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Top places to live in Dorset Westbourne, Bournemouth

Probably Bournemouth's hippest, most cosmopolitan area stuffed with places to eat, drink and shop – and just 15mins walk to the beach. Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.

WHY?

Located between Poole, Branksome and the centre of Bournemouth, Westbourne ‘village’ is a bit of a golden triangle of hip independent shops, restaurants and cafes, many of which have apartments above. When you get fed up of all that, head to the beach.

EAT

Take afternoon teas at vintage tea rooms Dot Teas; nosh on pub classics at The Libertine pub and kitchen; eat inventive modern dishes at award-winning restaurant Truly’s; and cheeses, charcuterie and over a choice of more than 200 bottles of wine at Renouf’s Cheese & Wine Bar. Indulge yourself with coffee, cakes, and lunches at Le Petit Prince Patisserie. Bournemouth’s first Indian restaurant, the Taj Mahal is here. The best fish and chips can be chomped Chez Fred.

SHOP

Head to So Furniture for on trend interiors, Almond & Co for sustainable shopping and Westbourne Bookshop for the obvious. The Victorian Westbourne Acade, running between Poole Road and Seamoor Road, houses indies including women’s boutique Mint Tea, repairs or alterations at the Sewing House, Renouf’s artisan cheese shop and innumerable gift shops and cafes. There’s an M&S Food Hall. If it all gets too much, an hour or so in the Urelax massage and spa may help.

NEARBY ATTRACTIONS

The Colosseum Bar & Cinema, with just 19 seats, is the UK’s smallest cinema. Walk 15 mins through beautiful wooded gorge Alum Chine with its tropical gardens and suspension bridge to reach blue flag Alum Chine beach – then you’ve the rest of the 7-mile stretch of sand running from Hengistbury Head to Sandbanks in Poole to explore. All of Bournemouth’s delights are within easy reach including big name concerts at the BIC and super cool new contemporary art gallery Giant.

AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE

You’ll find period properties, flat conversions and new builds with some very high end architect-designed pads here. The average price last year was £347,509. Detached properties averaged at £894,565, terraced at £466,583 and flats at £287,418.

HOT PROPERTY

Contemporary 4-bed house close to Westbourne village and just yards from the walkways down to Alum Chine beach, for am asking price of £1.39m

SCHOOLS

State St Micheal’s C of E Primary is “Good’. Bournemouth School for Girls is ‘Outstanding’. Nearby independents include the Bournemouth Collegiate Senior School (co-ed day and boarding for 11-18s with the Prep in nearby Poole), Talbot Heath (girls’ day and boarding) and Yarrells Prep & Nursery. (nursery, pre-prep and prep).

BEST KEPT SECRET

Resident Robert Louis Stevenson wrote The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde and Kidnapped when he lived here.

COMMUTE

You’re a short bus ride to Poole or Bournemouth for trains to London Paddington and Waterloo in around 2 hours.

View the full Top 200 Best Places to Live

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Dorset

Best Place to Live in Dorset Reader Vote

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Westbourne, Bournemouth

Probably Bournemouth's hippest, most cosmopolitan area stuffed with places to eat, drink and shop – and just 15mins walk to the beach.

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Know another brilliant place to live in Dorset?

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