Bournemouth has the relaxed and friendly feel of a beach resort, but as a thriving university city you’ll find it has plenty for its large student population . It enjoys a great location, with miles of sandy beaches and easy access to the beautiful New Forest national park.
See how you could be spending your time in Bournemouth in this section of our site.
There are hundreds of restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs in Bournemouth. You can eat out cheaply or can go for a more expensive meal if you feel like it! Food from Asia, China, India, Italy, France, England and many more countries is all widely available.
For information about eating and drinking in Bournemouth, have a look at these websites.
Official Guide to Bournemouth
Learn to sail, windsurf, surf or kite-surf
Bournemouth and Poole offer lots of water-sports academies where you can have a go at these high adrenalin sports. Full tuition, equipment and wet-suits are provided. Ask at Reception for further information.
Mountain biking in the New Forest
Catch a train to the New Forest and rent a bike! The New Forest is now a National Park with forest, heathland, pretty streams and lots of quaint villages, thatched cottages, tea-houses and gift shops. The New Forest is famous for its wild ponies but you may also see deer and other wildlife.
Why not pack a picnic, catch the train from Bournemouth to Brockenhurst and then hire a mountain bike at the station to explore the hidden gems of the New Forest!
Local gyms and swimming pools
Littledown Sports Centre
Apart from the famous beach, there is so much to do in and around Bournemouth. Here are a few ideas about how you might keep busy and entertained in your free time.
The Bournemouth Balloon is a Giant helium balloon in Bournemouth Central Gardens offering fantastic views of Bournemouth and the surrounding area – you can see for miles!
Tower Park has something for all ages: a 10-screen cinema; bowling; restaurants and Splashdown Water Park – lots of water slides and great fun!
Yellow Bus number 6 runs from Bournemouth Square to Sherborne Crescent.
The ABC and the Odeon cinemas are both situated on Westover Road and offer all the latest releases. The Regent Cinema in Christchurch and the Lighthouse in Poole offer a choice of classic and arty films.
The Oceanarium at Pier Approach Bournemouth brings you face to face with marine life from the furthest reaches of the globe – including a walk-through shark tunnel and animated dive cage.
There are also hundreds of great places to visit just a short bus-ride away including:
Poole is world-renowned for its award-winning beaches and beautiful harbour. Poole Harbour is one of the best places in the UK for sailing, kite surfing, windsurfing and wake-boarding! Old Town Poole dates back to the Middle Ages and at one time was a favourite haunt of smugglers and pirates!
It’s easy to get to Poole: The train from Bournemouth only takes 10 minutes. There are buses from Bournemouth Town Centre to Poole: M1, M2, 1A,1C.
You can also take a boat trip on the Dorset Belle from Bournemouth Pier to Poole Quay.
For more information about Poole, have a look at the official Poole website.
Brownsea Island is a beautiful island in Poole Harbour. The Island is a wild-life and bird reserve and is famous for its rare red squirrels and wild peacocks. There are regular ferries during the summer from Poole Quay or Bournemouth Pier.
With soft golden sands, a cool atmosphere and great swimming, Sandbanks Beach is undoubtedly one of the best beaches on the South Coast. Sandbanks hosts regular sports events including beach polo, beach volleyball championships and the annual Windfest festival with World-class water-sports events.
Swanage is a bustling seaside town with a pretty Blue Flag beach, some nice gift shops and great fish and chips! The informative Heritage Centre provides three heritage walks to help you discover the history of Swanage.
Step back in time with the traditional steam railway from Swanage to Corfe – a great way to see the lovely Dorset countryside. Swanage is a gateway town to Dorset’s Jurassic coast and the starting place of some amazing coastal walks (from Durlston Head Country Park).
Getting around in Bournemouth is quick and easy. The College is within easy walking distance of the town centre and beach so most of the time you'll be getting around on foot.
For the times you want to venture further, here are some useful websites which give you all the travel information you need.
Wilts and Dorset
South West trains
You should always use a licensed taxi. There are around 250 licensed taxis in Bournemouth. They are usually painted yellow. There are also 350 licensed private hire vehicles available 24 hours a day.
Taxi ranks are situated across Bournemouth Town Centre and at the Travel Interchange, outside the railway station and airport.
Student Services can give you the numbers of reliable licensed taxis.
When you arrive at Kings Bournemouth, you should register with a local doctor, especially if you are studying for a long time. We can help you do this.
Here is a map showing some of the doctors surgeries near the college. The link will take you to the NHS Choices website.
If you feel ill at any time during your stay at Kings Bournemouth, you should first tell a member of staff or your host family. We will be able to help you to see your doctor if needed.
Above all, you should make sure you have full Kings medical insurance during your time in the UK.