Beautiful beaches, buzzing nightlife, and a bounty of parks all help to make Bournemouth a number one student destination.

Bournemouth is big enough to feel like a city, but small enough to feel like a town. You won't get bored because there's so much to do, but you won't be overwhelmed either. It's a seaside town, but has parks, clubs, [and] most shops you'd find in a shopping centre. (Third year student, Bournemouth University)

What Bournemouth's famous for...

Beaches

Bournemouth's seven miles of golden sand is ranked 'best in the country' by TripAdvisor awards. 

Bournemouth nightlife, according to students

The nightlife in Bournemouth is absolutely wild. There’s a bit of something for everyone. Most people tend to stick to Cameo, Halo, and The Old Fire Station, but Walkabout and Revolution are popular too. There’s lots of pubs and late night bars as well. (Second year student, Bournemouth University)

Westbourne

Westbourne Urban Village is the destination in Bournmouth for shopping and food!

Bournemouth nightlife, according to students

All of the main clubs and bars are in Lansdowne (where student accommodation is situated), and stretch towards the town centre, just a short walk away. Literally any day of the week you can go to a club, and it will be busy. Don’t worry if you don’t enjoy nights out though. There are lots of lovely bars or restaurants in town that do great food, mocktails/cocktails, mini golf [etc.]! (Third year student, Bournemouth University)

Air festival

Marvel at spitfires, Lanasters, and the spectaular Red Arrows at the UK's biggest air show. 

Student life in Bournemouth

Local gems, tips, and things to do, as recommended by students.
Treat yourself
Creams and Sprinkles do amazing desserts, or visit Revolution or Ojo Rojo for cocktails. (Second year student, Bournemouth University)
Low on cash
The beach is fun and free, all year round. The Oceanarium: Bournemouth Aquarium is fun, and not too expensive if you book online and get a student discount. (Third year student, Bournemouth University)
Sunday chilling
The beach. Walk along far enough, and you can get to Sandbanks – much quieter than Bournemouth, and just as pretty. (Bournemouth University student)
Catch up with mates
Pause Cat cafe is a lovely place for cat lovers. There are a variety of bubble tea places. (Second year student, Bournemouth University)
Feeling cultural
There are museums like [the] Russell-Cotes Museum, as well as the BNSS [Bournemouth Natural Science Society]. Chaplin's hosts live music nights, as does The Anvil in Lansdowne. (Third year student, Bournemouth University)
When family visit
Noodle Bar and Bournemouth Steak House are good, if a bit more expensive. The beach and seaside attractions are fun for the family. There's also rock climbing and ziplining on the pier. (Third year student, Bournemouth University)
Friday night out
There are lots of cocktail bars, including Chaplin's which is one of the most beautiful, quirky bars you'll ever visit. At Christmas, you can go to the market/ice rink in the main square. (Second year student, Bournemouth University)
Grab a bite
Noodle Bar is one of the best places to go for students – big portions and good prices, especially with an A-List card. (Second year student, Bournemouth University)

Bournemouth in pictures

Bournemouth Pier

On Bournemouth Pier, enjoying the ocean. Even if the sea is too cold for a swim, you can still wrap up warm and go paddle in wellies lol. (Sophia, third year student at Bournemouth University)

Christmas ice skating rink

Bournemouth has a pop-up ice skating rink in the Gardens, every winter. During my first year, I went with a couple of my new friends, and taught them how to ice skate. (Esme, Bournemouth University student)

Bournemouth Beach

(Sophia, third year student at Bournemouth University)

Living in Bournemouth, according to students

Winton is next to both the Arts University and BU. It's known for being the student hub, and most second and third years end up here. It's got a long high street, with lots of charity shops which are great for clothes shopping. It's around ten minutes to uni from my house, which is near a Lidl. There are two bus services (Blue and Yellow) which are frequent enough, with bus cards available. (Third year student, Bournemouth University)

Bournemouth sunset

I took this photo walking around with my sister the first time she came to visit. I was worried that seeing her would make me miss home, but this view really calmed me, and cemented my view that being in Bournemouth was the right choice. (Esme, Bournemouth University student)

Living in Bournemouth

Housing, travel, and budgeting tips.

Living in Bournemouth, according to students

Boscombe is cheap compared to central Bournemouth. It has fantastic bus routes that you can get anywhere on, and they come regularly. Boscombe has its own shopping centre, beautiful garden, and pier. It takes me ten minutes tops to walk to the beach, through the gardens. There are plenty of food places [whether] you want to eat out, or order in. There are also many pubs if you just fancy a drink without heading 'out out'. Boscombe had a bad name years ago, but it has improved so much. The bad name has lingered, but please don't let it put you off until you have taken a look! (Third year student, Bournemouth University)
Local transport*
  • £15.00
  • 7 day network ticket
  • (Bus)
Where you'll find students*
  • Winton
  • Westbourne
  • Boscombe
*Average mean rents via Spareroom.co.uk (Feb 2017). Value for money via Which? University Survey 2016. Local transport via local operators' website.

Student money tips

Parking can be difficult as it's a seaside town, and expensive near the seafront. However, there are a few OK priced multi-storey parking lots. If people are visiting [and] you need all-day parking, the Glen Fern multi-storey is the cheapest. Get the UniBus year bus pass if you live in the centre of town, but [if you’re] anywhere else, get the yellow bus year pass. (Third year student, University of Bournemouth)

The cost of living as a student soon adds up, us our budget calculator to find out roughly how much you'll need each month.

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