South of England

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Location

Dorset is a major visitor destination.The South Coast of England encompassing Poole, Bournemouth, Southampton, Portsmouth and Brighton.

Dorset is a county of contrast. The dramatic coastline, to the west of Bournemouth, presents spectacular geological features such as Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove and Old Harry Rocks. Further on you´ll discover the fossil-rich, World Heritage designated, `Jurassic Coast´ . The charming fishing ports that shelter here have inspired generations of writers from Jane Austen to John Fowles´ French Lieutenant´s Woman. This is Thomas Hardy country and the inspiration behind his literary classics – Tess of the D´Urbervilles and Far From the Madding Crowd.

POOLE

A bustling Quay, the best beaches in England and the stunning natural harbour make Poole, Dorset a natural first choice on the South Coast.
Poole Harbour’s 80 mile circumference makes it the second largest natural harbour in the world. Poole’s history dates back to the 15th century, and today it is a thriving port with an active quayside where new leisure attractions blend with historic landmarks and architecture.

BOURNEMOUTH

Renowned for its seven miles of golden beaches and beautiful parks and gardens, Bournemouth blends the contemporary with the traditional

The town’s mainly Victorian architecture is complemented by a lively cosmopolitan street scene, interesting shops and a variety of nightlife and theatres.

Bournemouth is made up of several distinct districts, each with its own style and pace. All the areas are within easy reach of the town centre and can be reached by bus or promenade train.

 

BRIGHTON & HOVE

Brighton and Hove has been a fashionable seaside resort since the eighteenth century, when the relaxed charm of the little fishing town of Brighthelmstone and the presence of George, Prince of Wales, made it the place to be for Regency high society.
Today, the city by the sea is still has an infusion of fun, with a mix of seaside charm, a world-famous heritage, culture, good shopping, a hyperactive arts scene and sparkling nightlife.

The sea is an ever-changing backdrop to life in Brighton and Hove, and a walk along the beachfront will reveal just some of what makes Brighton and Hove tick. From Brighton Marina to Hove Lagoon there’s so much to see and enjoy.

Enjoy the exotic beauty of the Royal Pavilion, walk along the beachfront, play on the Palace Pier, splash out at the Sea Life Centre or simply soak up the city’s history and heritage.

 

BOSCOMBE
Boscombe has wide sandy beaches, pretty flower filled gardens and wooded chine to the seafront. The town has antique shops, street market, shopping mall and nightclubs.

 

SOUTHBOURNE
Southbourne is a lovely, quiet, out of town location with easy access to the town centre. It has a Blue Flag beach and is close to the riverbank and countryside area of Hengistbury Head. The rolling patchwork countryside of rural Dorset can be appreciated from viewpoints at Bulbarrow Hill, Minterne and Hambledon Hills.
The relentless power of the ocean and dramatic rock formations combine to stunning effect on the Dorset heritage Coast at Durdle Door, Kimmeridge, Lulworth Cove and Man-o’-War Bay.

 

BROWNSEA ISLAND
Brownsea Island is the largest of five islands in Poole Harbour. Its 500 acres is home to a pride of 100 peacocks, the rare red squirrel and a bird sanctuary. It is also famous for the first Scout Camp set up by Lord Baden-Powell in 1907. Founder of the ‘Scout’ movement.

 

HIGHCLIFFE
Highcliffe is a popular sea-side town with clean, sandy beaches. Highcliffe Castle is a unique, Grade 1 listed mansion that is being restored.

 

HARDY COUNTRY
In the glorious unchanging countryside of Dorset, the famous author and poet Thomas Hardy gleaned much inspiration for his strong characters and intense story lines. The thatched cottage at Higher Bockhampton near Dorchester is where, in 1840, the great writer was born. Memorabilia, including the original script of The Woodlanders, recently filmed on location in Dorset and Hampshire, is on display in the Dorset County Museum in Dorchester.

Athelhampton House, restored after a devastating fire in 1992, (Hardy’s ‘Athel Hall’) is a fine example of an early Tudor mansion.

 

HIGHCLIFFE
Highcliffe is a popular sea-side town with clean, sandy beaches. Highcliffe Castle is a unique, Grade 1 listed mansion that is being restored.

MUDEFORD

Mudeford is famous for its picturesque quay with safe, sandy beaches and natural harbour it is the prefect spot for water sport enthusiasts and for small children who love crabbing from the quayside.

 

SOUTHAMPTON
Southampton is fast becoming one of the most popular leisure and cultural destinations in the south. Its appeal lies in its diverse nightlife, exciting retail opportunities, varied leisure facilities, superb heritage attractions and the charm of a bustling waterfront location.

Over the centuries, the port of Southampton has seen every kind of sea craft and fostered every kind of seafaring.  From 1620 when the “Mayflower” took the Pilgrims to the New World, to 2004 when the “Queen Mary 2” set sail on her maiden voyage.

 

THE NEW FOREST

The New Forest is a rich mosaic of woodland and wilderness heath which, 900 years ago, became the hunting forest of Kings.

The “New Forest” is an English medieval deer hunting area created in 1079 by William the Conqueror. It is still largely in the possession of the Crown.
It is a nationally important environment of woodland pasture, heaths, bogs and the remains of 17th, 18th & 19th century coppices and timber plantations; grazed by ponies, cattle and pigs. There are miles of safe cycle routes in the New Forest which can also be explored on foot or horseback

 

 Attractions

Bournemouth – In Bournemouth, you’ll be spoilt for choice for things to do. From taking a flight on the Bournemouth Eye Balloon to exploring the mysteries of the deep at the Bournemouth Oceanarium – there’s plenty to fill your days with excitement.

 

Poole – Visit Pooles many beautiful Beaches.- Poole Quay offers a great fun packed day out for all the family with its bustling atmosphere, restaurants, cafes and pubs plus there’s always lots of visiting yachts and vessels to see. –  The Waterfront Museum  houses collections and displays that tell the social, domestic and maritime history of Poole.

 

Southport Pier
A popular tourist attraction, the pier  has been fully restored and is a historic landmark within the resort. Built in 1860 one of the longest piers in the country, stretching from the promenade the pier spans out over the seafront and out to sea.

 

Portsmouth – Portsdown Hill
Portsdown Hill is a chalk escarpment 120 metres high with spectacular viewpoint across the harbour . It is an excellent vantage point with spectacular views across the sea to the Isle of Wight. It also has an interesting military history, as well as being an important area for wildlife.

 

How to get there

BY AIR;   

European and International visitors can benefit from the newly developed Bournemouth and Southampton International Airports. A choice of scheduled and charter services are available to a large range of short and long haul destinations. Access is also easy and convenient from London’s Heathrow and Gatwick Airports. 

 

BY ROAD;

There are direct motorways and dual carriageway links (M3 / M27 / A31 / A35 / A338) across country and express coach services connecting many UK towns and cities. Access is also available from Europe via the Euro Tunnel link.

BY RAIL;

Bournemouth has an excellent rail network linking with London (Waterloo) – a mere 97 minutes away with access to Eurostar. Fast daily services also offer regular direct connections with Scotland, the North and the Midlands.

 

BY SEA;

The continental ferry ports are easily accessible from Bournemouth’s neighboring port of Poole (6 miles) or nearby Southampton and Portsmouth.

 

BY BUS/COACH;

There are direct express coach services connecting many UK towns and cities

 

Festivals

The award winning pleasure gardens flank the Bourne stream for two miles and provide a pine scented stage for some of the many free festivals and events taking place in Bournemouth 100 days of the year.

Southampton throughout the year hosts a lively calendar of events and festivals, from traditional summer bandstand concerts in the relaxing atmosphere of the city’s superb parks to the excitement of the International Boat show.

 

Eating  Dining  Shopping

From gourmet meals to traditional pub lunches and snacks, the region offers a wide range of fine Restaurants, Inns, Teashops and Cafes. For a more informal atmosphere, venture into the countryside to discover small village and country pubs with delightful gardens and wonderful views.

 

History

See England

 

Useful telephone numbers

Emergency Number 999

Airport Information (Heathrow) +44 (0)870 000 0123

Train station: (National Rail) 0845 748 4950

Tourist Office:(Bournemouth) Tel; 01202 451700

Holiday rents online:

National Transport Line 0870 608 2608

24 hour medical service

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