Bournemouth is a large coastal town ready to entice you with its seaside charm and long stretches of golden sands. But it’s not just summer days at the beach that make Bournemouth such an attractive place to live. There’s a thriving town filled with restaurants, shops, bars and lively nightlife. If you’re thinking of moving to this Dorset hotspot, you probably want to know what it’s like on a day-to-day basis. That’s the purpose of this guide, which tells you everything there is to know about living in Bournemouth.
A brief history of Bournemouth
Bournemouth is one of the UK’s newer towns after it was founded in the 19th century by Lewis Tregonwell, a captain in the Dorset Yeomanry. After constructing a railway, the town multiplied with many Edwardian, Victorian and Art Deco buildings built throughout the years. It went on to become a prominent seaside location, a status it enjoys to this day.
Where is Bournemouth?
Bournemouth is located in the county of Dorset and is described as a ‘coastal resort town’. Poole is nearby to the west and Christchurch to the east. It’s around 95 miles southwest of London and is a popular tourist town with many who come here during the summer to enjoy the seven miles of beaches.
Moving to Bournemouth
Many of the Edwardian, Victorian and Art Deco buildings remain to this day and give Bournemouth a unique charm with plenty of period homes. There are many properties, from large detached homes sitting on the beach to modern apartments with sea views.
Buying in Bournemouth
The average house value in Bournemouth is £323,775, with actual paid prices slightly higher at £356,326. Expect to pay around £474,030 for a detached home, £280,988 for a terraced house and £241,096 for an apartment.
Bournemouth property prices are considerably higher than the UK national average of £251,000. Over the last five years, house prices have increased by around 14 per cent and 42 per cent in the last 10 years.
There’s a varied selection of estate and letting agents in Bournemouth, with chain and independent options available to help you find a home.
Renting in Bournemouth
One-bedroom homes rent for an average of £850 per month in Bournemouth, with two-bedroom properties fetching in the region of £1,300 per month. For larger homes, expect to pay an average of £1,500 per month.
Cost of living
If you’re moving to Bournemouth, you can expect to pay similar to the UK national average prices when it comes to everyday living. A meal for one person is around £11, one pound lower than the average. A cappuccino is about £2.75.
Utility bills are cheaper than the nationwide average: electricity, heating, cooling, water and waste disposal cost an average of £135 (UK average £155). Broadband is about £26 per month.
Life in Bournemouth
There are seven miles of golden sands to explore in Bournemouth, plus many beach areas nearby. Its beach also holds a Blue Flag award and has watersports like surfing, kayaking and jet-skiing. Aside from the soft sands, the town has an impressive 2,000 acres of gardens and parks.
Bournemouth train station is the main transport hub and offers services to London in just over 90 minutes, as well as destinations like Manchester and Weymouth. Drivers have access to the A388, which offers access to Bournemouth from the north and east, with the A35 providing the way from the west.
Tourists enjoy strolling down the pier during the summer, while locals tend to shop in the centre. The Triangle is the primary shopping area with its high-street brands and independent boutiques. For retro stuff and quirky shops, head to Pokesdown.
There’s a wide range of cuisines in Bournemouth, with seafood being particularly popular. Arbor Restaurant serves up modern British produce, while Lola’s Spanish Tapas Restaurant specialises in shareable plates and cocktails. Wild Fish & Chips is the place to go for some of the best fish in town.
Bournemouth is well known for its lively nightlife, and there are plenty of clubs where you can shake a leg. Cameo is a large venue with VIP rooms, party booths and packages for stag and hens. If you’re looking for something more low key, there are plenty of bars to enjoy a drink or two.
Art & culture
Spend some time at Russell Cotes Art Gallery & Museum, which is set in a Grade II listed building. Or visit the Bournemouth Natural Science Society and browse fossils, minerals and an Egyptology collection in a Victorian building.
Things to do
Other than days out at the beach when the sun is shining, Bournemouth is a place to enjoy a variety of other activities. Take a ride on the Pier Zip, which runs across the pier to the beach, before hopping in the Bournemouth Balloon for a bird’s-eye-view of the town.
What’s not to like?
If the beach isn’t really your thing, then Bournemouth probably isn’t for you. It’s also a popular tourist spot with lots of hen and stag parties, plus a university. So you can expect a lively atmosphere, to say the least.
Who lives there?
Bournemouth has a population of about 187,000and a median age of 40.
Typical broadband speeds
The average broadband speed is 70mbps in Bournemouth, which is faster than the UK national average of 67mbps. It was named one of the 20 towns in England with the fastest internet connection.
Crime rates in Bournemouth average 8,00 per year and are lower than the national average of 10,000.
Everything you need to know about moving to Bournemouth
Get a rounded opinion about the homes in Bournemouth with Move iQ’s property report, which provides an in-depth analysis of specific properties as well as details about the local area of Bournemouth.
Last Updated: November 19th, 2021