Overnight stay in Bournemouth – 11-12th April 2013
We enjoyed an excellent, if chilly, overnight stay down in Bournemouth.
I decided to take a couple of days off to spend with the family during the Easter holidays, culminating in a surprise night away in Bournemouth. We hadn’t even mentioned to the girls that I was having time off work, let alone where we were going!
Accordingly, Sarah and I packed bags and stowed them in the boot of the car on Wednesday evening.
On Thursday morning we were able to head off soon after 9am and the girls realised fairly soon into the journey that we were heading for Bournemouth.
We arrived in a somewhat bracing Bournemouth to scenes of change near the pier. Surprisingly, it had been over a year since our last visit and there seemed to be several instances of work being carried out. The old iMax cinema which had closed in 2005, had all but been demolished. The building is being cleared to reopen the sea views and create an open air space used to host outdoor events. There was further refurbishment work being carried out in the Winter Gardens.
We went down to the beach and enjoyed a walk along the pier, eating our picnic lunch while watching surfers tackling some impressive waves beside the pier.
Afterwards, we walked down to the end of the pier and the girls chose various rides from those on offer.
We walked down onto the beach for a while and the girls enjoyed playing on the sand. Afterwards we walked through the Winter Gardens into town to defrost with a hot drink in Marks and Spencer.
The sun had appeared during our time in the town centre and we had a walk along the sea-front before heading back to the car at around 4pm.
Rebekah wanted to see where we had stayed when we were last in Bournemouth and this proved to be the ideal time for our surprise for the girls. We were able to drive to where the hotels are located on West Cliff and turn into the car park of one of them.
Predictably the girls had similar amounts of surprise and delight when it transpired that we would be spending the night in Bournemouth!
We checked in to the Mount Stuart Hotel and were told that we would be the only guests at breakfast so we could choose what time we wanted it!
Our room was typical of the hotels in Bournemouth: slightly passed its best, in need of a lick of paint and with somewhat elderly furniture. The main room contained three beds – a double and two singles. A further single bed was in an adjoining room which had had its door removed in an effort to incorporate it into the main room. There was a small ensuite bathroom which contained a toilet, sink and shower. The floor in various places was some way off being level, but it all added to the character of the building. It was perfectly serviceable for our requirements and we unpacked and got ready to go out for dinner.
We decided to head down to Harry Ramsden’s for dinner and enjoyed freshly cooked fish and chips before walking back to the hotel in the evening sunshine.
After a reasonable night’s sleep, we trooped downstairs to enjoy breakfast – served from a small bar in the hotel. Cereals were followed by a tasty, freshly cooked English breakfast.
Once we had cleared up and packed the car, it was time to head down to the beach again.
We managed to endure the chilly wind for some time while the girls played on the beach. Eventually we headed into town to refuel at Greggs before a final visit to the beach as the weather closed in, ahead of the return trip home.
It had been a brief, but enjoyable break.