Luxury holidays in Bournemouth

Popular with students, stags and septuagenarians alike, sunny Bournemouth is the closest the UK gets to a riviera. People may scorn the idea of the great British seaside, but there’s nothing faded about these charms – in fact, Bournemouth’s seven miles of sandy beaches have been ranked in the top five in Europe (no offence, stunning Mediterranean shorelines). The Unesco-approved Jurassic Coast is within a short drive, as are spectacular Studland, the real-estate excess of Sandbanks and the second-biggest harbour in the world in Poole. It’s even home to Percy Shelley’s heart.

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When to go

The British summer months are busiest, as any heatwave shot in the national papers can attest – but the beach can still be enjoyed (and without the crowds) in winter.

Getting there

  • Planes

    Bournemouth’s boutique airport is an aviation dream of tiny queues (and everything else) – flights land here from destinations across Europe, including Alicante, Palma and Zakynthos.
  • Automobiles

    Ask any dad and they’ll tell you the traffic can be a nightmare (the town’s population has swelled in recent years, taking it from sleepy seaside retirement settlement to student-and-stag – not to mention sand-seeker – central). You won’t need wheels if you’re sticking to the town centre, but if you do want to explore more of the coast, other parts of town and even the New Forest, a car will come in handy.