Westbourne or the Village as it is known locally is an affluent residential and shopping area just to the west of Bournemouth town centre, at the heart of the village is a rare gem, the Grade II listed Westbourne Arcade.
Walk along over the original tiles and then look up to see the iron and glass roof arching over. Half way down is an excellent old fashioned hardware store, across the way is an independent little cinema, further along, a stylish florist. There are boutiques, jewellers, restaurants and even a tobacconist. Go out from the Arcade either way and explore the wonderful mix of independent shops and the last Crown Post Office in Dorset.
It is said there is one long beach that runs all the way from Sandbanks nearly to Christchurch and that is true. In the middle of this stretch of beautiful seaside is Branksome Chine Beach. It has a Beach bar, clean sand, warm blue sea and a wide promenade and you walk from Pelham without straining yourself in 15 minutes or cycle in 5 minutes.
Behind the beach there are woodland walks toward Canford Cliffs and Sandbanks or go east towards Bournemouth through Alum Chine. This isn’t just the seas side this is heaven by the sea.
The Isle of Purbeck so called because it has water on three sides. It’s a short car ride to the Sandbanks ferry then a drive through Studland to Corfe Castle and then the Isle of Purbeck is all around you. Dramatic steep white cliffs that rise up from the sea, beautiful coves and sheltered bays where you can swim.
All across Purbeck there are quaint villages with country pubs. There is the deserted village of Tyneham and the busy traditional seaside town of Swanage. Purbeck is a delight and it’s not far away. This is the joy of living in Poole.