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Bournemouth is a seaside resort on the south coast of England. It is located about 105 miles southwest of London. at 50.72N 1.88 W. The town is bordered by Poole in the west and Christchurch in the east, and overlooks Poole Bay. Bournemouth is part of the much larger Bournemouth Urban Area.

It is traditionally part of Hampshire but was ceded to Dorset in a 1974 local government reform. Evidence of this can be found at a roundabout at the end of the Wessex Way called "County Gates" where the gate marking the divide between Hampshire and Dorset once stood, and which still marks the border between Poole and Bournemouth. On April 1st 1997 Bournemouth became an independent unitary authority.

Bournemouth was a place of solitude. The Queen Mother's ancestor, Mary Eleanor Bowes, then the richest heiress in England, lived at Pokesdown in the 1790s to escape the clutches of her second husband. This set the tone for Bournemouth, which turned into a select retreat, where the wealthiest people in society came to escape from the world. As the pines, planted by land-owners unsure of quite what to do with their estates, grew, Bournemouth became a pine city by the sea.

 

Bournemouth is a popular tourist destination on South Coast of England because of the fine long (approximately 5 miles) beach that runs from Christchurch in the east to the border of Poole in the west, the wide range of accommodation and entertainment, the mild climate, and easy access to the New Forest, Jurassic Coast. Devon, and the Dorset and Hampshire countryside. The stretch of beach belonging to Bournemouth does not run the length of Poole Bay (although Bournemouth and its council would very much like you to believe that it does) since it concludes at the east end by Hengistbury Head and by the long golden sand beaches of Poole in the west. This section of the English coast enjoys some of the warmest, driest, and sunniest weather in Britain.

Rapid growth in Bournemouth has taken place. In 1880, it had 17,000 people, 60,000 by 1900 and had reached 150,000 by 1990. In the latest census, the town had a population of 163,441. Bournemouth is part of a built-up area which, along with Poole  and Christchurch has a combined population of 383,713, the whole area being sufficiently populous to be one of the major retail and commercial centres in the south of England. Traditionally a retirement town, Bournemouth (mostly the Northbourne, Southbourne and Tuckton areas of Bournemouth together with Wallisdown, and Talbot Village areas of Poole, now houses many students who attend Bournemouth University (the administrative area and main campus of which is in fact located in Poole)..

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