Bournemouth Beach, Dorset

Living in Bournemouth: Everything you should know

Planning a move to Bournemouth? Find out all there is to know about the city.

When it comes to Bournemouth, the first thing we need to mention is the beach.

This glorious, seven-mile strip of soft sand attracts both elderly coach parties and youthful stag parties every week of the year.

The resort is also home to Bournemouth Pier, an activity centre with an obstacle course, a climbing wall and a zip line.

But the city is more than just a full-on party town. It also boasts some hip hideaways, great restaurants, tempting watersports, and in Boscombe, 2 miles east of the centre, a suburb with a cool urban-surfer vibe.

But what can you expect if you choose to move to the city and how much money will you need for living costs? We answer all your questions below.

Commuting

If you want to live in Bournemouth but have work commitments elsewhere, you’ll want to know how quickly you can get to work and whether you’ll be able to put up with the commute.

Winchester

The commuter journey from Bournemouth to Winchester is very do-able, with rush-hour trains taking just under an hour.

Weymouth

Weymouth shouldn’t be overlooked as a place to work, as commuting from Bournemouth on the fastest train journey will take you just under an hour.

Southampton

Working in Southampton and living in Bournemouth is the fastest of the three commutes. It will take you around 40 minutes on the fastest peak-time train.

Which areas are the best to live in?

If you love period houses with character and original features, there are plenty of properties both within Bournemouth and its suburbs that date back to the 19th and 20th centuries.

Many Victorian and Edwardian buildings have been converted over the years into flats. The flats in Tollard Court on West Hill retain original features of the old Victorian hotel, while Osborne Road in Winton has period properties with bay windows and open fireplaces.

For more grand period properties, try West Overcliff Drive in Westbourne. This area was developed between 1900 and 1925 and features pricey Edwardian mansions in large grounds.

Art Deco-style properties are also popular in and around Bournemouth and perhaps the best known are San Remo Towers in Boscombe. These Grade II listed Art Deco flats were built in the 1920s and are situated in one of Bournemouth’s most popular suburbs.

Bournemouth also has a number of bungalows scattered throughout the town and comfortable 1950s semis can be found in areas such as Ripon Road in Winton.

In The Triangle, a centre for the town’s nightlife, more modern flats command high prices. Demand is also high for properties with a sea view. Contemporary seafront apartments on Owls Road in Boscombe are priced towards the high end of the market.

What’s it like to work in Bournemouth?

The strength of Bournemouth’s economy lies in its diversity of sectors. The city has a thriving financial sector and a regionally significant marine sector. The Aviation Park in Bournemouth boasts 200 acres of land, playing a huge part in supporting the aerospace and advanced engineering industries, with 200 businesses operating on the site.

The town also relies heavily on the new wave of graduates leaving university with degrees in the digital sector. The area’s gaming and digital sector has grown by nearly 70% in recent years.

Surprisingly, the city is fast becoming a digital hub too, home to big name companies like Bright Blue Day, Redweb and the Walker Agency, as well as financial corporations such as JP Morgan Chase and Liverpool Victoria.

The service sector is also popular, with major health organisations like Pruhealth and Fitness First operating in the city.

What about living costs?

Bournemouth isn’t going to be an affordable place to live for everyone, with more expensive rent prices and the cost of living higher than in most UK cities.

Household utilities

At the time of writing, you would expect the average rent costs to be around £600 per month for a one-bedroom flat outside of the city centre, and around £700 further in, with electricity, gas, Internet and water bringing this figure up by another £150 or so.

Transport

Bournemouth has a pretty good transport system of buses and trains. A one day ticket for the bus is about £3.70, with a single trip costing you £2.30.

Entertainment

Don’t let its reputation as a sleepy seaside town fool you. There are hundreds of restaurants to choose from in the city, and on your average weekend you can expect as many as 30,000 party goers to take to the streets, with an offering of up to 40 night clubs. The increasingly young population make Bournemouth a vibrant place to live.

Home to the “shopping seven”, the city also has plenty to offer those who fancy a shopping spree. Take your pick from the town centre, Westbourne, Winton, Castle Point, Southbourne, Charminster and Boscombe.

But in summertime, hiring a beach hut on Bournemouth’s award-winning beach is one of the best ways to enjoy the city. You could also think about hiring a bike on the seafront and taking a casual ride along the promenade, which stretches from Hengistbury Head to Sandbanks.

The seaside is not the only option for those who want to get away from the busy, urban town centre. The New Forest National Park is located just a short distance from Bournemouth and offers stunning woodland walks and incredible scenery. The forest also has plenty of activities for anyone who visits, from the wildlife park to archery and canoeing.

More of an art lover? Walk around the Grade II-listed Victorian gardens and visit the Alum Chine to see unusual tropical plants and flowers. The Lower Garden also hosts art exhibitions and concerts throughout the year.

There really is something for everyone in Bournemouth.

Upsides

  • Good place to work, with many sectors thriving.
  • Close to the beach.
  • A good mix between nightlife and scenery.
  • Both old and young people live here.

Downsides

  • Can get very busy, especially in tourist areas.
  • Living costs are more expensive than elsewhere.
  • Transport services aren’t as good as other cities.
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