Sand, sea and one of the sunniest spots in England. Bournemouth is home to all things nautical, a seven-mile swathe of Blue Flag beaches dotted with quintessentially English beach huts, a traditional pleasure pier and plenty of ice-cream kiosks. Rattle up the cliffs in the funicular lift for views to the Isle of Wight and encounters with local kestrels and green lizards, or admire the blooms in the chine gardens below. When afternoon tea beckons, hop out to one of the traditional Dorset villages and then browse boutiques, farmers markets and antiques. After dark, it’s time for a tipple at trendy wine bars before catching a show straight from the West End.