Written by Beth Cordon
BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing
Bournemouth has many free activities and attractions on offer throughout the year, which are perfect when on a student budget!
I personally feel the beach is the greatest attraction on offer, the sandy beaches stretch as far as the eye can see, and they are great to visit all year round. In the winter it can be cold and windy on the beach, but even if you walk along the East Cliff you still get a beautiful view of the miles of Dorset coastline. During the summer the beaches are packed with locals and tourists alike. The gorgeous flat beaches attract people from all over. It is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the summer weather (when it’s sunny!) all for free.
The New Forest is only a short train journey away, (I know the train isn’t free, but you can get cheap train fairs and it is worth it!) and once you are in the New Forest you can spend hours enjoying the scenery and the beauty it has to offer. There are nature trails all around the New Forest, perfect for walking or cycling. Pack a picnic and make a day of it because it is definitely worth the trip.
Bournemouth Gardens are not one to be missed. You can walk through the gardens from the beach for miles up to Bournemouth’s coy pond, which is a peaceful and pretty place to visit. The walk through the gardens is well paved and flat, worth a trip if you want to explore more of what Bournemouth has to offer. Bournemouth Gardens down by the sea front is also a lovely place to see (and possibly even feed) grey squirrels.
Throughout the year there are a variety of free festivals and events going on. There’s the German Christmas Market, which is free to browse with lots of unique stalls and food. There’s also the Bournemouth Wheels Festival at the end of May each year and the Bournemouth Air Festival at the end of August, which are both free and well worth seeing.
If you like art and culture, the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum is worth visiting, with events on all year round as well as tours offered daily and exhibitions to visit.
Maybe getting fit is something on your mind. If so, there are miles of coastal paths to walk or cycle from Bournemouth towards Mudeford, or towards Swanage or the Purbecks. This will give you a chance to get out, explore and enjoy the scenery on offer while getting exercise at the same time.
Bournemouth truly does have many things on offer for free, so make sure you make the most of what there is to do during your time at university, because it will fly by. Oh and one last thing, sometimes clubs offer free entry so keep an eye out for that!
By Beth Cordon