Guest blogger Written by

Ella Aaltonen (Finland)

Hi! I’m Ella Aaltonen from Finland and I’m currently studying Computer Animation Art and Design in Bournemouth. Bournemouth is a very convenient location – only a two-hour train ride away from London and its many galleries and theatres. However, you don’t need to travel to London for a taste of cultural life…Bournemouth has plenty to offer itself!

A home turned into a museum

The first place in Bournemouth that I fell in love with was the beautiful home-museum of Russell-Cotes. Merton and Annie Russel-Cotes were a Victorian couple with a desire to travel the world. Lucky for us, the Russel-Cotes’ were also quite the collectors and filled their large home with art and luxury souvenirs from top to bottom.

Their home on top of the hill was turned into a museum with a lovely garden and an amazing view of the sea. I first came here with my course to find inspiration for our art project. I’ve been back several times as there are a multitude of areas to draw or admire. If you have a free afternoon, give it a go.

Exploring the past

Another one of Bournemouth’s museums is the Natural Science Society’s museum. The building, (and the society) is over a hundred years old and has numerous exhibit rooms. You can see the sarcophagus of an Egyptian noble woman or familiarize yourself with the animal kingdom. For those interested in Bournemouth itself, follow the town’s history from prehistoric fossils to early human settlements in the Bronze Age.

Truly remarkable is that the museum is run by volunteers. They gladly offer you tea and biscuits as they answer any questions you may have and more. The society also organizes weekly lectures from visiting speakers.

Celebrating 200 years of Frankenstein

If you take an interest in the city of Bournemouth, you may want to visit the local library. It has a whole section dedicated to local history on the third floor. As mentioned, Bournemouth has a lot of history that not many visitors know.

For example, did you know that Mary Shelley (the author of Frankenstein) is buried here as well as her husband Percy’s (poet) heart? If you didn’t, now is the perfect time to visit. 2018 marks the 200th anniversary of her most beloved book and there will be several organized events and activities around the town throughout the year.

Learn, explore, discover

There is more to Bournemouth than history. You can see a musical in the Pavilion Theatre or familiarize yourself with one of the local art galleries. Best of all, don’t forget the annual Arts by the Sea Festival – it is truly amazing!

Overall, Bournemouth has more to offer than what first meets the eye. These are just what I’ve discovered. If you explore around town, who knows what you’ll uncover!

Ella Aaltonen, Finland, BA (Hons) Computer Animation Art and Design