HOLIDAY - WEBSITE UPDATED 10.11.12
First reflections on the anniversary of the first
year - DEEP JOY. A plea to my close friends:
move here without further consideration
BEST PLACE EVER - (CORRECTION) - BETTER THAN THAT
it came to pass, that in the time of 2011, on the
tenth day, I did leave the land of Hampshire and did
travel through the day on a Kia, and did arrive in
the land of Bournemouth, in the kingdom of Dorset.
I did call upon a house and did knock thrice upon
And behold, a
woman did come to the door and I did speak unto her
saying, “Woman. I have travelled far, and did
suffer hunger and thirst, and I am come upon this
land to dwell unto this house for long years, and
I seek shelter and hospitality.”
And the woman
spoke unto me saying – “Ian, son of Mary
and Douglas, you are welcome to share our food and
hospitality in the land of Bournemouth, and verily
I say unto you, we can offer shelter to you and your
Kia.” They did bring gifts unto me and I did
break bread and feast and did partake of wine and
I did see that it was good. Other lands do smite their
enemies with great wrath and savagery, but in the
land of Bournemouth they do welcome strangers from
distant lands, rich and poor, yea, even unto the Grockles.
And lo. I have
travelled the valleys and rivers in the kingdom of
Dorset and have feasted much upon the bread and the
fishes, and the chips, and the kebabs, and the curries,
and the pizzas from bountiful lands near and far in
the town of Bournemouth and it is good. And they have
great festivities, where hordes of Grockles do descend
upon this land, and machines of the air do show their
prowess to great multitudes of travellers who have
made journeys of distances vast to see this promised
land. And I did travel to the land of Purbeck, and
to the lands of heath, and seas, and gardens, and
shrubs that do adorn, and verily it was fruitful.
The rich man in his mansion and the poor man in his
squat do dwell together in great harmony, and different
tribes from lands afar are unified, and blessed with
happiness, even the Grockles, and it was good. And
I did see sights of strange creatures; squirrels that
were not grey, birds of the air that were in multitudes,
rocks going back to when all was darkness, yea even
to the dawn of creation 4,000 years ago. Verily I
do beseech unto you, my followers and my peoples,
to move here forthwith, and be good and multiply,
for it is good. A land that doth overflow with milk
and fruits and honey and nectar where even the beasts
of the fields are filled with joy and there is no
sorrow in this land, for the sun doth shine as day
First of all let’s get over
the bad points – there are probably some and
I’ll let you know when I discover them. No exaggeration,
my friends, my neighbours will confirm, I love my
flat, my location, Bournemouth and Dorset. I cannot
stop enthusing about the vibrancy of the town, and
the beauty and wildlife of the county.
I write this celebrating
my first anniversary, having moved here on 10th November
2011. I am still on holiday. I am still on honeymoon.
Move here immediately, there is no reason not to.
I can see myself staying here for a minimum of the
next 40 years or so, and will then consider my options.
My intention this summer was to explore Dorset, but
there is so much here in the east of the county, that
I have scarcely brushed the surface of
the immediate surrounds.
Bournemouth has a wonderful
shopping centre, has everything here, even an Ann
Summers. It has everything that a big city has and
more. The only difference from London is the absence
of an underground system – and we have the sea.
It is full of theatres (including the BIC), cinemas,
music, concert halls, and throughout the year, there
are events, and these cater for all age groups. Obviously,
events peak in the summer months, as the town is probably
second only to Blackpool as a seaside resort.
has undeniably the best seaside beach in Britain,
7 miles of sand, 2 piers, and everything that you
would expect from such a resort. There are no less
than 3 funicular lifts to the imposing cliff tops.
The Pleasure Gardens are 2 miles in length!
gardens stretch from the pier and the mouth of the
stream (hence Bournemouth) to and beyond Coy Pond
in Poole. There is a railway station, a bus depot.
The bus service is superb, and you can travel throughout
the Isle of Purbeck, or Salisbury, and there is even
an international airport. Why on earth would anyone
ever, under any circumstance, travel anywhere else,
or seek to live anywhere else?
I found property prices
for apartments to be very reasonable, cheaper than
Hayling Island, which surprises many. The reason for
this must be the vast supply, many avenues full of
large blocks of flats, and unless you have a USP,
the only way to sell is price. I think Sandbanks comes
to mind when thinking of property prices, but that
is a one-off anomaly, parts of which are rated the
third most expensive land in the world, a mutant amongst
much cheaper locations. Check out apartments in Bournemouth
and Poole, now, and move here.
EVER GO ABROAD OR GO ANYWHERE ELSE – EVER?
The main reasons we
go abroad are for reasons of a change of scenery,
climate, good cuisine, good hotels, experience different
cultures and languages, enjoy new vistas.
So, stay here forever.
If you live in Bournemouth and want a change of scenery,
and wonderful vistas, then just go to the west of
the county, Lyme Regis or Abbotsbury or north to Hardy
Country. But if we include the built-up area, greater
Bournemouth so to speak, which includes Poole, Winton,
Charminster, Boscombe and Southbourne there can be
few places, if any, taking into consideration the
size of the area, with a greater choice of food. If
we include hotels, restaurants, pubs, cafes, kiosks,
take-aways and all eateries, there must be in excess
of 1,500 and from every nationality. Never will we
go hungry here. The latest is a Chinese buffet restaurant,
seats 440, with a mere choice of 250 dishes! So, whether
you are into fine dining, or prefer good old junk
food, move to this town. Why ever go abroad for cuisine?
usually comes top as having the best rated hotels
in the UK and also for having the best value for money.
This must be due to the sheer number and hence the
worth of competition. To fill these sometimes cosy,
sometimes huge, buildings throughout the summer, and
have sufficient guests for the rest of the year to
cover costs, must present a challenge. But the consensus
is, they are in great condition, refurbishment is
commonplace and they offer comfort and exciting places
to stay in this town. We have art deco hotels, small
intimate B&Bs, huge edifices, spectacular cliff
top locations, and many offer their own entertainment,
which just adds to the town’s tapestry and social
Bournemouth is actually
quite a new town. Seaside resorts took off in Britain,
and the rest of the world followed, thanks to the
and here the first was Christchurch in 1862, and then
Bournemouth in 1870. For the first time, the working
class could have a week off from the drudgery, squalor,
filth, danger, noise and long hours of their working
life during the Industrial Revolution, to enjoy a
holiday with clean air by the sea. Weymouth, made
popular by George 111 and his bathing machine, was
one of the world’s first seaside resorts. Bournemouth
was only founded in 1810, but it too prospered thanks
to the railway.
A major aspect associated
with Bournemouth are the giant trees, particularly
its Scots and Maritime Pines (and also Monterey and
Corsican Pines), but the entire area was actually
pure flat heathland, and 3 million pine trees were
planted for health, timber, and later for their aesthetic
beauty. Richmond has the most species of trees in
Britain at 247, but Bournemouth is right up there
with 210. Then there are the 'Chines', a word only
ever used by on the Isle of Wight and in Dorset. These
are the gorges, small valleys of flora and rock, hewn
out by time and water, and running down to the coast.
It even has its own
micro climate, is warmer than the surrounding areas,
but as it is already located in the sunny South, it
is just about the warmest place in the UK. So this
has always been a feature in the town’s growth,
when in earlier days, the pleasing climate together
with the smell of pines was associated with good health.
Bournemouth is associated
with old people, cups of warm cocoa, early to bed
and moaning about ‘The youngsters today,’
but anyone who now visits the town will see the reverse
– it is actually a very ‘young town’.
I am amongst the oldest here, hopefully regarded as
a miserable old git. In Hayling Island, I was considered
a youngster, patted on the head with affection and
addressed as ‘Sonny boy.’ Here, it is
full of language students, more language colleges
than the rest of Britain combined, plus the University,
together with Bournemouth & Poole College. So,
if you want foreign culture, if you want foreign languages,
foreign food, come to Bournemouth. There is no point
in going anywhere else for any reason.
are so many events that it is hard to keep pace at
times. A million people will visit and watch the annual
Air Festival from along the seafront, which is held
over 4 days. Twice a week throughout the summer there
is a firework display, every Sunday classic cars are
displayed by the pier – but we could go on and
on. Just outside of the boundary, both Christchurch
and Poole Quays are renowned for their arts and crafts,
food fairs etc. The 'grockles' are a pleasure, the
seaside-type holiday appeals to those nicer sort of
people. The pleasure of children playing in the sand,
bathing in the sea, surely surpasses being in front
of a computer. We cherish our own memories from our
youth, and it is always unbridled pleasure, never
sand in the sandwiches, or cloudy days. Be happy forever
and move here.
(Okay - there are in
truth two things I do not like and firstly is the
noise pollution. A large respected hardware shop,
greets you with blaring music, all day every day.
Are we really incapable of going without noise for
5 minutes whilst buying some light bulbs, and more
particularly, how is this for the staff who may not
appreciate it for 40 hours a week? Furthermore, everyone
is on the phone, all the time (or so it seems), and
many make sure we hear their conversations. “I’m
at the beans,” rings out loud and clear at the
supermarkets, as if we have the slightest interest.
I did say earlier that there were no disadvantages
to living in Bournemouth and I will modify this. Noise
pollution is endemic to all towns and cities and not
just here, and is going to present a major problem
in the future. But, I digress.
Secondly The one aspect
which I and my friends have experienced is the hostility
shown to drivers, particularly car owners, and beware
of parking. Extortionate fines are imposed by private
companies if you do not observe the signs. I presently
owe one company £400 for a single parking fine,
which obviously, will never be paid. Secondly, the
Police have cameras seemingly everywhere, and I am
now on 9 points, and driving like a snail. We have
never seen as many cameras anywhere else, and tourists
are trapped by exceeding the limit by the smallest
amount. The main dual-carriageway, the Wessex Way,
will suddenly reduce its speed limit to 40 MPH. Why?
There should be huge signs warning motorists about
this, so is this simply to achieve targets and get
money? This seems to be the common perception here,
but one wonders if these targets, and the parking
fines, will mean that some tourists will never visit
again. So, if visiting Bournemouth, do look out for
the speed limits, and where you park.)
The town centre is
not great for wildlife, although Peregrine Falcons
nest annually at the Lansdowne Tower.
reside by Horseshoe Common and get an over-abundance
of Carrion Crows, Magpies, a regular pair of Jays,
Herring Gulls, and am overrun by Grey Squirrels, so
small birds would stand no chance of raising chicks.
Horseshoe Common has a good wildlife pond, but unfortunately
is often full of cans and bottles. A map of Bournemouth
shows a large green space, Meyrick Park, which is
okay, but not great for wildlife, again loads of squirrels
(as is the Pleasure Gardens), and largely taken up
by the golf course.
However, it is surrounded
by green spaces, nature reserves and parks; Turbary
Common, Iford Meadows, Millham Meads, Slades Farm,
it has more green space than virtually any other town
in Britain for its size. But best of all are the Cliffs
– Bournemouth, Canford, Boscombe, Southbourne
and Branksome. These not only stretch for 7 miles
and are huge, but are undisturbed and fenced off,
and face south so a real suntrap. Ideal for butterflies.
They have vast quantities of Wall Lizards and also
home to the large exotic Green Lizards, seen here
and nowhere else in the UK. The theory is these both
of these species are probably descended from escapes
from boats at Southampton or Poole, then discovered
these suntraps which turned out to be absolutely perfect,
with plenty of cover, insects and sun.
There are said to be
rougher areas, parts of Southbourne and Boscombe,
but these locations are on the whole, still beautiful.
There is of course a drug problem but considering
how many young people abide here, it seems to be less
in comparison to similar sized college towns. Bournemouth
alone has 14 nightclubs, more than anywhere else for
its size, but again, seems to incur fewer problems
than this statistic might suggest. Traffic in Bournemouth
itself seems not to be a problem, even in the height
of summer, and keeps moving, primarily because of
the dual-carriageway that bisects the town (although
in fairness the outskirts, and roads into town do
The seafront is spectacular,
with views to the Isle of Purbeck to the west, and
Hengistbury Head, the Isle of Wight and the Needles
to the east. Like most seaviews around Britain, indeed
around the world, it is devoid of shipping, unlike
my last home at Hayling Island with the ever-busy
Solent. But that aside, it affords one of the great
vistas of Britain.
So, if anyone of you
still waver or decide not to move to Bournemouth,
then perhaps it is time to consult a specialist. Tourists
come here for pleasure, so why not indulge yourself
and enjoy these pleasures 365 days a year? Do move
here today. Step just outside of the town and you
have the most scenic, and the best wildlife county
in the UK, in my not-so-humble opinion. Check out
the Dorset Article on this website.
To reiterate: Bournemouth
is the best place I have ever lived in, and I can
honestly say there is nothing (apart from the war
on the car) that I do not like about my apartment,
the county and this beautiful vibrant town.
Move here without