Is Bournemouth a City? – Finally Answered




Is Bournemouth a City Bournemouth beach and pier

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Did you ever wonder if Bournemouth is a city?

Well, you’re not the only one, recently, I got into an argument over whether Bournemouth is a city or not and I decided to do some research on the subject.

It turns out that the answer is not as simple as you might think, and there are actually a few different ways to determine if a town is considered a city.

In this article, I’m going to share with you what I found out and hopefully, by the end of it, you will finally have an answer to your question.

So, is Bournemouth a city?

The status of a City in the United Kingdom can be linked to a cathedral, a university, a specific kind of local government, or a large population. Although any of these factors may be utilized to support the popular usage of the term “city,” formal approval for UK city status is granted by the monarch on the advice of ministers.

Recently, Bournemouth has lost its bid for city status – so as of right now, the answer is no, Bournemouth is not a city. However, this doesn’t mean that it can’t become one in the future!

If Bournemouth were ever to become a city, it would likely be due to an expansion in population.

What is the Bournemouth Population?

Even though the current metro area population of Bournemouth/Poole in 2022 is 514,000, the population within Bournemouth city limits is 163,000.

This number may seem small when compared to the top 3 UK cities like London – 11,120,000, Manchester – 2,747,000, Birmingham or Wolverhampton – 2,624,000, but it’s actually quite large for a town! The average town in the UK has a population of only 5,000 people.

So while Bournemouth may not yet have the population to be classified as a city, it is well on its way with a population that is more than 30 times the size of the average town in the UK.

Only time will tell if Bournemouth’s population continues to grow at its current rate and eventually meets the requirements to become a city. Until then, we can enjoy all the perks that come with being a town, like having a lower cost of living and a more relaxed way of life.

Does Bournemouth have a Cathedral?

Bournemouth does have a cathedral – St Peter’s Church, Bournemouth. However, this didn’t help to support the claim that Bournemouth is a city when making the most recent bid for city status.

St Peter’s Church was completed in 1879 and is one of England’s most lavish Gothic Revival interiors. The architect William Butterfield designed this stunning building, which is today a Grade I listed building.

While having a cathedral is often associated with city status, it’s important to note that not all cities in the UK have one. In fact, out of the 69 cities in the UK, only 51 of them have a cathedral.

When did Bournemouth Become a Town?

Bournemouth was founded in 1810 by Lewis Tregonwell. The town’s growth accelerated with the arrival of the railway in 1870, and it became a recognised town. Originally part of Hampshire, it joined Dorset in 1972.

Does Bournemouth have a University?

I visited Bournemouth in the summer of 2019 and really enjoyed soaking up the sun on the beach and exploring all the cute shops and restaurants. The town has a really laid-back and relaxed vibe which I loved.

Bournemouth University is located in the town centre and has over 19,000 students enrolled. The university was founded in 1992 as one of the new universities, but its origins date back to 1870 when the first privately owned opened in the town.

While Bournemouth University is a relatively young institution, it’s well respected and ranked in the UK’s top 30% of universities.

So, although Bournemouth doesn’t yet have city status, it has many of the characteristics commonly associated with cities, like a large population, a university, and even a cathedral!

How is living in Bournemouth?

Bournemouth is a great place to live!

The town has a relaxed and laid-back vibe, beautiful beaches, and plenty of shops and restaurants to enjoy. The cost of living in Bournemouth is also relatively low when compared to other UK cities. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Bournemouth is around £650 per month, which is quite affordable.

There are also plenty of job opportunities in Bournemouth, as the town is home to many large businesses and organisations.

Overall, living in Bournemouth is enjoyable and convenient, and it’s a great place to call home.

Bournemouth Named Among the Happiest Place in England

A 2007 survey by first direct showed that Bournemouth was the happiest place in Britain, with 82% of respondents stating they were happy with their life.  The survey also found that Bournemouth residents were more likely to volunteer, give blood, and help out a neighbour than residents of other UK cities.

So, it’s no surprise that people enjoy living in Bournemouth! The town has a lot to offer, and its residents are some of the happiest in the country.

What makes Bournemouth unique?

Bournemouth is unique for many reasons, but one of the most notable is its location.

Bournemouth is most famous for its beautiful beaches stretching over seven miles. The town also has a number of other notable attractions, including the Bournemouth Eye, Bournemouth Gardens and plenty of other little places to explore.

If you’re thinking to visit Bournemouth, I made a list of the top things to do in Bournemouth:

1. Have a walk or bike ride

You will find seven miles of golden sands and sparkling sea along the promenade from Bournemouth Pier to Boscombe Pier. This is a must-do while in Bournemouth, whether you want to lay back and relax or participate in some of the many activities on offer.

2. Visit the Bournemouth Pavilion

Take a look inside this stunning Victorian building, which houses a theatre, ballet school, conference facilities and more. While you are there, treat yourself to afternoon tea in the Pavilion Tea Rooms.

3. Explore Bournemouth Gardens

Bournemouth Gardens is a gorgeous green space in the heart of the town, perfect for a summer picnic or a winter walk. The gardens also play host to a number of events throughout the year, so make sure to check what’s on before you visit.

4. Visit the Bournemouth Eye

Take a ride on the Bournemouth Eye, which offers stunning views over the town and coastline. This is a great activity for adults and children and is the perfect way to get your bearings before exploring the rest of Bournemouth.

5. Visit Brownsea Island

A nature reserve located just off the coast of Bournemouth, Brownsea Island is home to red squirrels, peacocks and a variety of bird species. Take a ferry over to the island and explore the nature trails, or simply relax on the beach.


Bournemouth is a great town with plenty to offer, but it’s not a city. The town lost its bid for city status in early 2022, and while it has many of the characteristics commonly associated with cities, it doesn’t have the population or economy to warrant such a designation. Bournemouth is a great place to live and work, but for now, it will be just a beautiful town.

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