Living in Bournemouth, what's it really like.?

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  • Living in Bournemouth, what's it really like.?
  • The Girlfriend seems hell bent on moving to the coast and as I have family in Bournemouth it seems like a logical choice. She is a nurse so finding work should be easy enough, I am a bum with no qualifications and will probably end up working in the local Tesco’s. 😕 I am not sold on the idea at all but what is it like living in Bournemouth.? My opinion is that it a huge retirement village. Am I right or is there more to it than that.?

    Do you like surfing?

    I understand they spent millions on a fake reef that doesn’t work.

    Thinking about it, its probably worth avoiding Bournemouth if you are a surfer.


    It’s nice.

    Lived there for a few years, and I really love Dorset.

    You’ve the Purbecks for MTB riding, lots of nice country roads for, erm, road riding, and plenty of shops/night life…

    You probably won’t get too involved with the older people, and they won’t get too involved with you, I imagine…


    Do you like surfing?

    Can’t stand anything beech related unless it is wearing a bikini.


    The south coast is definitely the place to be. Dorset really has it all. I’ve lived here for 15 years and love it. I travel a lot and its nice coming back. There is lots more to Bournemouth than the beach.

    Where do you live right now? How old are you?

    Where do you live right now? How old are you?

    34, midlands.

    Can’t stand anything beech related unless it is wearing a bikini


    depends what you’re into.

    riding wise there’s nothing big locally but S. Wales is only a 2 hour drive.

    pretty safe (depending on exact location)

    Many MANY worse places to live….

    ask questions and I will answer.
    so long as they’re not too personal 😉

    Jobs really. Up here theres plenty of jobs for the uneducated but as far as I am aware Bournemouth is not at the center of industry or warehousing. Cost of living is a big factor as well.

    riding wise there’s nothing big locally



    well the 2 young lads i have working for me both pay ~£500 pcm rent for either shared housing or a one bed flat.

    jobs wise, quite a lot advertised but depends on how picky you are…

    Rents are fairly reasonable here in Bournemouth, depending on the area obviously. However, Dorset as a whole suffers from arguably the biggest
    gap between average salary and average property price in the UK.

    There are a lot of very wealthy people in the SE Dorset conurbation, but th vast majority of them earn it elsewhere/have moved here from London/Home Counties.

    The retirement village comments are laughably far of the mark, whilst that is true of Christchurch (and to an extent of Poole) AFAIK Bournemouth’s age profile is actually younger than the UK average. there’s a growing university here (though, technically it’s in Poole…only just though), an art school and umpteen language schools. Plus the hospitality industry ensures a constant transient population of 20/30somethings. The town feels very young.

    Re: The reef…yes, total failure. But you’ve got K-Bay just down the coast and on a good day the piers are a laugh. It’s not the North Shore though!

    My rich auntie has a nice penthouse apartment in Alum Chine (near sandbanks) which we use a lot as she lives in Dubai. Although not the same as living down there, I always love time down there and some friends who love and work there are really happy there.

    The whole of Dorset has a nice vibe to it although I’d agree that property prices in the nicer parts have been skewed by people like my auntie!!


    I lived in Worcester and go up a lot due to family etc. bloody hate the midlands.

    Think of it as a new start! Get training to become a tradesman in something that’s going to give you more than minimum wage. Plenty of colleges, skills centres.


    I spend a fair amount of time in Poole (Ma lives there). Bournemouth is great until summer arrives, as is Poole, although you can still avoid the masses if you want to.

    I like Bournemouth, would happily move to Dorset if the right opportunity came up, on my shopping list would be a Jet bike and wetsuit, plus some kites and maybe a 15-18 foot rib 🙂

    Also, when compared to the midlands – what are you even thinking about mate, get moving!

    My elderly folks are the only thing holding me back. The though of leaving them worries me.


    I live just outside. Its quite nice, safe, not too expensive if you a avoid the really posh bits, plenty of middling bits and even the bits (Boscome) which everyone will tell you are a shit hole are not that bad if you have ever lived in a real city. Very small townish, which means you get the typical “Bournemouth is the best place in the uk” bullshit from people who have a small sphere of existence to deal with.

    Bournemouth itself is not retirement centre at all but some of the surrounding areas are (Christchurch, especially High-cliff). The town centre is shit IMO for going out in, generic bar after generic bar playing music from capital fm playlist, lots of orange girls walking about, its like being up north. There are some nicer pubs (still with a good bit of life in them) in other areas.

    Some good colleges if you would like to learn a trade. Consider Brockenhurst college too as its commutable and has a good construction centre.

    Job wise for unskilled work there is plenty if you’re not fussy but if your’e unskilled you can’t be fussy. Some industrial some on horticultural farms, loads of gardening jobs in the summer.

    Riding-wise the Purbeck is you best bet. Some nice rides up there, they are not narcore but there are some intense ups and downs. South Wales is not too far mileage wise but the road to get there is shit. Best bet is to leave early if you want a good journey.

    lots of opportunities for other fun past times too.

    Its “pleasant” place to live, nothing majorly exciting, but nothing bad either.

    P.S. Direct trains Birmingham New st.


    Jet bike

    **** off!


    For riding you also have puddletown, wareham forest and uk bike park so there’s plenty to do. I went to uni in Bournemouth and its very ‘generic’, town gets very boring indeed. It’s more students and hairdressers than old people though. Dorset overall is a lovely part of the uk, I’d move there.

    Bike wise I’d also add in Moors Valley Country Park, Lordswood (Southampton) and you can get to Queen Elizabeth Country Park near Petersfield in just over an hour. The South Downs are also within easy reach.

    In terms of nightlife, Bournemouth has some decent options…

    Unfortunately we’ve seen some good places go in recent years. The Consortium was a great little venue/club at the bottom of Richmond Hill and Mr Smith’s was a seminal venue on the UK toilet circuit that died a death due to campaign run by an adjacent yuppy bar. Champions in Westbourne was really shaping up too, but that’s gone now.

    However, away from the commercial ‘Ibiza Uncovered’ horrors of the Old Christchurch Road (and Horseshoe Common in particular) you’ve got 60 Million Postcards plus Smokin’ Aces, Flirt and The Winchester all handily located within 75 metres of each other in The Triangle. There are lots of good restaurants, I’m particularly fond of Koh Thai Tapas (both town centre and Boscombe locations, Tapas Plus and Westbeach.

    Away from the town centre…Charminster caters to a slightly older market with plenty of bars and restaurants. Boscombe is alright too with the likes of Urban Beach (plus sister restaurant/bar Urban Reef on the beach), Reef Encounter (if you can forgive the name!) and The Cellar Bar which is genuinely fun place with a quirky mixed clientele…probation officers and ex-cons drinking side by side…no, really!). Boscombe is also home to an o2 Academy…love them or hate them they’ve brought Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Henry Rollins, Propagandhi, The Wedding Present, Spiritualized and many more to town. Westbourne has a great pub called The Porterhouse with a decent range of ales, The Libertine (expensive mind), Soho, one of those Lounge places that seem to be appearing everywhere and some decent restaurants…including Chez Fred which may be the best fish and chips I’ve ever had. Then in Poole you’ve got Ashley Cross with The Cow, Le Bateau, OX, The Bermuda Triangle, etc

    In short, you don’t have to subject yourself to the hell of Walkabout, Yates, etc unless you really want to. Oh, there’s also a classic sticky carpet rock dive called Sound Circus (previously The Villa) by the railway station. It’s surprisingly good fun and very cheap and down on Lansdowne you have another rock bar with a late licence called The Anvil nestled amongst the student haunts…it’s the only place in town where you’ll hear Reign in Blood played in its entirety on a Friday night.

    I often think what would be perfect would be Brighton, but relocated to Bournemouth’s far more picturesque location (with infinitely superior beaches), then again it’s the proximity of Brighton to London which allowed its cultural/arts scene to grow I guess.

    As a final thought, Bournemouth isn’t a small town. Bournemouth and Poole combine with Christchurch and various other settlements on the periphery to form a conurbation of around 400,000 people. It’s said to be the largest non-industrial conurbation in Europe and is the largest urban area in the UK that doesn’t contain anywhere with city status. You’re bound to find things that interest you and other people who share those interests. Tourist board spiel over.


    I lived there for around six months near the beach in the Jewish area. Have to say that, bar a few choice days on the Purbecks and by the beach, I hated it. I can’t put my finger on it but I was left with a general sense of ‘is this it’. Possibly a lack of biking or a lack of London (where I’d come from), but I’m much happier here in North Wales!


    general sense of ‘is this it’.

    i get that when i go to london! can’t see what the fuss is over for lots of traffic, litter and too many people…


    Grew up here, went around the UK (to some extent) and the world and came back. Lovely beaches, countryside, very much a young town again with the finance, hospitality and leisure industries. More industry can be found around the Poole and Christchurch areas. Loads of decent places to choose from, try the hinterland if you want somewhere quieter but picturesque. Varied nightlife, late 20s onwards the place to be as mentioned above is Ashley Cross. Feel free to email me for any more details. Very friendly place. Thoroughly recommend it.

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