Weymouth vs Bournemouth: Which Seaside Town is Better?

Hengistbury Head Beach
Photo by Belinda Fewings via Unsplash
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Bournemouth is a popular seaside town in Southern England with lots to offer travelers. Known for its gorgeous sandy beaches, vibrant nightlife, and world-famous landmarks. Bournemouth attracts nearly 5 million visitors every year from all walks of life and countries across the world. Bournemouth is the largest seaside resort town in Dorset. The town center has a lot to offer in the way of shops, bars, restaurants, clubs, and gardens.

Weymouth is known for its blue flag winning beach and is also a popular seaside resort town in Dorset. The Georgian grandeur of Weymouth was introduced to the world during the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics and has gained in popularity ever since. Home to some beautiful sandy and pebbled beaches, Weymouth is a very picturesque British town. There’s is plenty on offer here too from action-packed events to pubs, clubs and bars you’ll always find something to enjoy. 

But which seaside town should you visit first? Weymouth or Bournemouth? We’ve compared all the main aspects of a holiday and compiled them into a list. All you need to do is read our guide and decide for yourself.

Weymouth vs Bournemouth: Accommodation

Weymouth Harbor
Photo by Belinda Fewings via Unsplash

There is plenty of accommodation available throughout Weymouth and Bournemouth. Whether you’re looking for a home away from home, a hotel with a sea view, or a campsite to enjoy with the kids, there is all manner of accommodation to suit everyone’s needs. 

Bournemouth is home to some popular hotels such as the Marriott, Holiday Inn, Best Western, as well as some other independent hotels.

Hotel prices in Bournemouth average at $90 per night with some, but not all, including breakfast. However, you don’t have to go to hotels, there is also plenty of campsites that average around $35 per night. So if you prefer to be one with nature and love camping then this could be a much better and cheaper option for you. Another increasingly popular option is self-catering accommodation through sites like Air BnB where you can really feel at home and live like a local. Average costs for these vary between $100 to $400 dollars a night. 

There is no huge difference in hotel accommodation costs between Weymouth and Bournemouth. However, you’ll find that accommodation in Weymouth tends to be slightly cheaper.

Airbnbs in Weymouth are actually a little cheaper starting from around $80 per night. However, during peak season (July to September) prices can average around $150 per night depending on the accommodation you go for. While Airbnbs are a great option for those looking to live like a local, you can also choose from plenty of campsites if that’s something you prefer. Campsites in Weymouth will also cost you on average around $35 per night. 

Winner: Weymouth. More choice of campsites and slightly cheaper accommodation costs.

Weymouth vs Bournemouth: Prices

Bournemouth pier
Photo by Liam Charmer via Unsplash

Bournemouth and Weymouth are popular seaside towns for solo travelers as well as couples and families. But how much would it cost you as a solo traveler? Research shows that as a solo traveler you would need to budget between $139 to $302 per day for Bournemouth and between $160 to $297 per day for Weymouth. This includes food, drinks, accommodation, transport, and any sightseeing activities you may want to do.

While there isn’t much difference between the two, Bournemouth does work out marginally cheaper per day. Flights, accommodation, and public transport are likely to be your highest cost. Using price comparison sites will help you choose the best deal and you may even find some sites that offer all-inclusive packages. 

WeymouthBournemouth
Average Cost Per Day$228.50$220.50
Average Cost Per Week$1,601.00$1,541.00
Average costs for a solo traveler. Table Created by Author

For a couple, the price per day in Bournemouth can range from $304 to around $529. This takes into consideration the cost of food, drinks, accommodation, transport, and sightseeing. These costs are marginally less than they are in Weymouth.

If you were to go to Weymouth your average costs for a couple range between $331 to around $540 depending on where you stay, what you do, and where you go to eat. You are looking to spend between $86 and $134 on transport, sightseeing, and food per day. Accommodation and flights are often what make up the majority of your expenses. Flight costs will vary depending on where you are flying from, the time of year you are flying, and which airport you are flying into.

WeymouthBournemouth
Average Cost Per Day$435.50$416.50
Average Cost Per Week$3,049.00$2,915.00
Average costs for a couple. Table created by author

The average costs per day for a family of four looking to go to Bournemouth on holiday are between $435 to $938 per day. While you may be able to do this cheaper depending on where you are staying, whether you are going out for meals three times a day, and by limiting the paid activities you do, you’ll likely find that on some days during your holiday you’ll spend a lot less than on other days.

When comparing these prices to Weymouth, you’ll find yourself needing to budget between $508 and $907 per day to include food, drinks, accommodation, transport, and sightseeing. When comparing the average of these figures you’ll find that Bournemouth still comes out top on the cheapest place for a family vacation, even if only by a small margin.

WeymouthBournemouth
Average Cost Per Day$707.50$695.50
Average Cost Per Week$4,952.00$4,868.00
Average costs for a family of 4. Table created by author


Winner: Bournemouth, Cheaper all-round when compared to Weymouth.

Weymouth vs Bournemouth: Beaches

Studland Beach with deck chairs on sand dune
Photo by Nick Fewings via Unsplash

There are plenty of beaches scattered along the coast of Bournemouth. From Sandbanks to Studland and everything in-between. You’ll find plenty of choices. There are a huge variety of beaches around Bournemouth from your well-known ones like Hengistbury Head, Bournemouth Beach, Sandbanks, and Durdle Door to other slightly lesser-known ones like Canford Cliffs and Mudeford Beach.

A number of Bournemouth beaches are also dog-friendly so your four-legged pooch can join you. It is always best to check the signage as there are some restrictions during peak times. For those that like to feel free and aren’t scared to take their clothes off, Bournemouth even has its own naturist beach at Studland. 

Weymouth has far fewer beaches than Bournemouth. The most notable ones are Chesil Beach, Bowleaze Cove, and Weymouth Beach. Most of Bournemouth’s beaches are fine yellow sand and are perfect for building sandcastles, however, in Weymouth, you’ll find that the beaches are a bit mixed. With a few having nice golden sand while others are pebbled.

Most notably Chesil Beach is a long pebble beach that contains no sand, however, it’s perfect for dogs, although swimming here is not advised. Some travelers may prefer a beach where they can just sit, listen and watch as the waves crash against the shore, others will prefer to take a refreshing dive and even feel the wet sand and water beneath their feet as they take a late afternoon stroll. If that’s more your kind of thing then Bournemouth will definitely be more suited for you and with so many to choose from you’ll never get bored.

Winner: Bournemouth. Lots of choices and plenty of dog-friendly and family-friendly beaches too.

Weymouth vs Bournemouth: Things To Do

Moody photo of Durdle Door rocks and beach
Photo by Andy Holmes via Unsplash

Bournemouth is filled with plenty of things to do, from walks to bike rides, to aquariums and arcades and both Bournemouth and Weymouth have a lot to offer. Bournemouth in particular is close to many stunning beaches for days out in the sun, there are also boat trips, steam trains, and even National Trust properties within easy access via public transport. 

Corfe Castle is a beautiful castle ruin at the top of a hill, that offers incredible views and a peek into Bournemouth’s history. There’s a Ferris wheel on the beachfront, an arcade, and plenty of shops and restaurants along the high street. There’s an aquarium for the children and those that love marine animals. Other famous places within a short distance of Bournemouth are Old Harry’s Rocks, Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove, and the New Forest, as well as bike and bus tours. If traveling at the end of august and into the beginning of September you may even be able to enjoy the wonders of the Bournemouth Air Festival which features airplane displays from the Red Arrows, Spitfires, Aerial Acrobatics, as well as live army demonstrations. 

For most of the activities you find in Bournemouth, you’ll find something similar in Weymouth. Weymouth also has its own Sea Life Centre, beaches, and is also a short distance from the Jurassic Coast and Durdle Door. However, you’ll also find an abundance of beautiful gardens that are open to the public, nature reserves that are perfect for bird spotting, as well as lots of cycle routes and historical buildings.

You can explore Nothe Fort which offers stunning views of the Jurassic Coast, with picnic areas to enjoy lunch in the glorious sunshine. Enjoy a boat trip or learn to sail, hire a bike and cycle 17 miles along the Portland Trail, or simply enjoy a relaxing walk along the beach or the South West Coastal Path. No matter what you’re looking to do there will be plenty of choice throughout Bournemouth and Weymouth. 

Winner: Weymouth and Bournemouth. Both offer a wide array of activities to suit the whole family including the fluffy, four-legged members.

Weymouth vs Bournemouth: Food

Ice cream
Photo by Lama Roscu via Unsplash

Bournemouth is known as a bustling cosmopolitan destination with food to match. From snacks and light bites to fancy 5-star cuisine and fine dining, you’ll find it all here. There are plenty of international and British chain restaurants as well as several independent, family-run restaurants. You’ll also find a lot of places to choose from that serve traditional English dishes like fish and chips as well as several ice cream parlors and pubs.

No matter where you go in Bournemouth whether you take walk along the beachfront or through the center of town you’ll find an array of places to eat.

While you might find an array of places to eat in Bournemouth, you’ll also find a huge selection in Weymouth. From traditional fish and chip shops to fine dining restaurants, you’ll find something for even the fussiest eaters in your family. You’ll also find several desserts and ice cream parlors close to the seafront. Why not enjoy a traditional afternoon tea with a view at one of Weymouth’s cafes. There’s a range of cuisine throughout the town, from Italian to French, British, Chinese, and Caribbean, you’ll find a choice to suit your tastebuds. 

Winner: Weymouth. Has a wide variety of cuisine to suit all tastebuds.

Weymouth vs Bournemouth: Nightlife

Bournemouth at night
Photo by Kieran White via Unsplash

Bournemouth is known as being a strong student town, which not only makes it slightly cheaper when it comes to food and drinks, it also means it has a very strong and vibrant nightlife. There are plenty of clubs around the town center all within a short walk from each other, which makes them popular for bar hopping, pub golf, and stag dos. You won’t just find chain clubs like revolutions and walkabout, you’ll also find some quirky independent ones like Halo – a nightclub inside an old church. Bournemouth has a huge range of cocktail bars, nightclubs, and live music venues and offers one of the best nights out for you and your friends. 

Weymouth may not have as many nightclubs as Bournemouth but many still consider it to be a good night out. It’s a popular place for hen and stag dos making it a great seaside town to party in. Although choices are a little more limited compared to Bournemouth, you’ll still be able to find cocktail bars as well as several places offering special events such as foam parties and guest DJs playing along the esplanade. Many clubs in the old harbor offer fantastic night views across Weymouth bay. You can also enjoy live performances, plays, and ballet at the seaside Pavillon Theater. 

Winner: Bournemouth, it’s made for partying and offers a huge range of clubs, bars, and live music venues. 

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Justine King is from the UK and has been a full-time traveller and freelance writer since 2020 after a 6-year career in Hospitality. Clients benefit from her love and knowledge of the sector as she creates informative and inspiring articles to help guide readers totheir next travel destination.