Colourful beach huts in BournemouthI started this year with the intention of enjoying more stays on home turf than usual - and I'm pleased to say, I've kept to the plan! Knowing good weather was on the horizon, I booked a stay in Bournemouth for last week, packed my suitcase and headed for the beach.  Having only ever spent fleeting moments at the seaside resort, I was pretty excited to spend a few slow-paced days there. It was the kind of staycation that had no pressures, no plans and no rain - bliss!  So, with three days to play with, what was on the agenda?

WHERE TO STAY


The year before last, I'd treated my dad on Father's Day to afternoon tea at the Highcliff Marriott Hotel.  It's safe to say I left with a really good impression of the hotel on the hill, seeing it become my automatic first choice for accommodation in Bournemouth.  Staying in a Sea View Superior Room, the views were incredible and served as the dreamiest start and finish to each day.  Believe me when I say you can very quickly become attached to the sound of waves and seagulls joining you for breakfast.  A highlight of the hotel has to be the hilltop location, it reminded me in so many ways of my fave Agatha Christie's Poirot locations - there's even a funicular running down to the beach, directly beneath the hotel!  My advice?  Book a room with a view, no compromise.

Bournemouth Highcliff Marriott Hotel
105 St. Michael's Road
Bournemouth
BH2 5DU
Marriott Highcliff Hotel in Bournemouth
Ralph Lauren luxury red holdall bag
Bag - Ralph Lauren  |  Suitcase - Antler Prism Embossed Suitcase
Travel blogger looking out of hotel window

WHAT TO WEAR

Needless to say, the weather will vary.  However, as with most UK seaside resorts, there's a general unspoken rule when it comes to the dress code in summer: keep it casual, and wear layers.  You never know when the sun will come out and toast you - and/or convince you to whip down to the beach!  Personally?  I opted for a combination of denim, skirts and loose-fitting tops.  You're unlikely to come across any high-heels in Bournemouth (I know, it was a core-shaking discovery), but the low-key nature of the place totally accommodates it and before you know it, you are at one with trainers and sandals.  There are just as many elderly people in the area as there are young students, and so it's fascinating to see the mix of fashions and cultures - particularly by night in the Botanical Gardens, for some reason!
View of Bournemouh beach from above
Bournemouth Pier from a distance
Blue embroidered Topshop smock top
Long sleeve embroidered smock topLightweight and loose-fitting blouses for summer can be total life savers, so I've done the hard work for you and listed a few below - happy browsing!

Line of beach huts next to sand
Long sleeve blue striped smock top
Navy blue Valentino chain strap bag

WHERE TO EAT

Okay, so most food eaten on this staycation was done either at the Highcliff Marriott Hotel, or while walking from one place to another; chocolate in one hand, diet pepsi in the other.  Oops.  I'll be the first to admit my diet can get pretty unhealthy when travelling!  However, when I wasn't munching on the go, a low-key meal at Prezzo was on the cards in a striking corner period building, along with a snack in the café of the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum (blog post coming soon).  Oh and don't forget to dip into Harry Ramsden's for 'world famous' fish and chips! 
Fashion blog minimal style black t shirt dress
Seriously, is there anything better than enjoying breakfast in your dressing gown while gazing out of the window?  Should you find yourself staying at the Bournemouth Highcliff Marriott Hotel anytime soon, be sure to pop a couple of muffins on your room service request and wake up a little earlier than usual.  During the summer, each early morning brings out the joggers, swimmers and dog-walkers.    
Marriott Highcliff room service breakfast
What to wear in Bournemouth in summer tourist

WHAT TO DO

It's easy to fall into a fairly slow pace while visiting Bournemouth, the atmosphere is relaxed and nobody seems to be in much of a hurry.  That said, there's still quite a bit to keep you occupied!  Above all else, you have to visit the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum; the museum is full of treasures from all over the world, the gallery is extensive and even includes a dreamy, designated Pre-Raphaelite section, and the gardens are spectacularly beautiful - complete with rose arches and a fountain! Walking alongside the beach (and pier) is a task in itself and one that can take hours depending on how far you're willing to walk. Also, alongside the more well-known features, such as the big wheel, there are relaxed gardens just 50m away; an equal distance from both beach and shops (mostly the usual high street suspects).  My advice would be to enjoy the gardens by day, as the atmosphere changes quite a bit past 9pm.  
Bournemouth Beach and Sea in Summer
Bournemouth yellow and blue tourist trainThe weather couldn't have been better in Bournemouth, as the UK has been enjoying a surge of heat lately!  Truthfully, I had no idea I'd find the seaside resort so relaxing; it has a funny way of calming you down and reminding you there's no rush - at least, when the sun shines!  Have you visited Bournemouth before?  I'd love to hear your thoughts on the place!

With love,

Gabrielle x