That was my plan for my husband and my 14 & 16 year old. We decided after months of cabin fever at home, we would escape for a short break in Bournemouth.  

We based ourselves at the beautiful Hermitage Hotel, in an enviable town centre location. You can also get straight onto the stunning sandy beach in minutes, where there are also some fantastic things to do for kids right on the seafront including the Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf.  The hotel is a contemporary 76 roomed hotel with fantastic sea views.

Our rooms were furnished beautifully with modern fresh colours and furniture and our view was fabulous, all rooms have Wifi and TV’s.  

Once we’d settled ourselves in we decided to go out for our lunch in the town and found a restaurant just round the corner called Urban Garden.  It’s a fantastic find with very friendly and efficient staff and the food was excellent. You eat in the treetops which is a welcome haven away from the hustle and bustle of the town.  I had a delicious smashed avocado sourdough.  Sam and Matilda (the kids) had burgers and my husband had a huge portion of fish and chips, all washed down with a beer and wine, what a wonderful treat and relaxing start to our mini break.

The next day, after a fab breakfast at the hotel, we were set on doing a bike ride. We decided to use Beryl, the local cycle share service that also has e-bikes and e-scooters. Thanks to the handy app it was really easy to find some located nearby and so we headed off on our adventure. With a lot of people heading toward the beach we decided to go against the grain and explore the Bournemouth gardens. I never realised how beautiful they are! In the lower gardens there are lots of beautiful flower beds (and some incredible tulips - my fave!) and further up there are beautiful trees and luscious garden beds alongside the little ‘Bourne stream’. We got so carried away on our ride when we stopped for a break, we realised we’d ridden all the way to Westbourne! The great thing about Beryl is that to end our ride all we had to do was find a nearby bay and dock our bikes. We figured we’d come all this way why not explore Westbourne while we were there!?

Wandering into the nearby coastal village, we enjoyed some leisurely window gazing at the boutique shops on the Highstreet before stopping at a place called Chez Fred, which turned out to be a fantastic fish and chip restaurant. We phoned our order and collected from the shop before finding a sunny spot outside to enjoy our well-earned meal.  With bellies full and legs tired from our epic bike ride, we got a taxi back to our hotel on the seafront. Driving back in the haze of the afternoon, the views looked truly spectacular and we all enjoyed relaxing in the adjoining hotel bar and restaurant Neo. The stunning terrace was the perfect place to relax and enjoy the evening.

On our final day we decided to go for a walk in the New Forest and visit the New Forest Wildlife Park.  We saw a wonderful variety of animals everything from hedgehogs and otters to the beautiful Fallow and Sika deer.  As we wandered round the enclosures through the beautiful shady woods, in the distance we saw wild bison, it was quite a surreal site, they looked majestic in the mist and it felt as though we had been transported to another country.  The wolves were also wonderful and were a particular favourite of my sons.

Another fantastic day out in the fresh air making brilliant memories with my family we really enjoyed spending time together doing activities that we all enjoy. 

Unfortunately we ran out of time in our short weekend but a fantastic place on our list to visit in the New Forest is Beaulieu the world famous car museum with over 280 vehicles to see and the beautiful Palace House, it’s definitely on our bucket list. Dorset really has so much on its doorstep for older families. We were thoroughly spoilt for choice and will hopefully return for more adventures soon.

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