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Bournemouth - Hotels, Bed & Breakfast, Cottages and Attractions

Did you know that Bournemouth people were the most happy in Britain with the place in which they lived? Well, according to a recent survey by First Direct Bank, that is the case.

They like living in a town with miles of golden beaches, a lively cosmopolitan town centre with good shopping and superb restaurants, state of the art theatres offering top class entertainment throughout the year, many award winning garden areas and a host of different sporting opportunities - all set in a truly beautiful part of the country.

During the Victorian Age, the elite members of society adored Bournemouth’s ambiance and, although it developed a somewhat ‘faded’ reputation during parts of the last century, the whole area has been revitalised over the past few years.

This process is, even now, continuing with the exciting prospect of the Northern Hemisphere’s first artificial reef being constructed in Boscombe, to be completed by autumn, 2008.

Not only will this improve the already good surfing of the area but also, in the calmer weather of July and August, the reef will create a lagoon along the shoreline, providing flat, safe water for beach users.

And, of course, it was the beaches which primarily attracted visitors to Bournemouth – and that’s still the case today. No fewer than 8 of Bournemouth and Poole’s beaches have been awarded the highly prestigious Blue Flag Beach awards for having clean swimming waters and litter-free, safe sands. If you’re searching for good beaches to relax or play on, then this really is the ideal area.

In addition, you can try windsurfing, water-skiing, paragliding, water boarding and banana boats as well as perhaps kite surfing in Poole Harbour’s water sports area or even canoeing and kayaking in Christchurch Quay, Poole or from Bournemouth beach.

If you want sea life of a different nature, then there’s the impressive Oceanarium on Bournemouth seafront, where you can discover the secrets of the deep in this highly contemporary and innovative marine aquarium.

The Bournemouth International Centre (BIC) is regularly seen on our television screens hosting Political Conventions and similar events but, along with The Pavilion Theatre and Ballroom and, of course, the famous Pier Theatre, Bournemouth offers high quality entertainment of all types; being a regular pre-London venue for West End plays as well as hosting shows by prominent musicians and comedians all through the year.

Whatever you look for in a seaside holiday, you will be sure of finding it in Bournemouth and its neighbours. There are, for example, over 2000 varied acres of parks and gardens, all wonderfully cared for.

There is the tropical garden of Alum Chine, overlooking the bay. Or the delightful Italianate gardens at Boscombe as well as the aromatic Pine Walk in Bournemouth Gardens –scene of a spectacular summer open air art exhibition. And less than half an hour’s drive away you have the south’s very own New Forest National park full of wildlife and beautiful forest walks.

Bournemouth also delights in exceptional shopping – with some wide pedestrianised precincts and featuring both well-known international shops as well as some local, high quality outlets.

Eating out in is also a great pleasure here as there are many great restaurants in Bournemouth. In 2006, the AA voted the Westbeach Restaurant the Best Seafood Restaurant in England and more and more renowned chefs are now making the area their base and producing some wonderful eating experiences.

The days when Bournemouth was looked upon as a rather faded gentile old lady are now long gone. It remains an elegant town, with some mightily impressive architectural gems; but it is also a vibrant, exciting and welcoming place for people of all ages to spend some quality time by the sea.

If you are staying in Bournemouth or Dorset for your holiday then make sure you put a day or two aside to visit the New Forest National park which is less than an hours drive away in the neighbouring county of Hampshire, and is also full of attractions that should not to be missed.

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