What better way is there to get to know your new pals, than by taking a day trip to explore outside of Southampton? As we all know, our university boasts an excellent location enabling a quick getaway to many locations, including the beautiful Bournemouth beach.
I visited our beautiful neighbouring town Bournemouth with my friends during the summer months and we were certainly never limited for options for dining or shopping given the vast array of restaurants (student budget friendly of course) and nightclubs along the coastline- ensuring that everybody’s taste was catered for! I would urge any fresher to take this refreshing trip as soon as possible!
Worried about the cost of transportation? Don’t. The train tickets to Bournemouth were so cheap that it was difficult to decide our preferred mode of transport. Given the trip was for a large group, we decided to drive. I was fortunate that my friends were drivers who had brought their cars to university- perfect for this sort of occasion. Other than splitting the cost of petrol and a parking fee, it was not only a cheap but quick half an hour journey from the M27 before exiting onto the A338 to Bournemouth pier.
I knew that Bournemouth was a beach town, but I was blown away by its beauty! The sand, cliffs and views across the wide bay made for the perfect postcard picture! Blessed with blue skies and rays of sunshine, the day out mainly consisted of tanning on the beach! Just words of advice- bring games – cards, frisbees and footballs provided hours of entertainment on the beach and other visitors even joined in some games!
Exhausted from running around and diving for frisbees, we visited Bournemouth’s iconic Harry Ramsden’s restaurant by the pier for a traditional meal of fish and chips. And for dessert? My childhood favourite 99p flake from an ice cream van?
Whilst our food digested, we packed up our belongings from the beach and headed over to the town centre for some window shopping. The streets were lined with niche boutiques and sweet emporiums. We took a stroll along Bournemouth’s tranquil Victorian Gardens. It kind of reminded me of Kew Gardens in London!
Unsurprisingly, we ended up spending more time than planned in town and unfortunately had no time to visit Bournemouth’s Oceanarium. Having seen there was no queue, we did all however do the zipline off the pier! It was incredible and a once in a lifetime experience! I would urge everyone to give it a go- regardless of swimming capabilities!
If I had more time, I would have left for Bournemouth earlier so that I had time to walk the 16km sandy coastal strip from Old Harry’s Rocks in the west all the way to Christchurch in the east. Nevertheless, we had an enthralling day breaking away from our standard routine and even made it back to halls before rush hour traffic began!