Best parks and gardens in Bournemouth and Poole.

Apart from golden sandy beaches, Bournemouth is known for having Green Flag Award-winning gardens. They constitute 20% of the entire town, so if you are a nature lover, Bournemouth will not disappoint you. In this blog post I have included my favourite gardens and parks which will soon bloom into a variety of flowers. I love Bournemouth in the summer, but there’s no doubt it’s most beautiful in the spring.

  1. Upton Country Park

Some of the most beautiful flowers can be found in Upton Country Park, Poole, in an area called The Walled Garden. There’s plenty of space there to get quality family time, go cycling, dog-walking, a playground for children and a tea room with some snacks.

2. Meyrick Park

One word that can describe Meyrick Park is space – probably because it’s also a golf course. Perfect for a walk if you feel the urge to get unlimited space and freedom. Beautiful yellow gorse and purple rhododendrons combined with pine trees are to be admired in Meyrick Park in spring time.

3. Queen’s Park

Similarly to Meyrick Park, Queen’s Park provides unlimited amounts of space and green energy from the omnipresent green grass and trees. It’s great for dog walks and picnics, there’s a playground, and it’s also a golf course…but you won’t find many flowers there.

4. Lower, Central and Upper Gardens

I wrote about the Gardens in detail here, so if you’re interested in a full description, click this link. Located directly in the town centre, these Victorian character gardens with fantastic, beautiful flowers are a must-see.

5. Alum Chine Tropical Gardens

Originating from the 1920’s, the Alum Chine Tropical Gardens have this magical way of making you feel like you are somewhere in the Mediterranean. Enveloping palms, magnificent sea views and – surprisingly – warmer temperatures than anywhere else in Bournemouth (or maybe that’s just my feeling!) will make you love this place.

6. Pinecliff Gardens

This was a real find in Poole area, a hidden gem which took me by surprise. It’s not a very popular spot, located on top of the cliffs overlooking Poole Bay and the Isle of Purbeck with tropical palms and huge ants. Don’t worry, not real ones, just wooden figures of insects, perfect for children…well, not only children! This place could be a fantastic, relaxing place for a romantic date.

7. Stour Valley

What about walking by the river and listening to the relaxing sound of water flowing? Stour Valley provides this villagey atmosphere of peacefulness and quiet.

8. Boscombe Chine Gardens and Boscombe Cliff Gardens

Despite Boscombe not having the best reputation, I believe some areas are underrated, like Boscombe Gardens. You can play ping-pong, basketball or simply walk towards the sea while enjoying tropical flora and beautiful flowers.

Boscombe Cliff Gardens

Which gardens and parks have you visited in Bournemouth? Have I mentioned your favourite one? Let me know if you know other places worth going for a walk.

Best pizza places in Bournemouth.

I don’t like pizza – said no-one ever! Crispy bread, juicy tomato sauce, melted mozzarella and other tasty ingredients will always lure us to eat this popular Italian classic. I am a big fan of pizza and have tried it in many places in Bournemouth. In this blog post I will mention my favourite pizzerias, especially since it’s International Pizza Day! My ranking is based on the following factors: the quality of ingredients, affordable price, and the usage of a wood-fired oven to bake a pizza, instead of an electric one. The ideal pizza should be baked at 450 degrees for 90 seconds!

Bournemouth pizza
I don’t like pizza – said no-one ever!
  1. Tocco

Tocco is a family-owned restaurant where they use a wood-fired oven which is the key to baking a pizza with crispy bread and melting the ingredients at the right temperature at the right time. They used to own another pizza place, but sold it to open a bigger place in the town centre called Ponti. Unfortunately, the pandemic forced them to close Ponti, but they did not give up and opened Tocco, which you can find in Bar 1812.

Bournemouth pizza
Authentic Italian pizza with an accompaniment of traditional Italian beer Birra Moretti. Anyone for a slice and a sip?

In Tocco they use buffalo mozzarella, which is the best type of Italian mozzarella, and import other ingredients from Italy, for example parma ham. The place is genuine and the pizza obviously delicious.

Bianca base – pizza without tomato sauce is an alternative to a traditional Margherita.
Bournemouth pizza with charcoal
This pizza is not burnt! The dough was made with the addition of charcoal which is good for digestion.

2. El Murino

Similarly to Ponti, El Murrino pride themselves on using authentic Italian ingredients, slow rising dough and baking pizza in a wood-fired oven at 450 degrees for 90 seconds. This is the right temperature and time to prepare a perfect pizza according to authentic Italian recipes.

Bournemouth pizza

Most of El Murrino’s pizzas are marked with the abbreviations EVO (extra virgin olive oil) and DOP, which translates to “Protected Designation of Origin”. It guarantees that you eat good quality ingredients.

Bournemouth pizza
Parma ham, mozarella and crispy edges.

3. Da Mario

Bournemouth’s original wood fired pizzeria Da Mario, previously run by the current owners of Tocco, has kept its high standards under the new management. The pizza has a crispy base and the ingredients are of the best quality. Here are some photos of the take-away pizzas I have had during lockdown.

4. Bournemouth Pizza Co.

Last but definitely not least on my list is simply Bournemouth Pizza Co. They fulfil all the previously mentioned requirements for their pizzas to be delicious. It’s worth mentioning that they have a special offer on Wednesdays when you can buy 2 pizzas for the price of one on collection! A very original pizza that I highly recommend is Salssicia Melanzana with caramelised onions and boar salami.

These are my favourite pizza places in Bournemouth. Where do you normally eat pizza? Is it important to you where your pizza’s ingredients come from and if it’s made in a wood-fired oven? It should be!

Remember it’s International Pizza Day today! Are you ordering a pizza or making it yourself?

I’m proud of the home-made pizza I baked during the first lockdown, especially since it took so much time to prepare!