and off our campuses to help you relax, unwind and have fun away from your studies.