The Lower, Central and Upper Gardens are about 3 Kilometres long and provide a lovely range of scenery and activities
Upper, Central and Lower Gardens have all been Green Flag winners since 1999 and run from Bournemouth pier to the boundary with Poole.
The gardens are 3 kilometres long. They are all part of the Bourne Valley Greenway and are Listed Grade II in the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens.
There are lots of activities and events taking place, or you can simply enjoy the scenery. Find out more about the history of the gardens here.
The Lower Gardens
This section of the gardens is quite short, it runs from the pier to the town centre, but there is always lots going on.
Year-round attractions include mini golf, a bandstand, refreshment kiosks and Street food corner site, an aviary, and art exhibition.
Seasonal events in this section of the gardens include the summer Kids Free Fun Festival and the 100 year old traditional Candlelight Illuminations, which attracts thousands of visitors. In the winter we have the incredible Christmas Tree Wonderland, which features a stunning trail of Christmas trees and festive activities.
Central and Upper Gardens
This part of the gardens is quieter and there are no public toilets. There is a cycle path that runs through the Bourne Valley Greenway along one side from the town centre to Branksome.
The Central Gardens are formally planted and include a lovely pergola which stands over the bridge, the War Memorial, tennis courts and cafe.
Further along is a lovely play park with zip wire and plenty of playground swings and slides to keep the little ones amused. Download our map for all of our play park locations.
The Upper Gardens have a more natural feel and planting. As you walk along you’ll see a number of little red bridges that cross the stream. There is a lovely old folly which is now home to bats.
The gardens will eventually lead you to ornamental rockeries and Coy Pond. From here on the path is unpaved and can be boggy so it’s not suitable for wheelchair users.
The Bourne Valley Greenway ends in Branksome. From there you can take a walk into the town and catch a bus or train home.
Walks in the gardens
There are a number of guided walks throughout the year. We also have some leaflets which include self-guided walks through the gardens. These include the Tree Trail and the Bourne Valley Greenway.
You can pick up a leaflet at the Tourist Information centre or one of the Bournemouth libraries.
Keep an eye out for the notice boards in the gardens. They point out key features about the history or plants and wildlife along your route.