Bournemouth is a large coastal resort town on the south coast of England. According to the 2011 census, the town had a population of 183,491. With Poole to the west and Christchurch in the east, Bournemouth now forms the South East Dorset conurbation with a total population of over 400,000. Historically a county borough in Hampshire, it joined Dorset with the reorganisation of local government in 1974. Since 1997, the town has been administered by a unitary authority, giving it autonomy from Dorset County Council although it remains however part of the ceremonial county. The local council is Bournemouth Borough Council.
Before it was founded in 1810 by Lewis Tregonwell, the area was a deserted heathland occasionally visited by fisherman and smugglers. Initially marketed as a health resort, the town received a boost when it appeared in Dr Granville's book, The Spas of England. Bournemouth's growth really accelerated with the arrival of the railway and it became a recognised town in 1870.
The town centre has notable Victorian architecture and the spire of St Peter's Church, one of three Grade I listed churches in the borough, is a local landmark. Bournemouth's location has made it a popular destination for tourists, attracting over five million visitors annually with its beaches and popular nightlife. The town is also a regional centre of business.
For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Bournemouth.