Bournemouth Museums and Art Galleries

(Bournemouth, Dorset, England, UK)

Image of Bournemouth town hallAs a leading Dorset seaside resort, Bournemouth is better known for its beaches than its museums. However, the town of Bournemouth does contain a number of notable cultural attractions, with the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum standing out as one of the best and home to an eclectic selection of art works, with a recently added annex comprising both a children's play area and restaurant.

Located at Bournemouth International Airport, in nearby Hurn, the town's Aviation Museum offers something quite different, with aviation exhibits spanning more than 50 years. Various seasonal events take place here each year, including popular air festivals, military vehicle gatherings and even classic car rallies.

Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum

Address: East Cliff, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH1 3AA, England
Tel: +44 (0)1202 451800
The Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum is one of Bournemouth's top museums and attracts thousands of tourists every year. Situated on the town's East Cliff Promenade, alongside the Royal Bath Hotel, the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum houses an interesting mixture of artworks and oriental souvenirs, which were collected from around the world by the Russell-Cotes family, who were wealthy hoteliers during Victorian times. This lavishly decorated house was built in the late 19th century and the exhibits include the Art Collection, with over 200 paintings, the Japanese Collection, which contains more than 2,000 items from Japan, and the Sculpture Collection, which features classical sculptures and bronzes. There is also a Japanese garden situated in the grounds, on the Cliff top, with superb views of Poole Bay.
Open hours: Tuesday to Sunday - 10:00 to 17:00
Admission: free

Bournemouth Aviation Museum

Address: Hangar 600, Bournemouth International Airport, Merritown Lane, Hurn, Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 6BA, England
Tel: +44 (0)1202 580 858
The Bournemouth Aviation Museum is home to one of the world's finest collections of ex-military and civilian vintage aircraft. Situated at Bournemouth International Airport, attractions here include a number of rare aircraft which are maintained in flying condition, an unusual picnic area close to the end of the runway and many interesting displays.
Open hours: daily, April to October - 10:00 to 17:00, November to March - 10:00 to 16:00
Admission: charge, discounts available for seniors and children

Waterfront Museum

Address: 4 High Street, Poole, Dorset, BH15 1BW, England
Tel: +44 (0)1202 262600
The Waterfront Museum is located in Poole, close by, and this historic museum is full of Poole history, including information about the Studland Bay Wreck and trade with Newfoundland. Highlights at this traditional attraction include various hands-on activities, numerous displays, videos and a local research centre, packed with information about the history of Poole and its community.
Open hours: April to October, Monday to Friday - 10:00 to 17:00, Sunday - 12:00 to 17:00, November to March, Monday to Friday - 10:00 to 15:00, Sunday - 2:00 to 15:00
Admission: charge, discounts available for seniors and children

Other interesting museums in the Bournemouth area include the following museums:

Interesting arts and crafts centres in the Bournemouth area include: