Exploring Bournemouth as a Local

Features gifted experiences 

I have lived in Bournemouth for the majority of my life. My family moved here from Kent when I was eight years old and it has been my home since. As a local, it’s safe to say I consider myself somebody who knows the area pretty well. Which is why, when I was challenged to explore Bournemouth and search out venues a little off the beaten track, my initial thought was that I might struggle a little to visit places I hadn’t been to many times before.

Always up for a challenge, Ed and I headed out during a child free day in the holidays to find some new favourite places. If you are visiting, there are plenty of fantastic hotels in Bournemouth, located in and around the centre of town, perfect as a base to explore the area.


We parked just outside of the centre of town and walked down towards the pier with the plan to walk along the beach for a little as it was a nice spring day and the sun was shining.

Just to the right of the pier and Oceanarium, Westbeach is perfectly positioned for some food or drinks with a sea view.

We weren’t that hungry so we decided to opt for a drink whilst we enjoyed the view. Ed had a green tea and I went for a Raspberry Crush, which was really crisp and refreshing.

Westbeach is predominantly a fish restaurant and whilst we sat and enjoyed our drinks we saw food come out to the table next to ours and noted how generous the portion sizes were – the fish and chips looked pretty impressive and I think we will be back at some point soon for lunch.

The Upside Down House

After a walk back through the gardens and a little window shopping, Ed and I came across The Upside Down House, an attraction that is in Bournemouth until 30th June.

I had seen it before but we hadn’t tried it out. Tickets during the week cost £4 each and you are encouraged to take photos posing inside the house, where everything is topsy turvy.

Rotating your images 180 degrees gives a fun optical illusion and I would say it is well worth a visit. Top tip – try and go at a quieter time as we did, so that you have plenty of time and space to get the photos you want.

FLIRT Cafe Bar

We’d worked up an appetite after our visit to The Upside Down House and decided to head into FLIRT, which is situated opposite, for some lunch. The Upside Down House actually give out 10% off vouchers for FLIRT with your ticket, so it’s the perfect place to go after your visit.

FLIRT have lots to choose from, with plenty of hot and cold drinks, ice cream, fresh cakes and lunch options. As they are also a bar, if you fancy a glass of wine or a cocktail that’s not a problem.

I love how quirky FLIRT is inside. You can choose to sit at a table or comfy sofa with cushions and throws, or why not try out the plane or salon dryer seats – perfect for an Instagram shot!

Ojo Rojo

I have been to Ojo Rojo once before, for their quiz night on a Wednesday, but it’s one of those places Ed and I kept meaning to go to and hadn’t gotten round to it.

We headed over for a cocktail after our lunch. It is just around the corner from FLIRT, in Bournemouth Triangle.

The decor is brilliant and the drinks list extensive. I wasn’t sure what to choose so I asked for something pretty (I kid you not, I am such a blogger), and my Migration cocktail did not disappoint.

How beautiful! Ojo Rojo also do yummy food, but we weren’t quite ready for anything to eat just yet.


Follow the road back down towards the sea and you come across our favourite little bar in Bournemouth. I know, I know, the aim was to discover new places but I couldn’t resist a visit to Eden.

We love the friendly welcome we always receive here, and the cocktails are delicious. The roof retracts, so in summer you can enjoy your drinks in the open air, and Eden have you covered for colder weather too with blankets available in their cosy booths.

Eden also have fantastic live music, open mic nights and events. Well worth a visit, and a little hidden gem.


After a little shopping, it was time for dinner. We are spoilt for choice when it comes to restaurants in Bournemouth. There are so many to choose from and we usually head into the Bh2 Leisure complex but, in the interest of finding new places, we decided to give Valentino a try and I am so glad that we did!

Valentino is located opposite Bh2, and the Sixty Million Postcards bar, and is run by the sweetest owner who went out of his way to make our meal special.

Authentic delicious Italian dishes, affordable prices and generous portion sizes (we were totally stuffed by the end of our meal) plus a genuine, friendly welcome, this is now my favourite place to eat in town and we will most certainly be back.

This post is in collaboration with Hotels.com. The spending money was gifted by Hotels.com, however all words and images are my own.  

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