Bournemouth – Dorset is a large coastal resort community on the southern coast of England. It is noted both for it stature as a regional business center and for its focus on leisure, entertainment and recreation activities. The community was planned and laid out in 1810. The presence of the railway is an important factor in the growth of the resort city.
The popular and award winning Central Gardens begin at the River Bourne Valley and stretch for several miles through the city. The park ends at the sea near Bournemouth Pier. The city has an active youth culture as well as a prominent gay scene. In addition, many residential care facilities exist where senior citizens can spend retirement years.
Bournemouth has marketed itself as a conference center for the nation and hosts groups as varied as the Labour Party, the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats. The Bournemouth International Centre also schedules music and theatrical performances throughout the year. Tourism is the major factor in the city’s economy, with manufacturing a dwindling sector.
The Russell-Coates Museum includes many fine examples of 19th century artwork acquired by a member of Bournemouth’s founding family. Many Russian and Japanese paintings are featured within the museum, located near the Pavilion Theatre. The promenade built at the instigation of Russell-Cotes stretches for miles along the coastline between Bournemouth and Poole.
Several annual festivals compete for the attention of visitors at Bournemouth – Dorset. The Air Festival features aircraft and performance from around the world with precision flying, wing walking and modern aircraft demonstrations. The Bourne Free Festival and the Literary Festival are recent additions to the roster of activities. In 1951 the Festival of Britain opened in Bournemouth and other sites around the country, featuring displays and exhibits showcasing the strength and ingenuity of the British people.
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