JUN 25,2016 - JUN 25,2016 (1 DAYS)
Main attractions: Bournemouth Pavillion, Bournemouth Aviary,Bournemouth Lower, Central and Upper Gardens, Coy Pond, Talbot Heath Nature Reserve, The Square, Bournemouth Pier.
Start & End: Bournemouth mainline railway station. Duration: 1 day.
Weather: bright or cloudy day. Distance: 13-14 km.
Introduction: With 10 km. of golden sands and sea, the cosmopolitan town of Bournemouth has it all: wealth of festivals and events, variety of shops, restaurants and holiday accommodation, seafront hotels, quality B&Bs, vibrant nightlife and winning gardens and countryside.
Itinerary: From Bournemouth station turn LEFT (south-east) to turn RIGHT (South-west)) and join Holdenhurst Road. Follow the blue/white sign of "City Centre". On our left is the Unisys apartments' complex:
Keep walking south-west along Holdenhurst Road until you arrive to the Lansdowne Point, and, further, to the Lansdowne Roundabout. If you continue on the same road and direction you continue south-west along Bath Road and the Ramada Hotel on your right. With the Royal Bath Hotel on your left - turn RIGHT (North-west) to Westover Road. Immediately in the beginning of Westover - you see the Bournemouth Pavillion on your left. The Pavilion Theatre is Bournemouth's iconic venue for year round exhibition, stage shows, Opera, Ballet, fashion shows, Pantomime and Comedy as well as for corporate presentations and dinner dances, product launches and small conferences. . Built in the 1920s, opened in 1927 by The Duke of Gloucester. and refurbished in 2007 - it retains its nostalgic and elegant styling. Open: everyday: 10.00 - 17.30:
On our right are the Odeon Cinema. A bit further, on your left is the Bournemouth Aviary, 26-29 Westover Rd. The main purpose of the aviary is a rescue centre for captive-bred caged birds. The aviary is, actually, in the most upper part of the Lower Gardens (see below). Open all-year around and everyday. The Aviary was originally maintained by Bournemouth Council, but it is now run entirely by volunteers. Most of our birds are rescued, or have been born at Bournemouth Aviary. Free entrance:
Taking Westover Road to its end, turn RIGHT (north-east) to Gervis Place. On your right is the Arcade (also known as Gervis Arcade or the Royal Arcade) - Entertainment Centre which is located at the entrance to Bournemouth Pier. The Arcade is a whole shopping trip in itself:
Behind the Arcade complex - we see the top spire of Saint Peter Church. We leave the Gervis Square and turn left (south-west) to the Lower Gardens. Bournemouth Gardens run for 3.5 km. from south-east to north-west. The Gardens are divided into four named sections (from south to north): The lower part - the Lower Gardens, in the town centre, from the Pier Approach to The Square, is naturally the busier section and also the more formal. The farther upstream, the less formal and manicured, the more unspoilt and the less frequently visited; the Central Gardens, from the The Square to Wessex Way; the Upper Gardens, from Wessex Way to Branksome Wood Road; the Coy Pond Gardens, alongside the pond of that name (see below). We could approach the Lower Gardens from the Pavilion or from the Pier Approach, turn right (north) and embark on the most southern stretch of the gardens (Lower Gardens) before we reach Gervis Place. These gardens are a beautiful part of Bournemouth and are kept in a superb condition by the council staff. They are beautifully kept and are almost litter- free:
Sometimes you can see The Bournemouth Eye in the Lower Gardens, the tethered balloon gives rides up above the Bournemouth town:
We shall walk in the Lower Gardens along the Bourne Stream from
south-east to north-west. The distance from Bournemouth Pier to Coy Pond (see below) is approx. 3.5 km. The stream is running through ALL the THREE gardens. They get busy during the day, especially, in bright days. crowded in good weather. Great fun to watch the squirrels climbing the trees and looking for nuts and seeds in the grass.
When we see The Square and the Town Hall and Methodist Church on our right (north) - it is here where the Lower Gardens end and the Central Gardens start. We shall return to these places later:
View from the Cenotaph (in the border between the Lower Gardens and the Central gardens) to St. Peter Church:
The Central Gardens extend from the town centre to Prince of Wales Street. The Central Gardens are well signed. They have a play area with wooden equipment, attractive parkland, a cafe and tennis courts. Access is from Bourne Avenue and Avenue Road. Remember, from here until Coy Pond - no toilets or refreshments !
Crossing the Prince of Wales street - we start the Upper Gardens. There are TWO paths fro here. Both of them leading to Coy Pond. The two paths are bordered by posh mansions and villas of locals. The Upper Gardens have a more natural feel and planting. As you walk along you’ll see a number of little red bridges that cross the stream and a lovely old folly which is now home to bats. The gardens will eventually lead you to ornamental rockeries and Coy Pond, from here on the path is unpaved and can be boggy so it’s not suitable for wheelchair users. The Upper Gardens were originally laid out as a private garden for the Durrant family in the 1860s. The Upper gardens have a “three continent” theme with three separate sections. The first has a European theme, the second an Asian Theme and finally the third theme is based on plant species from North America. The Upper gardens hold many unusual tree species including a North American Giant Redwood (believed to be the largest in the country) and a group of mature Persian Ironwood trees. Many of the trees in this garden were planted during the later part of the 19th century and are well over 100 years old. Within the Upper Gardens there are a number of wooden walkways that allow the visitor to stroll through the lush but boggy foliage and at first hand inspect the rare and uncommon species growing there. Although more of a “nature trail” than the other two gardens, the Upper Gardens are still very accessible and require no special footwear. They are by far the quietest of the three gardens. The TREE TRAIL: There is an excellent computerized leaflet including the trees' guide along the Upper Gardens (and a bit from the Central Gardens): http://www.bournemouth.gov.uk/Parks/FindParksGardens/Documents/BournemouthTreeTrail-2011-final-lowres.pdf
Sowarra Cypress in the Upper Gardens:
As you walk into the first section you are greeted by a rather elegant Gothic style Victorian water tower, fashioned after a castle turret. In bygone days this used to provide water for a fountain and was fed, in turn by a pump driven by a water wheel from the nearby river Bourne:
Beyond the Tower we pass a bridge and a small waterfall:
We continue walking north-west along the Bourne stream until our path is met by the Branksome Wood Road. Here, start the Coy Pond Gardens and we face the Coy Pond itself (the borough of Poole). Coy Pond was created in 1888 at the time the railway embankment was constructed behind it; its name is a reminder of a previous life as a decoy pond. The tranquil pond and gardens are an idyllic picnic space adorned with weeping willows that dominate the banks of the Bourne stream and forming an almost continuous canopied corridor of trees (Cypresses and astonishing Redwoods) from Branksome Wood Road to the railway embankment. Overall, the collection of trees and plants is stunning. The pond and its gardens is a popular destination with local people and is an ideal venue to have a picnic. The pond is now fronted on three sides by residential properties and by Coy Pond Gardens to the south. It features a wooded island. The pond is fluent with number of waterfowl species including Coots, Moorhens, Mallards and Canada Geese:
Continue northward along Coy Pond Road, Thwalte Rd and slight right (north-east) to Wren Crescent. Now, we take a desolated section of walking. AVOID IT IN CASE OF RAIN ! The Wren Crescent turns 180 degrees to the LEFT (west). We climb along the Wren Crescent (passing under a red bridge with its red ballards).
We turn RIGHT (north) to Dalling Road. In the end of Dalling Rd. we turn RIGHT (east) to the Bourne Valley and the Talbot Heath Nature Reserve (no shelter, except of trees - in case of rain):
We take the main firm gravel path. In every intersection - we slight or turn RIGHT. After 15 minutes of walk we arrive to the East Avenue. In addition to the heath you will fine stream-side wooded vegetation, some attractive woodland (predominantly oak and silver birch), an area of grassland with chalk influences and some wild scrub along the valley bottom:
We end our crossing of the Bourne Valley (from west to east) in the East Avenue. Walk eastward along East Avenue and turn RIGHT (south) to Rothersay Rd. On our right is the Talbot School:
Turn RIGHT (south-west) (NOT LEFT) to Glenferness Ave. In the end of Glenferness Ave - we turn LEFT (east) to Barnksome Road walking a long way eastward. We can walk approx. 3.2 km along Branksome Road until we arrive to The Square OR we can turn right to Bournemouth Gardens (Brunstead Rd or further south in the Prince of wales- to the Upper Gardens, Queens Rd to the Central Gardens). Anyway, depending on the weather, all these options will bring us to The Square. The Square is a busy place both by day and by evening, being right in the heart of Bournemouth City. There are seven roads leading to and from all parts of the borough that converge in this square. The seven roads are: Avenue Rd, Bourne Ave, Commercial Rd, Gervis Place, Exeter Rd, Old Christchurch Rd and Richmond Hill.
A lovely place to sit and watch the world go by: restaurants, bars, cafe's, cinemas, top world famous hotels (The Royal Bath) including the just built Hilton, beggars, street-sellers etc'. The Square separates the Central Gardens from the Lower Gardens (all under the square). The Square has undergone a number of facelifts in the last 200 years since Bournemouth was officially founded in 1810 by Lewis Tregonwell. Since year 2000 the square has been almost totally pedestrianized. This year marks the the turn of this square: It is a vibrant and exciting place to be. You feel in with the crowds, thousands of shoppers (the square is FULL with market stalls but no shops). The surrounding gardens and the flowers beds give it a lovely feel.
Food market in The Square:
Since we entered the Lower Gardens from The Square (in the beginning of our itinerary) - we'll complete our last section of these wonderful gardens by walking along the first section, not yet explored - from Bournemouth Pier to The Square:
The Bournemouth Pier lies behind the southern edge of the Lower Gardens. Off season it's free to get on the pier, during the main season there is a small fee to get on (£1.00 admission for entry). Quite average. At the pier entrance you'll find a large arcade with the latest games, a number of units selling everything from ice-cream to sun hats, postcards and lots more. On a sunny day you will have blue skies in the background and the beautiful, award winning beaches. On the pier itself you'll find the Rock Reef activity centre, a new climbing wall, zip line (flying fox) (at the end of the promenade, where you can descend from a large tower to the beach below) and Key West Restaurant. Deckchairs along the pier for just £3 for the day. Lovely views all around and great pics can be taken. The beach is a bit dated out BUT full with activity and holidaymakers:
From the Bournemouth Pier to the mainline train station - we have to walk back for 1.8 km. From Bournemouth Pier head northeast on W Undercliff Promenade, 55 m. Slight left toward Exeter Rd, 65 m. Turn right toward Exeter Rd, 15 m. Continue to follow Exeter Rd, go through 3 roundabouts, 1.3 km. Slight left onto Holdenhurst Rd and continue to follow Holdenhurst Rd. Go through 1 roundabout, 160 m. Turn left
and Bournemouth mainline station will be on the right, 150 m.