Bournemouth is a large coastal resort town in the Borough of Bournemouth in Dorset, England. The town was founded by Lewis Tregonwell in 1810 and grew steadily and became a proper town in 1870, when the railway came.
Bournemouth used to be part of Hampshire until the reorganisation of local government in 1974 and the associated border changes, and is now in Dorset. Since 1997 the town has been administered by a unitary authority, meaning that it has autonomy from Dorset County Council.
It is a popular tourist destination as it is situated on the south coast of England. The town is a regional centre of education and business, and forms the main part of the South East Dorset conurbation, with the adjoining town of Poole. It is also the largest town on the English south coast between Southampton and Plymouth.
The town is notable as the home of the Bournemouth International Centre and is also home to several financial companies. Some apparently Bournemouth-named organisations, such as Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, The Arts Institute at Bournemouth and Bournemouth University are actually located wholly or partly within Poole and Bournemouth International Airport is, in fact, located in the neighbouring borough of Christchurch, Dorset.
In a 2007 survey by First Direct Bank, Bournemouth was found to be the happiest place in Britain with 82% of people questioned saying they were happy with their life.
In late August 2008, it was published that the East Dorset conurbation (including Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch) is the safest place to live in England and Wales in terms of crime. Violent crimes are recorded as far below the national average.
Bournemouth is located directly to the east of the Jurassic Coast, a 95-mile (153 km) section of beautiful and largely unspoilt coastline recently designated a World Heritage Site. Apart from the beauty of much of the coastline, the Jurassic Coast provides a complete geological record of the Jurassic period and a rich fossil record. Bournemouth sea front overlooks Poole Bay and the Isle of Wight. Bournemouth also has 7 miles (11 km) of sandy beaches that run from Hengistbury Head in the east to Sandbanks, in Poole, in the west.
Bournemouth appears as Sandbourne in Thomas Hardy's novels. Tess lived in Sandbourne with Alec d'Urberville, and the town also features in The Well-Beloved and Jude the Obscure. It is also mentioned in So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish, the fourth book of the Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy. In James Herbert's horror novel The Fog, the entire population of Bournemouth runs into the sea and drowns in a mass suicide.
J.R.R. Tolkien, the writer, spent 30 years taking holidays in Bournemouth, staying in the same room at the Hotel Miramar, with a second room to write in. He eventually retired to the area in the 1960s with his wife Edith. Tolkien died in September 1973 at his home in Bournemouth and was buried in Oxfordshire.
Mary Shelley, the writer and novelist is buried in St. Peter's Church, her son Sir Percy having settled at Boscombe Manor. Also buried at St Peter's is the heart of Mary's husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley, brought back from Italy, and her parents William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft, their remains having been moved there from St Pancras Old Church.
The town was especially rich in literary associations during the late nineteenth century and earlier years of the twentieth century. Oscar Wilde and Paul Verlaine both taught at Bournemouth preparatory schools. Robert Louis Stevenson wrote The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and most of his novel Kidnapped from his house "Skerryvore" on the west cliff.
CULTURE AND RECREATION
Bournemouth is a tourist and regional centre for leisure, entertainment, culture and recreation. The award winning Central Gardens are a separate major public park, leading for several miles down the valley of the River Bourne through the centre of the town to the sea (reaching the sea at Bournemouth Pier) and include the Pleasure Gardens and the area surrounding the Pavilion and the IMAX Cinema. Bournemouth is renowned for its aged population, hence its nickname "God's Waiting Room".
The Bournemouth International Centre (BIC), is a popular venue for the conferences of the major political parties. The centre hosted the Labour Party conference in 2003 and 2007, the Conservative Party conference in 2006, and the Liberal Democrat conference in 2008. In addition, the Lib Dems have booked the centre for their 2009 conference. The BIC also hosts theatrical productions and musical concerts.
The Russell-Cotes Museum is located just to the east of the Central Gardens near the Pavilion Theatre and next to the Royal Bath Hotel. The museum includes many fine mostly 19th century paintings and the family collections acquired when travelling e.g. in Japan and Russia. It was Sir Merton Russell Cotes, one of Bournemouth's most prominent Victorians, who successfully campaigned to have a promenade built; it runs continuously along the Bournemouth and Poole shoreline.
The Royal Bath Hotel, located near the sea and just to the east of the Central Gardens, has attracted many important visitors over the years, including Oscar Wilde, H. G. Wells, Richard Harris, Sir Thomas Beecham, Shirley Bassey, and prime ministers Lord Beaconsfield (who stayed for three months to help his gout), Gladstone, Asquith and Lloyd George. Royal guests have been Edward VII and Edward VIII when each was the Prince of Wales, George VI when he was the Duke of York, Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands , Empress Eugenie of France and Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe before his European Travel ban.
The cover sleeve for "All Around the World" by Oasis was shot at Bournemouth, it features 4 of the bandmates standing on the beach and looking up towards to the sky, while the words "All Around The World" are written in the sand.
The main shopping streets in the centre of town are just behind the seafront on either side of the River Bourne; footpaths lead down to the sea from The Square through the lower section of Bournemouth Central Gardens.
The shopping streets are mostly pedestrianised and lined with a wide range of boutiques, stores, jewellers and accessory shops. There are major stores, modern shopping malls, Victorian arcades (including the Victorian Arcade between Westover Road and Old Christchurch Road), and a large selection of bars, clubs and cafés.
About a mile to the west of the town centre, in the district of Westbourne, there is a selection of designer clothes and interior design shops. About a mile to the east, in the district of Boscombe, there is another major shopping area including many antiques shops and a street market. North of the centre there is a new out-of-town shopping complex called Castlepoint with supermarkets, DIY stores and larger versions of high street shops.
From Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia
BOURNEMOUTH HOTELS & ACCOMMODATION
ENGLAND TOURS, TRAVEL & ACTIVITIES
Southwest England •
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