7 reasons to visit Westbourne - things to do and places to visit

Shopping in The Arcade

Shopping in The Arcade - Credit: Archant

With its wealth of independent shops, boutiques, cafés and restaurants it’s no wonder that this stylish suburb of Bournemouth is renowned for its fabulous retail therapy

1 - Discover a literary legend

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), renowned writer of Treasure Island, Kidnapped and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde lived in Westbourne between 1885 and 1887, where he wrote the three aforementioned titles. You can walk around the remains of his former home ‘Skerryvore’, which can be found by heading south of Seamoor Road along the appropriately named Robert Louis Stevenson Avenue. The site is directly in front of you when you reach Alum Chine Road and is marked with a plaque.


2 - A taste of the country

On the first Saturday of every month (except July, when it’s the second Saturday), Westbourne holds a Farmers’ Market on Landseer Road. Complementing the great independent food businesses in the area, you can expect to find produce from Midgeham Farm, Berry Hill Farm and New Forest Butchers. There is also hand roasted coffees from Caer Urfa Coffee, jams and speciality bakes from Alison’s Handmade, producers food to order from Ricky’s Pop up and English brandies, ciders and wines from Teffont Wines. More information bidfm.co.uk/markets/Westbourne.


3 - A waggy tale

An unusual new business opened in Westbourne earlier this year, The Doggy Day Spa (62 Seamoor Road) transforms scruffy dogs into stylish hounds with services including bathing, grooming, trimming, hand stripping, ear care and nail clipping. Also on site is The Dog House, where owners can wait and have a coffee or a bite to eat while they wait for their pooch to be pampered. With regular events and lovely food and drink, it’s well worth popping in even without a four-legged friend! For more information visit thedoggydayspa.co.uk.

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4 - Quintessential seaside fayre

Founded in 1989, Chez Fred (10 Seamoor Road) is a Westbourne institution, offering as good a portion of fish and chips are you’re likely to find anywhere in Dorset. As well as providing a takeaway, which when the sun is shining you can take down to the seafront to enjoy, there is also a restaurant which is popular in the winter. All Restaurant Specials include free refills of tea of filter coffee.

For more information visit chezfred.co.uk


5 - Dining with a difference

Open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 11am to 11pm, Plates & Co (16 Landseer Road) is a truly unique restaurant situated on the top floor of an old church building, complete with stunning, stained glass windows. Diners are able to choose what three elements are added to their main meals (which includes meat, fish, linguine and risotto dishes), giving this venue a real ‘dining with a difference’ feel.

For more information visit platesandco.com.


6 - Arcade of plenty

Many of Westbourne’s independent traders can be found in the magnificent Victorian arcade, which connects Poole Road and Seamoor Road. New to the arcade is Beau Bijou (3 The Arcade) where designer Annabelle Chisholm creates amazing bespoke jewellery using vintage pieces, pearls and Swarovski crystal, while Stanwells (23 The Arcade) has been include in both The Daily Telegraph and British Vogue’s lists of best women’s fashion shops outside London. Oxford’s Bakery (20 The Arcade) only arrived in Westbourne in 2013, but this family business actually dates back to Frank Oxford who opened a bakery in Alweston, in 1911. Stepping out onto Seamoor Road, the award-winning Fab Frocks at number 17 offers a glittering array of evening and cocktail dresses and special occasion wear including mother of the bride.


7 - Café central

Westbourne has an abundance of independent cafes. The newest arrival is Co-Tea (73a Seamoor Road), which offers superb loose leaf teas, freshly roasted coffee and an excellent array of lunches and cakes. Fancy sipping your coffee in vintage style? Elsie Harrhy Coffee House (82 Poole Road) is decked out with vintage furniture and serves cracking doorstep sandwiches. There is also a retro vibe at the equally tasty Dot.Teas vintage tea boutique (31 Seamoor Road).


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