“Voted the happiest place in the UK in 2007, Bournemouth is brimming with the stunning scenery of the Jurassic Coast, beautiful beaches, and charming Victorian architecture”
Moving to Bournemouth
Not far from Portsmouth in the South West of England, Dorset is home to just over 180,000 residents, and is the largest urban settlement in the sleepy county of Dorset. Famously developed in the 1800s as a resort for middle class Victorians looking to escape to smog of the city and revitalise themselves with a dip in the sea, Bournemouth has never quite lost this holiday ambience. Business boomed after the arrival of the railway in the 1970s, and these days it’s also known as a creative hub, popular with visiting artists, as well as one of the South West’s most vibrant nightlife spots – for which it won a a Purple Flag in 2010.
Voted the happiest place in the UK in 2007, Bournemouth is brimming with the stunning scenery of the Jurassic Coast, beautiful beaches, and charming Victorian architecture, all of which bring in 5 million tourists every year and a myriad of restaurants, shops and bars. Employment here is high, with 95% of workers employed in the service sector, and two universities bringing in a vibrant student population.
House prices in Bournemouth
With an average house price of £262,000 as of 2017, property in Bournemouth is more expensive than the national average, but more affordable than the Dorset average of £304,000. Popular spots in Bournemouth and the surrounds tend to err on the expensive side, so be prepared to stretch your budget if your looking to move to areas such as Queens Park, Boscombe, Wimborne, Ringwood or the celebrity favourite of Sandbanks. On the other hand, West How has had somewhat of a negative reputation over the years, but is steadily improving and could be a great place for potential residents seeking a more affordable spot.
“Nightlife is big business in Bournemouth, with many bars located around Exeter Road, and the city was even awarded a Purple Flag in recognition of its commitment to providing a fun and lively nightlife scene”
Bournemouth is served by two train stations, Bournemouth station and Pokesdown station, with direct trains to locations including Southhampton, London and Basingstoke, and journeys to the capital taking around 2 hours. Within the town, buses transport locals to the city centre and nearby suburbs, while for those travelling by car Bournemouth sits on the A35 and A338, the latter of which connects to the M27 near Southampton.
For those travelling a little further afield, Bournemouth has it’s own airport with regular flights to 23 destinations across Europe, and Southampton Airport is around 30 miles away.
Retail opportunities in Bournmouth are varied, with a mix of modern shopping malls and Victorian arcades ensuring that locals can find everything from the latest high street fashion trends to prints from an independent gallery. Most of the activity is centred around The Avenue and the surrounding streets, where you’ll find M&S, HMV and New Look, while slightly further out of town Castlepoint Shopping Centre is home to around 40 different brands.
Nightlife is big business in Bournemouth, with many bars located around Exeter Road, and the city was even awarded a Purple Flag in recognition of its commitment to providing a fun and lively nightlife scene while not bringing the safety of the town into question. There’s also plenty of excellent restaurants to be found here, with prime independent spots such as NEO Restaurant, Coriander and Veneta Grand Cafe sitting alongside high street favourites. Every June, a popular Food and Drink Festival also descends on the town, a real highlight in the calendar for local foodies.
Bournemouth offers home cooks a good selection of supermarkets, with branches of Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s located around the city as well as international supermarkets such as Yaawin Global Spicy Supermarket and Wah Hing Chinese Store.
Health & Sport
Fitness-loving residents can work out at various gyms all over Bournemouth, including branches of national chains such as Better Gym, The Gym and Pure Gym as well as council-run services and small studios for MMA and pilates. The beach is also a popular spot for runners, while brave sea swimmers might consider joining the Bournemouth Spartans Winter Sea Swimming Club for icy cold-weather dips.
As well as a buzzing nightlife, cultural life in Bournemouth is also relatively vibrant, with a vast array of attractions and venues offering something for everyone. The town is home to multiple excellent concert venues, including the Pavilion Theatre, BIC and the O2 Academy, as well as the renowned Russell-Coates Museum and two historic piers, Bournemouth Pier and Boscombe Pier. Annual festivals such as Arts By The Sea and the Bourne Free Carnival bring big crowds to the town centre, while the Norman Corfe Castle is a short drive away and a popular spot for family day trips.
“The town is home to multiple excellent concert venues, including the Pavilion Theatre, BIC and the O2 Academy, as well as the renowned Russell-Coates Museum and two historic piers”
Schools and Education
One of the few remaining local authorities in eEngland to still offer selective schools, Bournemouth has two grammar schools as well as a number of non-selective primary and secondary schools. The best primary schools in Bournemouth include Pokesdown Community Primary School, St Katharine’s CofE Primary School and The Epiphany CofE Primary School, where over 90% of pupils achieve expected levels in Maths and English. Meanwhile for older children, the selective Bournemouth School For Girls, the independent Talbot Heath School and the state St Peter’s Catholic Comprehensive School are among the best secondary schools in the area.
The town is also home to two universities, Bournemouth University and Arts University Bournemouth, for those considering further study.
With an average crime rate of 86 crimes per 1000 residents as of 2016, crime levels in Bournemouth are higher than the national average. Pokesdown is one of the safest areas statistically, while West How sees higher levels of crime.
With miles of sandy beaches and the New Forest National Park a short drive away, Bournemouth already has a great selection of natural spots before you factor in an impressive 425 acres of parkland across the area. Within the city, King’s Park and Queen’s Park are particularly popular for their open expanses of greenery and good facilities such as the Queen’s Park Golf Course, and the play areas of King’s Park.