20 Retro Things To Do In Bournemouth This Autumn

October 9, 2019

An ideal Autumn is when the leaves turn orange and crunch beneath your feet. When the sun still feels hot and you can happily walk around in just a jumper and boots. When you can spend a long evening on the beach with have a mini campfire and a sip a whiskey. But the reality is an inside-out umbrella, mud stains on your dolly shoes and sand from the beach scratching at your eyeballs.

Although the English weather is unpredictable, Bournemouth has a few places to create some gorgeous Autumn moments, from strolling around a nearby ghost town to eating a warm pastry from a royal chef. Here are 20 things to do that will make you forget your hair is 80% wet dog.

1. Go Pumpkin Picking

As soon as October hits, the town is smothered in shades of orange, brown and yellow. I loved bringing in that extra slab of orange to my home by heading to Sopley Farm, which of course I mentioned in the Things To Do In Summer. But at this time of year, Pumpkins are in season, not strawberries. They make gorgeous Autumn decorations or delicious creamy pasta sauces.

2. Firework Show By The Sea

When I saw a firework show by the sea, I decided that it was going to be the only way I watch fireworks from now on. The way the sparkle was reflected in the ocean made it seem extra bright and Gatsby-Esque. In keeping with England’s bonfire night tradition, there’s always a free firework display in Poole which is surrounded by stalls offering sparklers, toffee apples and live music.

The Quay, Poole, Dorset, BH15 1HU

3. Go To Dorset Nectar

Cider is a speciality in the south coast of England. So naturally, there is an array of apple orchards dotted around. Dorset Nectar is the closest to Bournemouth and has an orchard that stretches for acres of juicy red apples. Every tour comes with a tasting of their ciders.

Strong Orchard, Pineapple lane, Waytown, Dorset DT6 5HZ.

4. Watch Classic Scary Movies

You can probably watch scary movies anywhere but Bournemouth has the luxury of watching in vintage theatres. This year, The Rocky Horror Show is playing at the 1800s Shelley Theatre and Beetlejuice is showing at the 1930s Regent Centre.

5. Drink (Lots Of) Cider

Because apples are in season in Autumn, cider is always the Autumn beverage of choice. When looking for a cider bar, I came across The Firkin Shed and it was ideal for tasting something that you’ve never tried before. The shed has won awards for its melange of ciders and they often have local artists performing.

279 Holdenhurst Rd, Bournemouth BH8 8BZ

6. Have A Library Day

When it was miserable outside, I always found that the Bournemouth Library was a great place to spend a day, reading local author’s books with a cute view of the surrounding shops. My only problem was often bringing home more books than I can read before I have to give them back. I’d recommend reading Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde which was written in Bournemouth (during a 6-day cocaine binge apparently).

22 The Triangle, Bournemouth BH2 5RQ

6. Pumpkin Spiced Lattes At
The Little Pickle

Where possible, always ditch the Starbucks and support little independent coffee shops. In Boscombe, The Little Pickle Deli Cafe has the nicest pumpkin spiced lattes that always went down a treat on a rainy mid-week day. Especially alongside their locally sourced food menu. I highly recommend trying the Dorset Blue Vinny and apple salad or their homemade chutneys. Or maybe just try everything.

737 Christchurch Rd, Bournemouth BH7 6AQ

7. Visit The Ghost Village

Not far from Bournemouth, there’s a little ghost village that gives me the absolute creeps. It’s called Tyneham. During WWII, this little village was evacuated but the residents never returned. Tyneham has been left abandoned for over 65 years, and now all that’s left is empty schools, homes and churches. Eerie.

8. Camp In The New Forest

Being surrounded by the woods with a bonfire and a luxurious cup of hot chocolate is my idea of a perfect Autumn night. Nights spent under the Dorset stars, being surrounded by the New Forest’s woodland is an experience that will tattoo on your brain. Just don’t pick a rainy day unless you’re after the Glastonbury look.

10. Visit Russell-Cotes

To surround yourself in art is one thing. But to surround yourself in art in a grand Victoria-era villa is another. The Russell-Cotes is a warm haven away from the wind and rain. And they usually open their doors after-dark for the Halloween season.

Cliff Promenade, Bournemouth BH1 3AA

11. Meet Donna Maxime

Even if you don’t believe in hocus pocus, you can still enjoy the ‘Charmed‘ vibes in White Thyme shop. Inside, fortune teller Donna Maxime will read your fortune through tarot cards, palmistry or you can purchase your own cards designed by Donna herself.

76 Purewell, Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 1ES

12. Visit St Peter's Graveyard

I find graveyards extremely depressing. But during Halloween, it seems fitting to visit the grave of Frankenstein writer Mary Shelley in St Peter’s Graveyard. Also buried here is Cecil Hight, Hedley Burrows, Vincent Ryan and Mary Wollstonecraft.

Hinton Rd, Bournemouth BH1 2EE

13. Celebrate Oktoberfest

Although Oktoberfest is happening across the pond, Bournemouth hosts its very own in the Pavillion. The 1920s theatre hosts two Oktober events, The Portsvaria and Bournevaria.  Although they won’t come close to the real Oktoberfest, I fully support keeping the beer-drinking celebrations alive.

Westover Rd, Bournemouth BH1 2BU

14. Farmer's Market

Harvest season brings in some really gorgeous Autumn foods. Westbourne Farmer’s Market is an ideal place to find local seasonal food, take it home and make something delicious such as an Apple pie. Or for those who prefer savoury as I do then pear, Dorset Vinny cheese and walnut tart. YUM.

15. The Vintage Emporium

In Autumn, Christmas is around the corner. So, if you have the pleasure of having lots of good friends and the displeasure of having a huge family, you’ll know it’s time to part with some of your hard-earned cash and spend it on the ones you love. There are quite a few places to shop in Bournemouth, but none as engrossing as the Vintage Emporium. It’s easy to get lost in the piles of vinyl, clothes and antique furniture.

1172-1180 Christchurch Rd, Bournemouth BH7 6DY

16. Hot Drinks At Eden Garden Bar

I need a hot toddy when I have a sore throat. As I write this, my throat feels like I’ve swallowed loads of gravel. A hot toddy soothes and makes you feel a little better about the situation. It’s no wonder that Scottish doctors used it medicinally. I found Eden Garden has some lovely hot rum toddys as well as alcoholic hot chocolates. All essential for a scratchy Autumn throat.

Bournemouth BH2 5AQ

17. Breakfast At Norweigian Wood

Speaking of hot drinks, getting cosy over a conversation and coffee is perfect for an Autumn morning. And Bournemouth is not short of great cafés. My recommendation is the Beatles-inspired cafe Norwegian Wood who hands down do the best breakfast in Bournemouth.

1 Glen Fern Rd, Bournemouth BH1 2NA

18. A Cozy Pub Lunch

By the time Autumn comes, I always ditch the fresh seaside restaurants for some comfort food in the shelter of a cosy pub. I especially adore Chaplin‘s seasonal menu. Plus, this pub has some great live acts and some even better vintage interiors that make you want to stay there until you get kicked out. Luckily they shut quite late.

529 Christchurch Rd, Bournemouth BH1 4AG

19. Head To Le Petit Prince

If it’s good enough for the Queen, then it’s good enough for me. The Le Petit Prince‘s Pastry chef has catered to a wide range of people throughout his career, even the royals. So naturally, when he opened his patisserie in Bournemouth, it became a popular point for local pastry lovers. Try the hazelnut praline eclairs on a particularly cold day and you’ll feel much better about life.

48 Poole Rd, Bournemouth BH4 9BA

20. Watch The Sunrise At Avon Beach

During the month of October, sunrises are as late as 7 am. I am more partial to sunsets, but it was worth waking up a little bit earlier with a flask of homemade coffee, watching the sunrise over Mudeford’s Avon Beach. Colours of cinnamon, peach and plum fill the sky, making it a brilliant indulgent way to start the day.

Mudeford, Christchurch BH23 4AN

Which one are you going to do first? Tell me in the comments section below!

P.S. Don’t forget to share with your bored friends!

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