Nestled between the coastline and the New Forest, Bournemouth boasts plenty of attractions available throughout the year to fill your days. With so much to see, it’s the ideal place to live like a local, and discover the best free things to do in Bournemouth.

1. Have a day out on the beach.

With seven miles of clean, golden sands, Bournemouth beach is undoubtedly one of the best in the UK. Stretching from craggy Hengistbury Head, to soft sands of Alum Chine, catch glimpses of the Isle of Wight and the Purbecks as you pass by each of the award-winning four Blue Flag beaches. Many of our guest, who are looking for camping in Bournemouth, come and stay with us and then head out to enjoy the beaches near the town.


2. Take a stroll through the Gardens

Part of the Bourne Valley Greenway, the Upper, Central and Lower Gardens are ideal if you want to get away from it all with a tranquil walk. With designated pedestrian and cycle paths, you can enjoy them at a pace to suit you, or if you’re feeling adventurous, go off the beaten track and saunter alongside the babbling stream that runs right the way through – there’s even play areas and mini golf along the way.


3. Hike out to Hengistbury Head.

Wonderfully scenic and full of different types of habitat, Hengistbury Head boasts the ideal spot for hiking and rambling. A great area for keen wildlife spotters, this windswept area is one of the oldest natural forests in the UK and if you take a trip to the top of the cliff then you’ll be delighted by views of the Solent and Christchurch harbour.


Image Copyright Hardo Müller 2011 . Hengistbury Head.

4. Chill out in The Square.

Situated in the centre of town, The Square is a hotbed of activity right throughout the year. Take time from window shopping to watch dance troupes and buskers, or stop off at one of the many food and drink festivals that happen throughout the year and absorb the sights, smells and sounds.


5. Take in the fun at Arts Festival By The Sea.

In late summer the town centre, gardens and pier approach come alive with art installations and performances. There’s so much to see as you meander through the gardens, from light shows, projections and experiences to submerse yourself in, the theme and acts change every year – there’s even been one filled with fire sculptures!


6. Wander out on Bournemouth Pier.

Opened in 1880, the pier is a true piece of Bournemouth history. It’s free to walk along and features a restaurant, amusements, a fun fair and even a zipwire – although these aren’t free, watching the faces of those on the zipwire can be priceless!


Image Copyright Ozzy Delaney 2013. Bournemouth Pier.

7. Enjoy the amazing Bournemouth Air Show.

Usually the last weekend of August, residents and holidaymakers look to the skies for the annual Bournemouth Air Show. Featuring death-defying air acrobatics, historic planes and sky divers, the show is also fantastic on ground level too. Stretching along the promenade from Boscombe to Bournemouth and beyond, there’s plenty to see and take part in – all for free.


Image Copyright Julian Povey 2008. Bournemouth Air Show.