The Overstrand beach front complex was designed in 1958 and serves as a year-round leisure facility catering to water sports enthusiasts in the winter and traditional beach visitors in the summer. So if you're into your water sports this is the place to go. There are plenty of people willing to dabble in water sports that flock here every year.
Boscombe beach is part of Bournemouth's seven miles of sand - collectively dubbed "the Best Beach in Britain," as voted by the readers of Coast Magazine in 2008. If you go to Boscombe at the right time of night you might witness some interesting displays of drunken beach conduct.
The mid-20th modernist "Overstrand" building has been restored. That is to say it was never great to begin with, but now it looks a lot less run down! Something to be proud of, and a welcome sight for visitors having had to make their way through the town centre. The complex now houses the best beach huts in the UK: the Boscombe Beach Pods. In fact these huts are worth more than most houses in Boscombe!
Adjacent the pier are the Boscombe Chine Gardens - award winning grounds that feature a children's play area, mini-golf course and café. So if you have to watch children all day - you may as well have a coffee to go with it. Land trains operate from the pier and gardens every day in the summer, linking up to Bournemouth Pier as well.
The Boscombe Pier:
There are many great piers in the UK. Hastings pier, Birnbeck pier, Brighton palace pier, Piers Morgan, Pierce Brosnan - to name a few. But in 2010 the best pier in Britain award went to Boscombe for its 'unusually pointy design'. So if pointy piers are your thing, we've got the best one! In fact it's the talking point of the town.
The pier was first built in 1888 for around £3800. Of course it lasted until ww2 when those cheeky nazis decided they might like to invade. So it was partially demolished to cause them a little bit of trouble. It was opened again in 1962 after it was bought by a local architect... It was of course closed again in 1989 as it was deemed unsafe. But they opened it again the following year, and then closed it again in 2005 as once again it was deemend unsafe. In 2007 a full restoration of the pier was attempted - new lights, pointy features, central windbreaks and a decent bit of paint made it look good as new. It also added a fishing platform. The pier was reopened once more in 2008.
So it's incredibly nice to see these days - in fact it's probably the nicest bit about Boscombe. Just don't visit at night for safety reasons. Either way it is certainly worth a visit - as history would show it may close down sooner than you think. Especially if like the surf reef - somebody breaks it.
The Boscombe Surf Reef:
In 2009 a surf reef was finally completed in Boscombe. It cost £3 million. The idea was that it would attract visitors to Boscombe for surfing - as only 70 days on average of each year were days where surfing was optimal. The surf reef was designed to bump this up considerably - attracting thousands more surfers per annum to Boscombe.
Unfortunately the reef was closed in 2011. It's broken. A sandbank underneath it moved and the whole thing was declared structurally unsound. The council aimed to repair it by spring 2012 (after a 7 month initial repair delay). However this didn't happen so it has been pushed back - estimates for completion 2015.
A lot of surf hobbyists have complained that the reef is inadequate, an official report into the reef shows that the build achieved only 4/10 of its design specs - which is a cause for concern. But we've every faith it'll be open and good as new in just a few short years! You can come visit and see history in the making, maybe even take some before and after pictures as well.
Since the 1970s with the introduction of a massive amount of drug users and dealers from Liverpool, Boscombe has been a hub for treatment for substance misuse. Even to this day there are no less than 58 treatment and housing facilities available to the locals and to those who may end up in Boscombe - with its population of 7,850.
So if you have a particular vice and need to recover - why not come to Boscombe? It's a fantastic environment in which to recover from your serious drug conditions - and with 8 treatment facilities operating in a small village next to a fantastic beach/pier how could you go wrong? Some might say this is a detracting feature about Boscombe but we certainly think otherwise. With a population used to inebriated and downtrodden members of society skulking about in between treatments, our lovely populace knows very well about caring for the needy and looking out for those less fortunate. So you can be sure during your stay that everyone is just that little extra nice towards you.
AFC Bournemouth play at Dean Court. It's in Boscombe but people for some reason like to pretend it's in Bournemouth. This is mere technicality. Boscombe is very proud of its players at AFC Bournemouth, having exhisted since 1899. It currently plays in League One.
For the uninitiated League One is the second highest division of the Football League, and the third highest division overall in the English Football League System. So we're confident one day our team might actually make it to the big boy league instead of playing about in the baby one. But only time will tell! We're hopeful!
On the other hand it's the only real sports team that exists around Boscombe - so it's good to have an outlet for the children to go somewhere and raise a bit of testosterone - otherwise they might end up in some of our fantastic treatment facilities!