The all-weather destination abuzz with attractions
Where in the world can you ride a zip wire from pier to shore? At the world’s first zip-surf line on Bournemouth Pier, at the heart of Dorset’s award-winning resort.
Bournemouth Pier is basking in a renaissance as the heart and soul of this vibrant and cosmopolitan town. Surrounded by seven miles of golden sandy beaches and glorious coastline, panoramic vistas stretch across to the Isle of Wight to the east and the rolling Purbeck Hills to the west.
With a rich heritage dating back to the mid-19th century, the iconic Bournemouth Pier is bursting with character. This unique destination is greatly enjoyed by visitors and locals all year ‘round. The pier is packed with all-weather entertainment from amusement arcades to adrenalin pumping activities. It also serves up traditional seaside favourites from candyfloss to cocktails, Barista coffees, snacks and meals to tempt all tastes.
HIGH KICKS ZIP WIRE: Zip-surf from pier to beach
Take a deep breath and keep your eyes open as you dash past these amazing views on a high-octane zip adventure from the very end of the pier. Bournemouth’s PierZip is a global first, offering thrill seekers 30-seconds of pure adrenalin rush as they zip-surf from the pier over the sea to the beach. What’s more, the creators devised a Dual Zip line – so you can share the experience with friends and family. First, you’ve got to climb the launch tower, 80ft above sea level. Ready, get set, go!
CLIMBING AND CLAMBERING: Scramble and soar at RockReef
The pier’s adrenalin-packed RockReef adventure centre offers pulse-racing activities for thrill-seekers of all ages. With attractions such as Clip ‘n’ Climb, Highline, a ‘Leap of Faith’ and a vertical drop slide, you’ll lose track of time as you test your nerve against some of the town’s most unique and exhilarating activities. RockReef offers 28 challenges – climb commando-style on the jungle vines, race your friends up a speed wall, delve inside a pier cave, with twists and turns to keep the adventure alive for hours. If it’s your turn to look after the coats / shopping / baby, set up camp in the Coffee Reef café for a bird’s eye view of all the action.
AMUSEMENT ARCADE FUN: Classic games and the latest names
No pier would be complete without a traditional amusement arcade. And the one on Bournemouth pier blends the charm of a retro coastal arcade with some of the latest names in amusements gaming. New titles include a Walking Dead Pintable, Star Wars battle pod, Time Crisis 5 and a Jurassic Park video game. Entertainment machines play dynamic videos, tempting you with the promise of fun prizes or the glory of smashing the high score. Speed down the slopes on Alpine Racers and join the high-octane chase on the Mario Karts. The ideal place to while away a wet afternoon or escape the midday sun.
COCKTAILS AND CAFÉ CULTURE: Eats and treats by the beach
Grab a coffee and croissant, enjoy a traditional seaside fish and chips, tuck into a steak or spicy curry or sup on a classic cocktail. Whatever you fancy, Bournemouth Pier caters for every taste. For 180 degree views of the town’s beautiful coastline as you dine, climb the steps to the hugely popular Aruba Restaurant and Bar. Still known to some as the Showbar, this is a glamorous eatery with a laid-back, tropical vibe. Pull up a day bed or swing seat on the terrace or grab a booth for a relaxed meal or drinks in the shade of a palm tree. By night, Aruba transforms into a popular party spot if you’re not quite ready to leave the sea air and holiday ambience. For spicier tastes, Hot Rocks is your destination for curries, Cajun and cocktails served with a surfie twist. Choose a seat on the terrace for views across Pier Approach and the bay. To the west of the pier is West Beach, a glamorous beachfront restaurant, specialising in locally-sourced seafood and steaks. Key West Bar & Restaurant at the far end of the pier with 300-degree panoramic views over the bay and al fresco dining is great for informal freshly cooked dishes.
FABULOUS FIREWORKS: Your weekly summer spectacular
You know summer has arrived when Bournemouth’s sky lights up with its annual run of firework displays. Every Friday evening for six weeks a sizzling firework spectacle takes place bang on 10pm over Bournemouth beach. An unbeatably entertaining event, the Family Fiesta Fireworks is enjoyed by thousands every year. What better place to soak up the electric atmosphere than on the sand, gazing up at the thrilling light show launched from the end of the pier and platforms on the water. Some people even head down by boat to watch the show on the waves.
PIER-TO-PIER SWIM CHALLENGES: Dare to take a dip
Test your nerve and swimming mettle as part of the biggest charity swim in Europe between Bournemouth and Boscombe piers. Raise money for the British Heart Foundation in this exhilarating 1.4 mile front crawl along the coast. Nearly 2,000 hardy swimmers take the plunge every year, braving the English Channel to raise money for this very deserving charity. It’s not a race, so you can go at your own pace and it attracts people in their teens to their eighties. The event takes place in July, but if you get a taste for open sea swimming you could always brave the annual White Christmas Dip at Boscombe Pier in aid of Macmillan Caring Locally on Christmas morning!
PIER REGENERATION: A new Approach
Massive regeneration is bringing new life and vibrancy to Bournemouth Pier Approach. This dynamic redevelopment programme is part of a 20-year Seafront Strategy to elevate Bournemouth promenade to world-class standing. A multi-million pound investment has already given Bournemouth a new tourist information kiosk, elegant landscaping, interactive family water play features and funky new colourful lighting displays. What’s more, you can access live webcams of the pier, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to check out the surf whenever you want, or people-watch as they pass by the pier.