CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Dorset Magazine today CLICK HERE

Dorset walk: Bournemouth Tree Trail & Tropical Garden

PUBLISHED: 11:32 19 July 2016

View towards the Purbeck coast from the Tropical Garden (Photo by Edward Griffiths)

View towards the Purbeck coast from the Tropical Garden (Photo by Edward Griffiths)

Archant

Edward Griffiths goes tree spotting on this delightful urban walk which revisits the Pleasure Gardens of the 1870s

The difference with this urban walk is that we’re going to some of the quieter, shadier and infinitely more educational parts of Bournemouth. Some years ago, Bournemouth Borough Council published a ‘Tree Trail’ leaflet of the rare and exotic trees which were planted when 30 acres of the marshy valley of the Bourne Stream were transformed into Pleasure Gardens in 1873-74. Essentially on this walk we’re going tree-spotting.

Then we’re going to visit one of Bournemouth’s award-winning Gardens of Excellence which was replanted in the 1990s to take advantage of the mild microclimate this stretch of coastline enjoys.


Information

• Distance: 2¾ miles (4.5km)

• Time: 2 hours

• Exertion: Easy

• Start: Bournemouth Pier Approach (Grid Ref: SZ089907)

• Map: OS Landranger Sheet 195

• Public Transport: Wilts and Dorset X1, X2, X3, 13 and countless Bournemouth Yellow Buses to The Square

• Dogs: On leads at all times

• Refreshments: Obscura Café in The Square, Vesuvio, Harvester, West Beach and Offshore restaurants on Undercliff.


The walk

1 Starting at Bournemouth’s stylishly revamped Pier Approach, go under Bath Road bridge into the Lower Gardens with the Pavilion and Bourne Stream right. Past the Pavilion’s twin flights of steps, cross the stream bridge then fork left above the stream. Against the bandstand, the branch-less leaning tree is a Maritime Pine, native to the Mediterranean and popularly called ‘Bournemouth Pine’. Further along the shady path, take the first left path and cross the stream bridge. Turn right. Past the Bournemouth Eye Balloon, the first right tree is the Blue Atlas Cedar (cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca’) from the Atlas Mountains in Morocco and Algeria. Then, going up to The Square exit, pass through an avenue of Chusan Palms (trachycarpus fortuneii), widely planted in European coastal gardens since 1836.

2 Cross The Square, keeping right of the Obscura Café and telephone boxes. Meeting Bourne Avenue, instantly cross to the path down into Central Gardens. Pass the ‘Boscombe Veranda’ pergola and continue, parallel with Bourne Avenue. Past the War Memorial, with Bournemouth Town Hall to your right, the first left tree against the path is a Dawn Redwood (metasequoia glyptostroboides) with its distinctive spiral trunk, introduced to the West in 1948. Reaching a fork, keep right. The large trees in the triangle’s group are Monterey Pines (pinus radiata), native to California and discovered by David Douglas in 1931. Continue right of the tennis courts and over the crossing path under the flyover into Upper Gardens, keeping right of the stream.

3 After a series of weeping willows, the large tree overhanging the path from the left is a Caucasian Wing Nut (pterocarya fraxinifolia) from the Caucasus and Northern Iran. Introduced in 1810, it is distinguished by its very long bright-green catkins which bear nuts like walnuts later. Now, after a large Dawn Redwood left and a paths’ crossing, the next large pine is the Coast Redwood (sequoia sempervierens). A long-lived native of California, a felled example in 1943 was dated as 2,200 years old. Feel the unusual spongy bark. In another 100 yards, reach Queen’s Road and turn left, crossing Bourne Stream, for ‘Westbourne’. Ascend past Surrey Road crossing and other side roads. Under the flyover, continue past shops to traffic lights.

4 Cross Poole Road into Clarendon Road, with the old stone-built Bournemouth Eye Hospital right. Walk the full length of Clarendon Road to West Cliff Road. Cross over into West Overcliff Drive with shady Middle Chine down to your right and stylish properties left. Take first right West Overcliff Drive over Middle Chine Bridge and turn left, continuing with the chine now left and passing right Milner Road. Continue around the return-right bend with the raised shelter and superb views to Bournemouth and the Purbeck coast.

5 With Argyll Gardens and Bowling Green right, take the left path to the ‘Tropical Gardens’ walled path. Go down into the award-winning gardens and wander around freely. Look for the extremely tall blue pinnacles of echium pinniana from the Canary Islands, the leathery leaves of banana plants (musa lasiocarpa), the yucca (beschornia yuccioides) from Mexico, the striped agave Americana also from Mexico and the Chusan Palms (trachycarpus fortuneii) like those you saw approaching The Square. Keep descending and take the path/steps directly to the West Undercliff promenade. Turn left, with Vesuvio restaurant right. Enjoy the beach stroll back to the pier or take the Land Train. Pass Middle Chine, Durley Chine, West Cliff zig-zag and the cliff lift on the way.


More Dorset walks…

Dorset walk around the Isle of Portland - Edward Griffiths explores a rugged landscape that retains echoes of Saxon fields and corn mills from its agricultural past

Dorset walk around Poole Bay and Evening Hill - Edward Griffiths enjoys an easy coastal stroll with sensational views towards Old Harry Rocks and then explores Canford Cliffs Village

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Dorset visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Dorset staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Dorset account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & About

From your first step, you will see superb views from hilltops and farmland footpaths on this walk

Read more
Sunday, November 11, 2018

Martin Clunes and his family have called West Dorset home for over two decades. Here he shares some of their favourite local places

Read more
Monday, November 5, 2018

To mark the centenary of the end of World War One we visit some of the memorials erected across Dorset to remember the fallen in the ‘war to end all wars’

Read more
Friday, October 26, 2018

This lovely walk takes us from watercress beds to a church famous for its life-size carvings of apostles

Read more
Thursday, October 25, 2018

Autumn is a great time to brush up on your gardening knowledge with the help of some experts, as well as see some well known gardens in a different light

Read more
Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The guide to Dorset’s best firework displays and bonfire events happening in 2018

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Prepare to experience the paranormal this Hallowe’en as Visit Dorset reveals some of the county’s most haunted pubs, stately homes, historic buildings and tanks

Read more
Monday, October 15, 2018

From festive light switch-ons and Santa’s Grottos, to German Christmas markets and late-night shopping, we’ve covered what’s on in Dorset this season

Read more
Monday, October 15, 2018

Dorset villages are some of the most beautiful in England – think winding lanes, thatched cottages and a cosy pub or welcoming tea room. We suggest ten of the prettiest villages to visit in the county

Read more
Friday, September 14, 2018

Follow in the footsteps of the Romans on this lovely walk that takes in rare habitat, ancient woodland and glorious views

Read more
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

This challenging coastal walk rewards your efforts with spectacular views along the Jurassic Coast

Read more
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Marine photographer Steve Belasco shares some very special wildlife moments

Read more
Wednesday, September 5, 2018

TravelSupermarket has uncovered the top 25 most popular UK beaches on Instagram after analysing hashtags used for over 1,100 beaches and Bournemouth comes out on top

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Ride + Stride, Dorset Historic Churches Trust’s annual fundraising event, is a great way to explore and support some of the county’s more unusual places of worship

Read more
 
A+ South & South West

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search