Best Local Attractions in Bournemouth
Published on by Angela Carlin-Brown
Bournemouth Pier development was completed in 1856, making the first pier in Bournemouth. Although it was not what it is today, it was a short, wooden structure called a ‘jetty.’ In 1861 it was redesigned into a much longer pier, but the wooden frame would need to be changed in 1866 to cast iron due to being attacked by Teredo worm. This made the structure of the pier stronger, but it wouldn’t be strong enough as, in later years, parts of the pier would be swept away during a gale, rendering it unsafe for use by the public. This pier ended up being demolished as another storm would cause further damage. Bournemouth Pier was rebuilt and opened in 1880 with a much bigger structure; the pier contained an open promenade stretching to 838ft, with an extended head of the pier to accommodate a bandstand. In 1979, a £1.7m restoration project was initiated, completed in two years, creating an octagonal leisure complex and giving it the appearance it holds today. To walk along the pier during peak season (April-October), you will pay a charge of £1.20 for adults and 80p for a child.
January 2023, BCP has been awarded £1.8m for renovation projects along Bournemouth’s seafront, including Bournemouth Pier, and to install a new cliff lift on the promenade at East Cliff. Works on Bournemouth Pier will be undertaken to give longevity to its structure. The existing building at Joseph Steps will be renovated to prepare for a new lifeguard training centre and community hub.
Bournemouth Pier is a fantastic landmark; it has something for everyone. The entrance of Bournemouth Pier has a long-standing arcade offering fun for all the family with slot machines and up-to-date video games. There are ice cream shops selling refreshments, sun cream, and sun hats, and units selling delicious hot food. Above the arcade, you’ll find Aruba, a sizeable beachside restaurant and bar overlooking Bournemouth Pier, enjoying spectacular panoramic views across the bay. Aruba serves British and international cuisine with vegetarian and vegan options. Stroll along Bournemouth Pier to the end and find RockReef Activity Centre, the famous one-of-its-kind Pier Zipwire. RockReef is a fantastic complex for adults and children, offering climbing walls, ropes courses, cave-themed tunnels with ball pits, and the not to be missed Pier Zipwire. Or why not visit Bournemouth’s Oceanarium on the beachfront at Pier Approach? The Oceanarium displays marine animals, plants, fishes, and mammals, offering entertainment, education, and scientific study. Walk through the underwater tunnel and view the aquatic life in their habitat; you might even spot Nemo, the clownfish!
The summer months get busy, so if you’re looking for a quiet spot on the beach, perhaps walk further along the golden sands, either East or West, where you’ll find a much quieter location. You can be sure to find many things to do and see at Bournemouth’s Pier Approach.
MAJOR plans to repair Bournemouth Pier, stabilise the East Cliff and create a new lifeguard training centre have been unveiled following an £18m government cash injection to transform the seafront.
Sarah Cartlidge, The Daily Echo www.bournemouthecho.co.uk
Bournemouth, Dorset BH2 5AA