Our local children centre ran a trip to Bournemouth so I booked Rebecca and I on. Rebecca hasn't really spent much time on a beach so with the lovely weather the UK was having I thought it was a good idea. Unfortunately, the weather had other ideas.
We had to get the coach at 7am. Its a 2 hour drive plus a stop enroute as the coach was full of families. We arrived just after 10am. It wasn't very sunny but luckily warm enough you could wear a t-shirt.
First stop was a visit to the Oceanarium. One of the reasons I wanted to go was to see the otters. I love otters - they are so cute.... There are lots of exhibits with lots of different species of fish. Only bug-bare for me was that the glass wasn't very clean so it was hard to see in to the tanks especially for the kids. We did get to see the otters so I was pleased.
It wasn't very expensive to get in. I paid £30 for 2 adults and 3 children which isn't too bad as we spent a good 1.5 hours in there. I would recommend a visit if you are looking for something to do.
After our visit to see the fishes we decided to have an early lunch. I had done some research and found a cafe on the pier. Instead of taking lunch we were going to buy it then have sandwiches on the coach on the way home.
Anyway, we headed over to the pier. It costs £1.20 per person to enter the pier or £3.80 for a family ticket (2 adults & 3 children).
The Rock Reef Cafe is located inside the building at the end of the pier, called Rock Reef. Inside is a large Click & Climb centre. Unsurprising the girls wanted a go but we told them they had to choose between that or the beach and the beach won.
The cafe is located up the stairs on the left hand side of the pay desk. Once up the stairs there is a really small seating area. We sat down had decided to have two pizzas between us. Including drinks (1 coke, 1 tea and 3 x Slushies) was £25. I didn't think this was too bad considering it fed all 5 of us.
After lunch we had promised the girls a go on the little vintage funfair. They all wanted to go on the Helter Skelter, carousel, muffin the mule and the small chair-o-planes. These rides were all done on a token basis. The small rides were 2 tokens per person and the larger ones 3 tokens (tokens are £1 each). Whilst the girls were going up to ride the Helter Skelter the heavens opened which resulted in us getting soaked. Because of the weather I didn't manage to get many photos.
After the fun of little fair we headed to the beach. We picked a spot near the pier and quite near to the sea so we could see the kids. Rebecca wanted to build sandcastles. I got her dressed in to her swimming stuff just in case. Turns out that was a good call as within 15 mins she wanted to go in the water.
The beach is lovely. Beautiful soft, clean sand and lovely clean sea. One thing I hate about beaches is shingle but Bournemouth doesn't have any so getting in to the sea isn't a painful experience.
We spent around 2 hours on the beach. The wind really picked up and we started to have rain showers. The girls all asked if we could leave as they were feeling the cold. So we got them all dressed and headed to an arcade as they wanted to play on the 2p machines.
We walked along the front as I had seen an amusements building whilst we were on the beach. When we got there it didn't fill me with much confidence. It was very tatty and looked like it needed a good clean. Half the machines were empty which meant we couldn't really play much. After a quick walk around I suggested an ice cream may be a better idea, to which they all agreed.
After a quick ice cream we headed to the gift shop outside the pier entrance. Rebecca and I picked up a magnet for our collection. By the time we had done this it was time to go and meet the coach to go home.
We got back in Banbury just after 8pm where the rain greeted us once more. Overall we had an enjoyable day in Bournemouth and would consider another visit in the future.