Things to do in Bournemouth

Our most recommended things to do in Bournemouth

Poole Harbor and Islands Cruise

1. Poole Harbor and Islands Cruise

Take a cruise around Europe's largest natural harbor, home to the town of Poole, the golden beaches of Sandbanks and Brownsea Island. From either open deck seating or comfortable saloon you will see stunning views of the exceptional landscape that surrounds it. Your 70 minute trip will start on charming Poole Quay with its old buildings and buzzing atmosphere.  Next you will go past Brownsea Island, home to wildlife and picturesque Brownsea Castle, built to protect against French invasions. After that comes the Sandbanks Peninsula and the luxurious houses of the ‘Golden Mile’. Then you will tour the great natural expanse of the harbor and the remaining islands: Green, Furzey, Long and Round. Fronting onto beautiful scenery it helped inspire classics like Lord of the Rings and Gulliver's Travel. 

From Bournemouth: Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door Trip

2. From Bournemouth: Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door Trip

Discover some of the most scenic coastline in southern England on a bus trip from Bournemouth. Travel along the famous Jurassic Coast, via Poole Harbour and Sandbanks, to experience the nation's only natural UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit both Lulworth Cove and the natural limestone arch of Durdle Door and get plenty of information and maps to help you along the way. Use the time to go for a light nature walk from Durdle Door over the hill to Lulworth Cove and get magnificent views from Hambury Tout. Spend the time at Lulworth Cove if you prefer to give your legs a rest and get a beautiful view of the arch on an optional boat ride from the beach, at your own expense. Benefit from a map highlighting the main features, or feel free to follow your own nose and explore independently. Find a nice cafe or restaurant in the village of West Lulworth or avail of the small shop in the holiday park at Durdle Door.

From Bournemouth: Jurassic Coast & Isle of Purbeck Day Tour

3. From Bournemouth: Jurassic Coast & Isle of Purbeck Day Tour

Catch the early morning ferry across to the Isle of Purbeck. View Old Harry Rocks, the starting point of the Jurassic Coast, England’s only natural UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take in breath-taking views across Poole Harbour and towards Brownsea Island. By mid morning you will arrive at Durlston Country Park. Visit the brand new Jurassic Coast visitor center housed in the recently refurbished Durlston Castle. There’s time for a morning coffee stop overlooking the famous Great Globe and a chance to take the cliff top walk along to Tilly Whim Caves and the Anvil Point Lighthouse. For every visitor brought to Durlston Country Park, a contribution towards a bursary that helps to support their volunteer programme is made. Heading west drive through some of the tiny lanes and villages that give Purbeck its unique character. Take lunch in the village of Corfe Castle, dominated by the ruins that give it its name. Entrance to the castle itself not included (Free to NT members). After lunch take a gentle drive along the coast taking in more stunning scenery as you head for an afternoon at Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door. Walk down to Man o’ War Rocks and view the magnificent rock arch of Durdle Door, hewn from the Portland limestone beds. Finally, head down to Lulworth Cove and see the famous Lulworth Crumple rock formation in Stair Hole. Hotel pick up request: Please email us to info@discoverdorset.co.uk with your date, booking number and the name and address of your hotel. We will confirm the place and an approximiate time in a reply email, please be 10-15 minutes early and outside.

Bournemouth: Seaside Hop-on Hop-off Tour

4. Bournemouth: Seaside Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Experience the beautiful British coastline with the Bournemouth hop-on hop-off tour. Ride an open-top double-decker tour bus on a 1.5-hour loop through the Dorset coastline to discover the beautiful seaside towns of Bournemouth and Poole. Stop at Poole Quay and explore the variety of shops, parks, restaurants, and theatres, as well as buzzing nightlife. The onboard commentary points out the main sights and attractions of each city, all accessible from the 22 conveniently located stops along the bus route. There are plenty of things to do in Bournemouth and Poole. A double-decker bus is a perfect way to explore the picturesque British seaside and the phenomenal beaches, parks, and shops of Bournemouth and Poole are all easily accessible from the tour route's wandering path down the coastline. Bournemouth Tour Stops: 1. Bournemouth Pier - Behind Hot Rocks 2. Bournemouth Square - Gervis Place Stand X 3. West Cliff Savoy Hotel 4. Westbourne - Camden 5. Branksome Chine 6. Canford Cliffs - Loch Fyne 7. Sandbanks Beach - Shore Road - Tesco 8. Sandbanks Beach - Main Car Park 9. Sandbanks Peninsular - Panorama Road 10. Sandbanks Beach - Harbour Side 11. Sandbanks Beach - Harbour Side opposite Tesco 12. Lilliput Village - Lilliput Square 13. Whitecliff - Whitecliff Recreation Ground 14. Poole Park - Opposite Civic Centre 15. Poole Quay & Old Town - Thistle Hotel 16. Poole Railway Station - Platform 2 Exit Ramp 17. Poole Park - Parkstone Road by Parade of Shops 18. Ashley Cross - Parkstone Railway Station 19. Penn Hill - Penn Hill Corner 20. Westbourne - Opposite The Porterhouse 21. The Triangle - Bournemouth Central Library 22. Bournemouth Square - Moon on the Square (drop off only)23. Bournemouth Pier - Behind Hot Rocks (drop off only)

Frequently asked questions about Bournemouth

What are the best day trips and excursions from Bournemouth?

The best day trips and excursions from Bournemouth are:

Poole

Other Sightseeing Options in Bournemouth

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What people are saying about Bournemouth

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 740 reviews

Paul was a wonderful and knowledgeable guide. We thoroughly enjoyed the day. The sights and views were breathtaking and more than we bargained for. This trip was worth every penny and more.

I chose the 70min guided boat ride because I wasn’t sure about the weather. Turned out to be a really nice time, the guide gave some really interesting facts about the surrounding area.

An excellent cruise of Poole Harbour, helped by super weather. The price is really good, and we had all the islands pointed out to us. I can thoroughly recommend this cruise.

Really great excursion. Beautiful surroundings and interesting facts about Poole Harbour and surrounding area. Would highly recommend.

Great time out although the Red Boat Kiosk is no longer Red! Look forward City Cruises!