bournemouth pier

Bournemouth Winter Activities – What to do in the Cold

Bournemouth is synonymous with summer weather and seaside antics. But restricting your trip to this sandy haven to the warmer months will mean you’ll miss out on the lesser-known, but equally incredible, Bournemouth winter scene. This seaside town continues to receive a steady flow of visitors year round, and for good reason! Discover what to do in Bournemouth in winter when staying in a luxury Citybase serviced apartment with our useful guide, and plan your ultimate Bournemouth Christmas staycation.

Winter Walks along the Beach

Bournemouth winter hengistbury head
The views from Hengistbury Head are well worth the walk

When it comes to deciding what to do in Bournemouth in winter, making the most of the beach will always come high on the list. Free from the vying crowds typical in the summer months, a winter stroll along the mostly deserted, beautiful Bournemouth beaches provides plenty of opportunities for capturing some dramatic photographs. With four blue flag beaches, including the beautiful Alum Chine and Southbourne beaches, providing a range of settings for every mood, there is plenty to explore along this varied coastline. 

Feel refreshed from the cool sea spray and winter gales – providing the ultimate impetus for reaching your destination of a cosy café or pub along the shore. For something a little more exotic, head to Hot Rocks following your walk for the ultimate winter warmer – curries, Cajun food and even cocktails are on offer to spice up your afternoon. 

Christmas Tree Wonderland

christmas wonderland
Enjoy a winter wonderland as Bournemouth is decorated in Christmas cheer

A Bournemouth Christmas is made all the merrier with twinkling light displays and festive decorations lighting up the night sky. The famous Christmas Tree Wonderland takes place each year when Bournemouth is at its most wintry. Typically featuring enormous Christmas light displays, rides, games, an ice rink and much more, a visit to this marvel is a must during your Bournemouth winter staycation. 

Go for a stroll with your loved ones and embrace the Christmas spirit, and then visit a cosy bar for a hot chocolate (or something stronger!) and heat up beside a roaring fire. With countless pop-up Christmas shops and market stalls selling all the trinkets and gifts you could possibly need to fill everyone’s stockings, you will be well and truly ready for a seasonal celebration after visiting this enchanting display.

Zip Line on the Pier

sea for zip line
Fancy flying above the sea on a zip line? Bournemouth has just the thing…

Just because the sun takes a break in winter doesn’t mean your fun should too! The RockReef PierZip is open year round, meaning you can get your adrenaline fix during your Bournemouth winter trip, or at any other time of year. The world’s first pier to shore zip wire, the PierZip transports customers 250 meters over the lapping shore to the beach. Needless to say, the views are magnificent and the rush is out of this world. 

What makes this exciting attraction even better in winter is the reduced cost – with prices per head dropping considerably. Still not sated your appetite for adrenaline? RockReef also provides a host of other activities, including climbing, a ‘leap of faith’ jumping experience, a cave exploration and a vertical slide. Places get filled fast, so make sure you book early!

Afternoon Tea on the TeaBus

Bournemouth winter teabus afternoon tea
Afternoon tea on a bus – why not?

Inevitably, the Bournemouth winter weather can throw a spanner in the works when it comes to planning a sightseeing trip along the coast. Thankfully, you can still enjoy the Bournemouth sights from a comfortable and cosy seat with a cup of tea in hand. Frieda’s TeaBus provides the opportunity to hop on a beautifully decorated double decker bus and indulge in some afternoon tea with friends or family. 

Departing every Saturday and Sunday from Bournemouth Pier, the bus travels along the sea front affording fantastic views no matter the weather. The TeaBus runs in conjunction with Frieda’s Tearoom – a local favourite which has been serving stunning cakes and delicacies since 2011. With a menu that covers all the traditional favourites, including sandwiches, pastries and scones, and utilising delicious local ingredients, you won’t want to get off when your TeaBus tour comes to an end.

Highcliffe Castle

highcliffe castle
Nearby Highcliffe Castle offers a wealth of history and culture on a winter’s day

A thirty minute drive will transport you from a beach haven to a magnificent historical landmark in the form of Highcliffe Castle. This nineteenth century, Grade I listed Gothic revival residence was built to realise Lord Stuart de Rothesay’s dream. The cultured Lord ensured that his fantasy home was filled with art and exquisite décor – reflective of his passions and interests. 

Today, the castle serves as a fantastic destination for those wishing to learn about the fascinating history of both the house and its extensive collection of art and antiques. Various exhibitions are held throughout the year, including a range of hugely popular local photography competitions. Complete your trip with an exploration of the glorious grounds and gardens and a spot of lunch and mulled wine at the recently refurbished Castle Kitchen to round off an unforgettable Bournemouth winter day out.

Begin your winter retreat to this fantastic seaside town today – explore some of Bournemouth’s best serviced apartments and see why it makes for the perfect half term staycation trip.

Charles McIntyre

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