INTERNATIONAL best-selling writer (and former Bournemouth Echo journalist ) Bill Bryson spoke about the "glory" of his adopted hometown in Notes From A Small Island.

"Towns generally look more handsome from the top deck of a bus, but nowhere more so than Bournemouth," he said.

"At street level, it's essentially like any other English town - lots of building society offices and chain stores, all with big plate-glass windows - but upstairs you suddenly realise that you are in one of Britain's great Victorian communities."

With that in mind, we've taken some photos of the town centre as you may not have seen it before. Richmond Hill, the Square and Post Office Road are among those destinations transformed simply by looking upwards.

Ken Mantock, the chair of the Bournemouth Civic Society, said it is difficult to choose just one of the town's locations as his favourite.

"We have a garden city setting right by the sea. There is wonderful Victorian or Edwardian architecture. This is all set within a spacious landscape," he said.

"Even where buildings have been redeveloped, they are set in spacious grounds.

"Everything is set against the backdrop of the sea.

"There are some really special areas, particularly in places where there's a lot of Edwardian architecture. I think Westover Cliff Drive is very beautiful and grand.

"However, these are some wonderful commercial and office buildings in the town centre, including in Old Christchurch Road and the Lansdowne.

"A lot of shop frontages have been changed over the years, bur if you just look higher, there is some amazing detail to see, which is often Victorian and very gothic in style."

Mr Mantock also highlighted Bournemouth's diversity.

"In Holdenhurst and Muscliff, for example, there are old village farmsteads - places where artisans and labourers would have lived," he said.

"Bournemouth became much more fashionable in the 1800s as people came to recuperate and get the healthy air.

"The town has a huge range of architecture as a result, from those little farmers' cottages through to great industrial buildings and stately mansions.

"It's the same in Boscombe. If we look around, there is so much to see."