Even More Reasons to Take a Nature Holiday in Bournemouth!
During the summer, Bournemouth is one of the most popular and busiest beach resorts in the British Isles. Offering miles upon miles of golden sand and a calm, balmy sea, it hardly comes as a surprise that hotels in Bournemouth are always in such high demand during the summer!
What most beachcombers who visit Bournemouth during the warmer months may not be aware of, however, is that the city is just as viable a destination during the winter. Once the weather gets cold, the seaside resort of choice for most of southern England turns into a nature-lover’s paradise, offering countless opportunities to enjoy Dorset’s natural beauty and commune with the wild. This, in turn, makes it the perfect setting for a winter-time nature holiday, and travellers wishing to enjoy a natural break during the off-season would do well to look into the possibility of making this coastal town their next target destination.
A previous article on this very blog outlined some of the many reasons a nature lover might want to book a stay in one of our Bournemouth hotels during the winter months. However, even a full article was not enough to adequately outline all of the opportunities this resort offers to lovers of natural beauty – which is why we have taken it upon ourselves to come up with a follow-up post, offering even more suggestions and tips for nature-related activities to undertake when visiting the area. Travellers heading to Dorset this winter would therefore do well to read the paragraphs below, which outline some of the places to explore when taking a natural holiday in or around Bournemouth.
Where to Go
Poole is perhaps the best-known town in Dorset after Bournemouth, and like its companion, it offers plenty for nature lovers to see and do. Aside from housing the second largest natural harbour in the world, this seaside settlement offers a particular point of interest for nature lovers, in the form of Brownsea Island.
Located at the entrance to the harbour, the Brownsea Island National Trust wildlife reserve offers a prime opportunity to see red squirrels, a species which is endangered and rare in southern England. In addition, visitors heading to the Island during the winter will have the opportunity to witness large flocks of egrets, avocets, and other such species of bird, which choose Brownsea as their roosting location for winter. Sika deer – imported from Japan in Victorian times – water voles and internationally important birds such as the bar-tailed godwit constitute further motives of interest within this reserve.
Brownsea Island is easy to access from Bournemouth, with ferries departing from that location regularly throughout the day. As such, guests staying in Bournemouth hotels owe it to themselves to make the Poole harbour island one of the focal points of their wintertime nature holiday!
The Jurassic Coast
While Bournemouth, and Dorset in general, have been shown to possess plenty of attractive spots and features for living natural history lovers, those who are enthralled by the past will be happy to know this area of Britain caters to them, as well. In fact, the so-called Jurassic Coast is one of the most famous and well-renowned natural areas in the British Isles, and any fan of wildlife, geology or both owes it to themselves to explore at least a portion of it when staying in Southern England.
Stretching across a wide portion of Dorset, the Jurassic Coast has been granted the distinction of becoming a World Heritage site, and for good reason – with over 185 million years’ history embedded into its rocks, it is a geology lover’s paradise! Fans of living wildlife will not, however, be disappointed either, as there are plenty of spots and sites for them to delight in!
Highlights of this part of Dorset include the Fleet Lagoon natural reserve and adjacent Chesil Beach, offering plenty of rare waterfowl and marine wildlife, as well as West Bexington, Durleston Head, Dancing Ledge, Lulworth Cove and Durdle Doors, with its striking stone archway. However, the entire area is well worth a visit by lovers of rock formations, quaint villages and unique wildlife!
Studland is yet another must-see spot for nature lovers enjoying a winter-time holiday in Dorset. Located on the Isle of Purbeck, this typically quaint town houses a National Trust beach and nature reserve, which will surely delight wildlife enthusiasts passing through or traveling down for the day.
Reptile lovers, in particular, will delight at the chance to see all six types of reptile commonly found in the British Isles, gathered in just one place! Even those less fond of scaly wildlife will not be left wanting, however, as the area does offer great views of the Isle of Wight and interesting rock formations to admire and explore. The village itself served as the inspiration for Toytown in Enid Blyton’s popular ‘Noddy’ series of children’s books, which may give visitors an inkling as to its quaint, old-fashioned appearance.
All things considered, it is clear that wildlife lovers, geology enthusiasts and those with a taste for typical British small towns will all find something to suit their taste when visiting the Studland area!
Isle of Wight
Finally, the Isle of Wight is yet another can’t-miss spot for nature lovers staying in Bournemouth hotels, or simply passing by the area. Accessible from Bournemouth via a dedicated ferryboat, the second most populous island in the United Kingdom offers plenty for animal and wildlife lovers to see and do.
The obvious highlights in this regard are the Isle of Wight Zoo and Amazon World, which offer an opportunity to witness some less common and mostly non-indigenous species. Those seeking a more hands-on or close to home experience, however, will be delighted to know that the Isle also houses several sanctuaries - dedicated to protecting animals as varied as donkeys, monkeys and birds of prey - and that there are plentiful opportunities for wildlife interaction, either through guided alpaca rides or whilst visiting the Tapnell Family Park.
Overall, then, there is no doubt that the Isle of Wight is another location well worth visiting when staying in or passing by Dorset!
As the paragraphs above have hopefully made clear, there are even more reasons making Bournemouth a choice destination for a winter-time nature holiday than our original article had mentioned. The Dorset region in general is a natural haven year-round, and without the throngs and crowds of summer to hamper their experience, wildlife enthusiasts may find our hotels in Bournemouth to constitute an excellent home base to come back to after a satisfying day of exploring!