Built around the mouth of the tiny Bourne River, Bournemouth barely existed at the start of the 19th century. It was then that Captain Tregonwell decided to build himself a house in the idyllic spot on Poole Bay, where central Bournemouth now stands. That original house is now the Royal Exeter Hotel, on The Square.
Throughout the 19th century, the town became a hub for holiday-makers in search of sun, sea and sand, and so it has remained. Along with neighbouring Poole, the area is now one of Britain’s biggest water sports centres, offering windsurfing, kite surfing and yachting along with several other leisure activities!
Bournemouth University, established in 1992, has brought an influx of young, creative people adding vibrancy to the area’s artistic and musical culture, making it one of the English south coast’s most cosmopolitan towns, with some of the best nightlife and designer shopping outside London.
But of course, most famously, what this area has an abundance of is endless sandy beaches and clear blue waters in Britain’s best climate, averaging 1,750 hours of sunshine a year.