BOURNEMOUTH was founded in 1810 by Captain Lewis Tregonwell.

The Royal Exeter Hotel is one of the most important buildings in the town as it incorporates the very first private residence in Bournemouth. It was built by Captain Lewis Tregonwell who purchased the land for £179 and 11 shillings, and was completed in 1812.

After Tregonwell's death in 1832 the house was let out - one resident was the Marchioness of Exeter, after her stay the house was renamed Exeter House and the road renamed Exeter Road.

Before it was founded by Tregonwell, much of the area was a deserted heathland, visited by smugglers and fishermen. Bournemouth grew rapidly as a town in 1870 with the arrival of the railway.

Historically part of Hampshire, it joined Dorset in 1974.

Bournemouth attracts an influx of visitors year round due to its sandy beaches, nightlife, shops off Bournemouth Square and business links, including the Bournemouth International Centre. The town centre boasts notable Victorian architecture - St Peter’s Church is one of the three Grade l listed churches.

Situated east of Bournemouth lies the historic resort of Boscombe.

Boscombe was originally an independent settlement, separated from Bournemouth by dense wood and moorland.

It was in 1976 when Boscombe was incorporated into the boundaries of Bournemouth.

Many of you will be familiar with Shelley Manor in Boscombe. Percy Bysshe Shelley and his wife, the novelist Mary Shelley, lived and loved the Tuscan lifestyle and brought up their son Percy Florence Shelley to appreciate Italy and the seaside.

Originally built as 'Boscombe Cottage' in 1801, Sir Percy. F Shelley later purchased the building with the intent of making it into a Tuscan villa, appreciating the mild climate and environment for his mother Lady Shelley.

At the heart of the building is the famous Shelley Theatre which today has been transformed.

In 2005, Shelley Manor was sold by the council to Charles Higgins Partnership to house two new medical surgeries, eleven apartments, two penthouses, and a restaurant and café.

Continuing eastwards, Southbourne is a vibrant and popular suburb of Bournemouth that thrives all year round and attracts visitors to the area's scores of hotels, guesthouses and holiday flats.

Southbourne was originally known as Stourfield, named after the River Stour which runs into the estuary at Christchurch.

The area came to national attention when Charles Rolls, of Rolls-Royce fame, died in an air crash in Southbourne.

For many years one of Southbourne's most popular attractions was the shell house on the clifftop which was demolished in 2001.

The clifftop is a popular spot with a cliff railway running between the coastal road and the beach near Fishermans Walk.

There are also frequent bus services to and from Pokesdown to nearby Christchurch and Bournemouth town centre, as well as frequent transport links to London from Pokesdown railway station, which opened in 1886.