BOURNEMOUTH AIR FESTIVAL GUIDE
Bournemouth Air Festival
#GetHomeHappy with our handy guide
The Bournemouth Air Festival is amazing! It’s free to attend and great fun. This year is the 10th year so to make sure you have the BEST time and #GetHomeHappy we’ve put together our guide with tips, hacks and advice for you.
- Unlike most Festivals – the Bournemouth Air Festival is FREE! So, you can spend your pennies on spoiling yourself with some delicious food and drink at Urban Reef Restaurant! (well you didn’t think this guide would be entirely objective and impartial did you!)
- Use the Park & Ride – essential if you don’t want to waste time searching for a car park space! Park & Ride can be found at Kings Park (Thu / Fri / Sat & Sun), Redhill Park (Fri / Sat & Sun) or Littledown on Saturday only.
- If you are a plane fan of the Air Fest and want front row ‘seats’ and cliff-top views, head for the East Overcliff, midway between the piers. It’s where the display is centred so you’ll have the best vantage point as well as the commentary. It’s also where the Red Arrows and the Blades line up for their grand entrance to the display.
- Whilst you are on the clifftop you can check out the new location for the Jon Egging memorial. It’s a beautiful sculpture and a fitting tribute to the Reds pilot.
- If you are more of a casual observer and like a nice free parking spot, head to Southbourne Beach, park on the clifftop and you can sit in a lofty spot on the dunes or get down to the waters edge for a wide view of the bay. You might even walk past Urban Reef and the Wood Oven, perfect for a coffee, lunch, a quick pint, or takeaway pizza. Yup, we did it again 😉
- Don’t forget ear defenders for little ones (and big ones) that are sensitive to loud noises.
- Alum Chine is also a great spot, because lots of planes turn here, including the Red Arrows and you can get some cracking photos of the pilots. We would recommend dropping into Jenkins & Sons on your way there for breakfast. There’s another one 🙂
- If you want to get up close head up to Bournemouth Airport, you’ll see the Red Arrows take off in formation (it’s why they use Bournemouth Airport for their summer base with the long, wide runway) and you’ll get a bonus display as they return after the main display.
- If you fancy getting on board one of the Navy vessels anchored in the Bay you can normally get tickets if you’re quick or if you are feeling lucky, head on to the pier – you might get a cheeky seat in place of a no-show.
- There is as much to do on the ground as there is going on in the air, all the Forces will have their villages on the beach. Try on an SAS rucksack, see a challenger tank do it’s stuff or witness the beach landing, it’s awe-inspiring.
- Don’t dash off after the planes have landed…understandably the roads and rail routes in the town get a bit chocca straight after the last display. So we say – Get Home Happy – stop for a drink, feed the kids, even get your head down, we’ll look after you.
- Always. Wear. Sunscreen (and sunglasses, if we get lucky and Summer pays a visit)
- Away from the beach, bars and restaurants will be quieter. Drop into Jenkins & Sons in Penn Hill or Urban Beach Hotel in Boscombe for a bite to eat or a refreshing drink, take part in our Mini Air Fest and pilot a plane or two yourself.
- Buy a souvenir programme to read up on all the amazing aircraft and ships at the Air Festival. You will also have access to an online up to the minute timetable – (only available to those with programmes) You will also be helping to raise funds for the military charities as each programme includes a donation to the charities.
- To celebrate 10 years of the Bournemouth Air Festival there will be a very special ‘Very Vintage Sunday’ on the East Overcliff. With vintage aircraft in the skies and cars on the ground – you will be treated to performances of skiffle, swing & lindy hop. Sounds like fun!!
- If you do fancy a swim in the sea during the Air Festival – pick a spot opposite Urban Reef as the other areas between Boscombe Pier and Bournemouth Pier will be an exclusion zone as the aircraft fly above.
- If you’re bringing little ones with you – grab an LV=Kidzone wristband from the Tourist Information Centre at Pier Approach – so if they do wander off they will be easily re-united with you.
- Stay during the day and through to the evening to experience Night Air with more performances in the skies with lights & flares and amazing musical entertainment on the beach front, through the gardens and on East Overcliff. Not to be missed!
- Follow @bournemouthairfestival Facebook page as they update it by the minute with useful information about what’s happening at the festival and they’re pretty hot at replying to your queries too.
Open seven days a week
Breakfast daily 8.00am - 11.00am Lunch 12.00pm - 5.00pm Evening 6.00pm - 10.00pm
Breakfast daily 8.00am - 11.00am
Lunch 12.00pm - 5.00pm
Evening 6.00pm - 10.00pm
Whether you're popping in for a Sunday lunch with family, a bite to eat with friends or a romantic dinner for two, you can book a table with us.