Friday, September 30, 2011

Bournemouth and Poole - September 18, 2010

While in Wimbourne, we discovered that we could buy a day pass on the buses and travel anywhere we pleased. So, bright and early next morning, we cycled into town and boarded a nice shiny bus and took a trip to the seaside!
Bournemouth
Today, Bournemouth is a large coastal resort town in the county of Dorset with a population of about 160,000 and, in a 2007 survey, it was ranked the happiest place in Britain, with 82% of respondants reporting that they were happy with their lives.
Until 1812, what is now Bournemouth was remote, barren heathland at the mouth of the Bourne River with zero inhabitants. The first residents were a retired army officer, Lewis Tregonwell and his wife, who moved into their new home built on land he had purchased. He began populating the rest of his land with small villas for holiday rentals. Tregonwell planted hundreds of Pine trees to provide a sheltered walk to the beach which later became Invalids Walk. When he died twenty years later, Bournemouth was established as a small community.
The Town Hall was built in the Victorian period as a hotel for visitors to the town after the city's growth accelerated following the arrival of the railway and Bournemouth became a recognized town in 1870. Originally part of Hampshire county, Bournemouth was "moved" to Dorset in 1974. Like the rest of Dorset, more than 90% of Bournemouth's workforce is employed in the service sector. Tourism is a crucial industry generating more almost 3/4 billion dollars each year.
Poole
Poole is a large coastal town and seaport in the county of Dorset, on the south coast of England about four miles west of Bournemouth. It is home to almost 140,000 people.
People have been living around here since before the Iron Age and the earliest record of the town’s name is from the 12th century as the port grew around the wool trade. In later centuries Poole forged trade links with North America and, at its peak in the 18th century, was one of the busiest ports in Britain.
During World War II, Poole was the third largest embarkation point for D-Day landings in France and afterwards served as a base for supplies to the allied forces. Eighty-one landing craft containing American troops from the 29th Infantry Division and the U.S. Army Rangers departed Poole Harbour for Omaha Beach.
During the 1970s, Poole’s permissive regional planning policies attracted service businesses from London and the area economy moved from manufacturing to the service sector with tourism high on the list.
Poole Quay at the south of town centre is lined with a mixture of traditional public houses, redeveloped warehouses, modern apartment blocks and historic listed buildings. Once the busy centre of Poole's maritime industry it is now predominently a tourist attraction. The Grade II* listed Customs House, built in 1814, now functions as a restaurant and bar.
Poole's sandy beaches extending 3 miles along Poole Bay are another tourist draw, replete as they are with seaside caf├ęs, restaurants, beach huts and water-sports facilities.
Poole harbor is is the largest natural harbour in Europe and, in conjunction with Poole Bay, is a magnet for sailing, windsurfing, surfing, kitesurfing and water skiing.
Poole is a cross-Channel port for passengers and freight with up to seven sailings a day in the summer season. Lots more pictures here.

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