You may be an Air Festival veteran, or perhaps this is your first time to the event. We've pulled together some handy tips and advice if you're heading down this year.

How do we get there?

The town is always really busy, so you're risking long queues and delays if you choose to drive all the way in.

The East Cliff will be closed off, along with Grove Road, or Manor Road and roads in Boscombe and Southbourne are usually very busy by mid-morning.

We would recommend using the Park and Rides at Kings Park, if you are bringing your car – it’s £10 per vehicle on Thursday and Sunday and £12 on Friday and Saturday. They run from 9am-11pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and from 9am until 7pm on Sunday.

Tickets enable a maximum of seven people per car, or there will be buses running every five minutes from the railway station to Bournemouth Square.

What about disabled parking?

Disabled parking is available but limited. The disabled parking drop-off point is at the bottom of Sea Road at Boscombe Pier. Accessible car-parks are at Sea Road BH5 1BN (70 spaces) and the Winter Gardens BH2 5AQ (250 spaces). There is accessible viewing available at Monkey Island BH1 3EZ (80 car parking spaces).

How busy is it at the pier?

Very. The central flight line for the festival runs between Bournemouth and Boscombe piers, and there are stands, stalls and activities all along the beach. We recommend arriving early to get a decent spot, particularly at the weekend.

People stake their claim on the best spots on the overcliff and beach from 7am onwards, so if you can’t or don’t want to wait all day, try further up the beach in both directions. Southbourne is usually much quieter although getting parking can be tricky.

The view may not be quite as good but you’ll still get to see everything, just with a bit more elbow room.

See also: Six places to watch the Air Festival you might not have thought of

Bournemouth Echo: Holidaymakers enjoy an earlier Bournemouth Air Festival

Who can help if I have any questions?

There will be lots of people and volunteers on hand, advising on what’s going on when and where and generally helping people find their way around at this year’s air festival. 

We'll be live blogging each day to keep you up-to-date with what's happening, latest traffic and parking information, plus answer any questions you may have.

See also: Why aren't the Red Arrows at the Air Festival this year?

What's new for this year?

The RAF Typhoon will be returning joined by the Saab Draken from Sweden and the Canadair T-33 Silver Star from Norway.

See more: Typhoon flying times announced for Bournemouth air show

How loud does it get? Can I bring my toddler?

Obviously, the noise level varies from plane to plane, with the Eurofighter Typhoon the loudest of them all (and that’s really loud). How scared your child will be depends on how they usually react to noise, but we would recommend ear defenders or ear plugs for children and anyone who doesn’t really like loud noise.

Bournemouth Echo:


Cloud and wind can affect some of the displays or lead to cancellations but we'll keep up-to-date on this in our daily live blogs. We'll be giving an up to date forecast in the days immediately before the big event begins. It can be windy on the seafront, so bring warmer clothes than you think you might need, and don't forget the sun cream!

Things that aren’t planes:

There’s lots to do and see away from the flying – from funfairs to falconry and face-painting for the children. There will be entertainment in the Lower Gardens plus, trade stalls, food and drink stands and a funfair on the seafront. 

There will also be a villages for the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force, plus numerous displays going on at the Air Festival Beach Assault Arena.

Bournemouth Echo:

Night Air:

As well as flying during the day, there are dusk displays on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 8.20pm 

There's also live music on the beach next to Bournemouth Pier and entertainment in the Lower Gardens Band Stand and all the fun of the fair on the beach.

Bournemouth Echo:


Friday, August 30 (as part of Bournemouth Air Festival)

Saturday, August 31 (as part of Bournemouth Air Festival)

Friday, September 6 (additional date on account of recent cancellations)

Lost children:

The LV=KidsZone on the seafront will be operating as usual but a tip from a reader – write your mobile number on your child’s arm, in case you get separated away from the beach. It’s always worth having a designated “meet here in case of emergency” place if your child is old enough.

First Aid:

St John Ambulance and South Western Ambulance Service will be providing medical cover. 

Four treatment centres will be ready to help those in needs of any medical attention. 

SJA are providing six ambulances, Cycle Response units (CRU) and over 40 First Aiders.


All the toilets along the seafront are open, as are those in the gardens. See where they are here

Is there food at the seafront?

Yes. There are catering points along the beach front and on East Overcliff, where there will be a range of foods from noodles to fish to a hog roast. It’s always worth bringing water and snacks though, in case you don’t want to give up your prime viewing spot on the beach. There's 1.5 miles of traders and a variety of veritable vendors.

Bournemouth Echo:

Don’t forget: 

A chair, sun cream, water, binoculars, a wind break, some warm clothes in case it’s windy and something waterproof in case there’s a sudden shower.


Try and leave as soon as the flying ends – either duck out early or hang around and explore the gardens, go for something to eat (but make sure you book as everywhere fills up very early) or relax and wait for the dusk displays.


Take your litter home with you! 

'Leave Only Footprints': Visitors to the beach reminded again to pick up litter after big coastal clean-up

Remember to check back for our live coverage throughout all four days - delays, weather and flying updates as well as much, much more.