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Campsites in Bournemouth, Dorset

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24 bookable campsites within 15 miles of Bournemouth

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The best things about Bournemouth

Beaches, cliffs and chines

Ready to hit the beach? Bournemouth has seven miles of well-maintained golden sand for sunbathing, swimming or strolling barefoot along the shoreline. This part of South West England is renowned for its coastal scenery, but Bournemouth is arguably one of the best places to pick if you’re looking for beaches that are spacious, accessible and family-friendly. 

Another big plus is that the views never get samey in this part of the world – Bournemouth’s consistently flat and sandy beaches contrast with a backdrop of cliffs and chines where you can stroll through some of the town's best parks. To see the coast from a new perspective, queue up for a ride on the West Cliff Railway or head to the stunning Alum Chine Tropical Gardens.

World-class events

As Dorset’s largest town, there’s something exciting going on in Bournemouth pretty much all year round, whether you’re heading here in summer for the amazing aeronautic feats of the Bournemouth Air Festival or are waiting for winter and the German-inspired Christmas Market. 

Other headline events include the cracking combination of sports and music that is the Bournemouth 7s Festival, open-air concerts in the park from the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and, in nearby Blandford Forum, the inimitable Great Dorset Steam Fair. 

An excellent location

Located on Dorset’s doorstep, Bournemouth is in an excellent location for all sorts of excursions, from forays into Hampshire and the New Forest National Park to day trips to other nearby seaside resorts like Weymouth or Poole

Bournemouth station is a major regional rail hub, with speedy trains that can get you to London in under two hours and Birmingham in just over three. There’s also an airport just 15 minutes’ drive from the town centre that serves a wide range of domestic and international destinations.

Top things to do when camping or glamping in Bournemouth

The best attractions in Bournemouth

For family-friendly attractions, take the kids ice skating at the Bournemouth International Centre, get acquainted with the aquatic life at the seafront Oceanarium or head down to the pier with a pocketful of loose change and work your way round the amusement arcades. More of our favourites in and around the town centre include:

  • RockReef Activity Centre and Pier Zip

  • Bournemouth Big Wheel 

  • Surf Steps (for surfing and watersports lessons)

  • Miniature golf in the Lower Gardens

  • St Peter’s Church, home to the tomb of Frankenstein author Mary Shelley 

The best attractions within a 30-minute drive of Bournemouth

  • Hengistbury Head, a nature reserve near Christchurch with spectacular views over the Isle of Wight

  • Poole Harbour and Brownsea Island, birthplace of the Scouting movement

  • Moors Valley Country Park and Forest, Ringwood

  • Monkey World, Wareham

  • Paultons Park and Peppa Pig World, Romsey

Unexplored Bournemouth

Curios from near and far

Bournemouth is best enjoyed outdoors, but when it’s time for a break from the sun head to the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum and step into its extravagant late-Victorian world.

This unusual seaside villa is filled to the brim with exceptional artworks, with a rich mix of furniture, paintings, interiors and sculpture from all over the world. This dramatic backdrop is also where you’ll find Bournemouth’s brilliant collection of British art, much of it in the lavishly languid Pre-Raphaelite style. 

Offbeat town tours

While Bournemouth’s tried and tested open-top tour bus makes for many interesting excursions, for something a little more unusual get in touch with Frieda’s TeaBus and tuck into a Dorset cream tea while taking in the gorgeous sea views. 

If you’d rather pedal past Bournemouth’s beach huts and piers, Kool Cycle Hire on the West Cliff can get you kitted out with tandems, Dutch-style cycles or sturdy mountain bikes, depending on the kind of trip you have in mind. 

Bournemouth’s eastern edge

If the beaches are thronging with daytrippers and you’re after some well-earned rest, head east towards the genteel suburbs of Southbourne and Tuckton. This laidback area on the border with Christchurch is also home to low-key attractions like pedalos and a riverside tea rooms, making it just the ticket for whiling away an afternoon far from the crowds of the town centre. 

Here’s how

This part of South West England’s coast has it all, from action-packed Bournemouth caravan parks with live entertainment to quiet farm sites where it’s all about relaxing around a campfire. Luckily, it’s easy to find the Bournemouth break you’re looking for with our handy tick-box filters, helping you to narrow down your search by themes, facilities and nearby leisure options.

 Some of our users’ most popular queries include: 

Yet to find the site that gets your seal of approval? Broaden your search to find campsites and self-catering rentals near the beach in the wider South West region, or consider other top southern seaside resorts like Weymouth, Brighton or Croyde