I spent a few weeks leading up to August 23rd obsessively checking the various long-term forecasts for the weather in Bournemouth. After the early summer heat that we had enjoyed across the UK, the rain had returned and it looked like spoiling our planned holiday.
Fortunately, when I awoke on the morning of Friday, August 23rd; there was wall to wall sunshine. Something that lasted for the full 7 days.
On the way to Bournemouth, the Queens hotel and spa on East cliff to be precise; we stopped off for a walk at Stourhead. This is a national trust property that straddles the border of Wiltshire and Somerset, in the south of England. The main attractions here are the large mansion House and some wonderful gardens. These gardens were what we had come to see.
Walking around the lake at Stourhead took us roughly an hour before we made our way back to the car to continue on our journey.
For our first evening in Bournemouth, we had a nice walk along the top of East cliff, down to the beach and through the lower gardens into town to get some dinner. As mentioned earlier, the weather was fantastic for the entire week; including this first evening.
Slightly annoyingly, after having a great Italian meal and some cocktails in town, we missed a firework display on the pier. Only the sound of these fireworks interrupting our Netflix session in the hotel alerted us to this fact. All the same, it was actually really nice to lay in bed and watch TV for a couple of hours.
A few days in
Later in the week, having spent a few days just hanging around in Bournemouth itself, we took a sightseeing bus to Poole, via Sandbanks. Poole, despite being right next to Bournemouth has a completely different feel to it. We spent a few hours wandering around Poole quay.
While we were there the SS Shieldhall came in on a cruise. This is a working example of a steamship that plied its trade back in the 1950s on the River Clyde in Scotland. These days it is used for short cruises around the UK, as well as serving as a museum.
We returned to Poole again later in the week, this time by car, as at this point I was more willing to lose the fantastic parking space that I had been holding onto in our hotel car park up until that point. This time we took a boat trip through Poole harbour to Brownsea island. Brownsea island is another national trust property, that consists mainly of a wildlife reserve along with a selection of nice walking routes that provide views of Poole Harbour and the isle of Purbeck.
We enjoyed some really good food at a local pub in Poole while we were there as well.
One evening we watched the musical Fame at the Pavillion Theatre in Bournemouth. I had no real idea what it was about before seeing it, but actually really enjoyed it. This is despite knowing in advance that I don’t actually like the title song.
The end of the holiday
At the end of the week, the Bournemouth air festival was on. This wasn’t something we knew when we booked the holiday, but it meant that we always had something to see or do.
Come the end of the holiday I was definitely not ready to come home and go back to work. Writing this now I feel like I could do with another week there as it was so relaxing and I know we both had a great time.
I certainly cannot wait for our next holiday.