Produced by Imogen Byers
BA (Hons) Communication & Media
It can be hard adjusting to living on a student budget. You may find yourself in the tricky situation of having to entertain yourself during the day without parting with any beloved pennies. Luckily, Bournemouth has a few freebies to offer for these troublesome times, so there is no fear of being stuck at home when strapped for cash.
Firstly, in Bournemouth town centre, overlooking the lower gardens leading up to the pier is the Pine Walk Aviary. This little path runs parallel to Westover Road (where the Odeon is) and has enclosures that home a wide range of exotic birds. The birds change frequently as they are rescued from the wild so every time you go, you are bound to see something different! Also, along that path during the summer, there are art exhibitions that allow local artists to show and sell their work. Although you would have to pay to take a piece home, the simple option to browse and critique is open to all.
Following that, for those interested in art, there is also Westover Gallery on that same road. The gallery is free to enter and there is complimentary coffee for the browsers to fuel you through 3 floors of creative and impressive paintings and sculptors: Ideal for those times where you have hit a wall on your creativity due to staring at the same textbook pages over and over again.
If you are more of an active student and want to spend days outside, you can use the free outdoor gym that runs along the Bournemouth sea front. There are 6 stations with 16 different exercises that you can do, including pull-up bars and sit-up benches. Who needs to fork out for a gym membership when you can use this in the great outdoors with a simultaneous great view of the sea?
Again, on a similar theme, there are free table tennis tables dotted around town such as on the pier front, Boscombe gardens and in Boscombe high street. The tables are available with facilities to rent out bats and balls. Bear in mind the competitive nature of your housemates may become more apparent and fall outs may be on the horizon…
Bournemouth really has so much to offer and you can have an exciting and busy day out on a budget. If none of these ideas appeal to you, just going into Bournemouth itself and wondering around the gardens and beach front can be entertaining. There is always something new to discover and different places to be explored.
By Imogen Byers