Bournemouth is blessed with a magnificent set of three beautiful gardens. Altogether, the three gardens that bisect Bournemouth are in total more than 2 miles in length. Unsurprisingly, due to its direct path to the beaches, the Lower Garden is the most popular and heavily used.
The Lower Gardens are immediately to the landward side of Bournemouth Pier. They are close to the Pavilion car park and form a backdrop to the rear of the Pavilion. A small river , little more than a stream, tickles through the middle of the gardens. This little river (The river Bourne) gave Bournemouth its name.
No expense is spared on the upkeep of this stretch of Bournemouth Gardens. They are extremely well manicured and boast a profusion of beautiful and well ordered floral displays. As well as providing a direct route to the beaches, the Lower Gardens are themselves very popular. Setting out a picnic or simply relaxing on the short cut turf near the stream is a very popular activity.
At the lower end of the garden there is a Victorian era bandstand. The bandstand is regularly used by (mainly) brass bands who play for free. There is often an audience of several hundred. Several ice cream booths nestle to the sides of the tarmac paths ensuring the visitors do not overheat.
The top end of the Lower Garden used to have a tethered air ballon but this has now been removed.
On the northern side of the lower garden there is an aviary (free access) which has many exotic and rare bird species on public display. There is often an open air art gallery nestling close to the aviary where local and occasionally internationally recognised artists display their work.
The garden ends at Bournemouth Square.
Bournemouth Lower Gardens – History
The Lower Gardens were originally set out to a design by a Mr P.H. Tree in 1871. Mr Tree had won a design competition that had been sponsored by Bournemouth Council. Bournemouth Council had acquired the lease to the area ten years earlier from Meyrick Estate. Work started to Mr Tree’s design later the same year and most of the Victorian splendour of the garden remains today. If you come to Bournemouth you will almost certainly enjoy the Lower Gardens, but do not forget that there are two other beautiful gardens close by!
Bournemouth Councils web page on the Lower Gardens can be found On This Link