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In the centre of the Dorset coast, Bournemouth offers an international, cosmopolitan charm that makes it a premiere travel destination during all times of the year. But the city’s mixture of urban and outdoor charm makes it a perfect locale during the winter months as well.

The city offers seven miles of sands and warmer-than-average UK temperatures. With historic gardens, homes and a thriving university, consider booking an amazing Dorset cottage holiday in Bournemouth today. To get the best and latest tourist information, be sure to visit the city’s local tourist board at

Here are some ideas to enjoy your winter holiday in Bournemouth:

Brisk wintery air on the coast

Some of Bournemouth’s most alluring attractions are the 2,000 acres of parks and gardens. Cutting a path from the sea coast northwards, the gardens are perfect for strolling. The Lower, Central and Upper Gardens are Grade II listed and date back to the Victorian era. Although the gardens host a number of events throughout the year, they are especially lovely during the colder months. From December into January, the Christmas Gardens of Light event puts on impressive illuminations to light up the night skies.

Although chilly, the water is by no means off limits to outdoor enthusiasts. One of the leaders in winter adventure is the Coastal Activity Park. Opened in April 2014, the park covers over 1km of the seafront area in Boscombe and is home to both water-based and land-based adventure activities.

The park is a unique holiday attraction. It combines seafront activities, sport and other events. There are extreme sports, ways to relax and enjoy the seaside, and educational opportunities as well.

In the winter, you can have coffee or tea overlooking the beach, catch a fish or two off the pier, or enjoy the on-site spa. At this time of the year, there is a special focus on indoor activities like rock climbing, table tennis and gym sports.

Enjoying the indoors

When in Bournemouth, there are a number of great indoor attractions too. A world-class venue, the Bournemouth International Centre (BIC) hosts pop concerts, conferences and exhibitions throughout the year. Just across the road, the brilliant architectural gem, the Pavilion Theatre, hosts West End shows, dance performances and pantomimes.

In January, the BIC is hosting the Rock Ice Rink – a family-orientated indoor ice skating experience. Cinderella on Ice will be performed from 14 to 17 January. Shows this winter include the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra at the Pavilion Theatre, and pop sensation Jason Derulo performs at the BIC in February.

The Russel-Cotes House is one of the last Victorian homes to be built in England. It is now a museum, gallery and well-kept garden. In the venue’s winter exhibition, they examine the role of animals in our world. They have been pets, worshipped sometimes as gods, and often exploited for food and trophies. Visitors are asked to explore the issues in this unique artistic display. The exhibition explores the relationship between humankind and the animal world as depicted though art.

The famous pier

Within the last year, Bournemouth’s Pier Approach area has been completely redesigned and renovated. At the site, there is a new, all-year-round tourist information centre. Substantial investment was also made to Bournemouth’s popular all-weather attraction, the Oceanarium – including the creation of a new penguin enclosure.

The original pier was a 100-foot jetty built in 1856. It was replaced five years later by a 1,000-foot wooden structure. Bandstands, covers and shelters were added at the turn of the century. Partially destroyed to discourage invasion during World War II, the current concrete pier was rebuilt in both 1950 and 1960.

Today, the pier is home to an arcade and shops. It is also home to the world’s first and only pier-to-shore zip wire. Operated by RockReef, this unique attraction allows thrill-seekers to enjoy the views even in the cold of winter. There is also an indoor rock climbing venue on the pier. Beyond the zip wire, there is food and dining at the attraction as well. Grab some lunch, warm drinks, or a cocktail surrounded by amazing views of the city’s coastline and the ever-present sea.

Image Credit: Bournemouth Tourism