A December 2002 trip
to Bournemouth by Holiday Jo
Quote: New Year's Eve on England's South Coast was a wonderful experience - despite the cold weather, we managed to enjoy every minute of our short break.
My highlights were:
The beach and pier - despite the weather being cold we still enjoyed walking along the seafront from our apartment to the pier. We were amazed by how clean and sandy the beach was and I can imagine it being full of people on a nice day. The pier is typically English with an arcade that has both bingo and slot machines in it. When it rained we spent quite a few hours in the pier cafe watching the waves splashing against the beach.
The nightlife, there are so many good pubs and clubs in Bournemouth that we were spoilt for choice on New Year’s Eve. We decided to first enjoy a meal at a small Greek restaurant whilst being entertained by a Greek belly dancer and a small band. We then went on to a club called DNA in the centre which was open to the early hours. At 12 o’clock we did manage to sneak out to the beach where there were fireworks being set off, an amazing sight.
Walk through the Winter Gardens in the day and at night. During the day you can go up in the Vistarama tethered helium balloon, this takes you up in the air and you get a magnificent view of the coastline and Bournemouth sights. It does cost £10 but worth it as a one-off. At night the Winter Gardens are all lit up and make a nice route to the main centre.
There is no access for vehicles into the centre of the town, it’s purely pedestrian now so if you have to drive I would suggest perhaps parking in Ringwood, a 10-minute drive away, and catching the bus from there.
In Bournemouth you can spend your time walking along the promenade or lounging on the beach in the summer. You can take a stroll to the Winter Gardens and go on the typically English pier with its own arcade and cafe.
In the surrounding area is the New Forest, where you can park up and hire a bike from one of the many hire shops and cycle through the fields. On your bike trip you can stop at some of the cider farms along the cycle routes a watch the wild ponies grazing.
If you are in Bournemouth for longer than a weekend I would suggest taking a ferry across to the Isle of Wight.Best Things About the Resort:The Carlton Club is one of Bournemouth's finest hotels and our apartment was very spacious and very luxuriously decorated. We had large windows which overlooked the gardens and pool out the front. It was December when we stayed in our apartment, so we were not able to take advantage of all the on-site facilities such as the outdoor pool and tennis courts. However we did use the indoor pool and Health Spa and paid a small fee for some beauty treatments available.
Within the Carlton Hotel itself is a very sophisticated wine bar, but the prices were high and you may feel underdressed in anything other than an evening dress. There is a restaurant within the hotel which we dined at one evening, the food was delicious and the service was excellent.
There is nothing bad to say about this resort, the service was fantastic, the views were amazing and the resort certainly made our New Year one to remember.
Resort Experience:The Carlton Club Apartments are set within Menzies Carton Hotel and you have your own entrance to your apartment from the car park along with your own parking space for the duration of your stay.
Inside our apartment were two very spacious bedrooms and a large living room with TV and video. We had a fully fitted kitchen with a dishwasher and even a small dining area. All the decor of our apartment was of a high standard, with gorgeous views from the floor-to-ceiling windows.
Within the hotel itself was a cocktail bar and a la carte restaurant, which although quite expensive, is definitely worth booking a table for. If you are feeling peckish after restaurant closing time, you can always order from the 24-hour room service, which can bring you hot and cold snacks at fairly reasonable prices.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 11, 2004
Carlton Club Apartments
East Overcliff Drive
+44 (1202) 552011
Kettering, United Kingdom