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Guest blog written by Kaiti Shang a postgraduate research student 

With spring in full bloom, many of us plan to go away for the weekend or on holiday after the busy school life. But many freshmen may ask, “If I don’t want to go too far away, will I have to look at the sea only from my doorstep?” Of course not!!! Bournemouth is not just home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the UK, but also is surrounded by a wealth of manor houses, castles and quaint towns. So, today I’m going to give you a list of magnificent  destinations around the local areas that you can go for a day trip.

Please don’t miss the travel deals I’ve summarised for you at the end of this article!

Great places to go during the holidays

Russell-cotes Art Gallery & Museum

Image credits: VisitDorset

Russell Cotes Art Gallery & Museum stands on the beautiful Bournemouth seafront. The whole building was commissioned by Mr. Merton Russell Cotes in 1897 from architect John Frederick Fogerty. Mr. Merton Russell Cotes gave the estate to his wife, Anne, as a 66th birthday present in 1901. In this seaside house on a cliff top, Mr. Russell Cotes and his wife documented their romantic life travelling the world a hundred years ago with memorabilia brought back from around the world. They also decorated the walls throughout the building with British artwork, creating a strong theatrical feel to the house.

Travel Tips:

Transportation: Approx.15 minutes’ drive from Bournemouth University Talbot Campus along the B3064

Address: East Cliff Promenade, Bournemouth, BH1 3AA



Image credits: ellisreed

Stourhead, an estate located in the South West of England is nearly 300 years old. It was the filming position for Mr. Darcy’s proposal to Lady Elizabeth in the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice. It is also the only garden in Britain to be listed in the ‘Top Ten Most Beautiful Gardens in the World’. Henry Hoare II, the owner of the estate and an excellent garden designer, designed the gardens to emulate not only Italian landscapes but also the Roman poet Virgil’s Aeneid. He added various elements of reconstructed ruins and classical buildings to the garden, including the Pantheon and the Temple of Apollo. As a result, a stroll through the Stourhead is a breathtaking experience, whether walking cross the arched stone bridges, the circular columned cloister pavilions, sitting beside tranquil lake or appreciating the garden landscapes.

Travel Tips:

Transportation: Approx. 1.5 hours’ drive from Bournemouth University Talbot Campus along the A350 to Stourhead

Address: near Mere, Wiltshire, BA12 6QD


Kingston Lacy

Image credits: chrisversenphotography

Kingston Lacy is located in Dorset and was once owned by the famous Bankes family of England. The main building of the estate looks spectacular on the outside, and the interior is lavishly decorated, with an impressive collection of artworks, including some rare Spanish paintings. It is a must-see attraction for anyone who likes to admire art.

Travel Tips:

Transportation: Approx. 30 minutes’ drive from Bournemouth University Talbot Campus along the B3082

Address: Wimborne Minster, Dorset, BH21 4EA



Corfe Castle

Image credits: postcardsbyhannah

Corfe Castle was first built of wood. In the second half of the 11th century, William the Conqueror remodelled the castle in stone and it took on its present form. For the next 600 years, Corfe Castle was used as a royal fortress by the British monarchs. By the way, the view from the castle is not only idyllic, but there is also the occasional steam locomotive passing by – the Swanage Railway, the remains of one of the south of England’s best-loved steam railways.

Travel Tips:

Transportation: Approx. 30 minutes’ drive from Bournemouth University Talbot Campus along the A351 to Corfe Castle

Address: The Square, Corfe Castle, Nr Wareham, Dorset, BH20 5EZ



Swanage in Sunset

If you want to see the Jurassic Coast in all its beauty, the town of Swanage is the place to be. Swanage is the most easterly town on the Jurassic Coast and its landward harbour and long stretches of sandy beach have made it a popular destination for many British families since Victorian times. When you first arrive there, you won’t believe that a town just 9km from the cities of Poole and Bournemouth can combine the bustle of life with the easy-going seaside atmosphere. Swanage could accompany the rushed or excited hearts on their journey with its unpretentiousness. Head north-east along the coast and it won’t take long for Old Harry Rocks to come into view. From there you can enjoy a magnificent view of the Jurassic Coast stretching westwards, with the Isle of Wight visible in the distance to the east. Last but not least, Old Harry Rocks was in Spider-Man: Far From Home.

Travel Tips:

Transportation: Approx. 40 minutes’ drive from Bournemouth University Talbot Campus along the A351 to Swanage


Note: The above transportation options are for reference only and start from the Talbot Campus, BU’s main postgraduate campus. In addition to the above five sites, I recommend the Salisbury Cathedral and Stonehenge, which are also worth a day trip.

Amazing student discounts

Transportation — SUBU national express

Students who come to Bournemouth University will no doubt have to travel to London from time to time, and usually the preferred option is by train. However, the UK is also very well served by coach transports, and among them the most famous company is National Express. More importantly, BU students can get a 50% discount on tickets from Bournemouth to London when they book through the official link from the Students’ Union of Bournemouth University (SUBU)! Please note that this offer is only valid for students studying at BU and you need to book via the link on the SUBU website to see the offer.


Sightseeing — Student Art Pass

Student Art Pass is the Art Fund’s discounted art card for students and costs £5 per year! You can not only get free or half price access to hundreds of exhibitions at the V&A, National Gallery and other prestigious galleries each year, but also can get half price access to thousands of museums, including the Russell-cotes Art Gallery & Museum, St Paul’s Cathedral, Kensington Palace and many other places.


Sightseeing — National Trust membership

Image credits: National Trust

National Trust is a British heritage conservation charity and membership organisation. Its assets include over 500 historic houses, castles, archaeological and industrial monuments, gardens, parks and nature reserves. Most of the houses are open to the public but charge a fee (members have free access), while open spaces are free to all. For students, applicants aged between 18 and 25 can consider applying for National Trust Young Person membership, which costs £36 a year.


Sightseeing — English Heritage membership

Image credits: English Heritage

The English Heritage is another organisation that responsible for the management of historic monuments. It manages over 400 historic sites and buildings. These include prehistoric sites, medieval castles, Roman forts and country houses. The famous Stonehenge, Dover Castle, Tintagel Castle and Hadrian’s Wall are all managed by English Heritage. For those who like to visit such famous sites, you may consider applying for a student membership with English Heritage, which costs around £51 a year. As the price of admission to each of these famous fee-paying attractions is a little bit expensive, you can basically go to two or three of them and save money on your annual pass.


Thank you for reading, hope you get the most of living and travelling around Bournemouth while study at BU.

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