Arts by the Sea is an inspirational eight-day festival of artistic and cultural experiences. Using Bournemouth's beautiful and unique town centre locations, we showcase a vibrant street arts programme, diverse music, dance, illuminated site-specific installations and exciting large-scale spectaculars. You can also participate in some of our performances too.
The majority of festival events are free and family friendly and the main venue for the festival is the Central Gardens, Town Square, Lower Gardens and Pier Approach. The main entrance to the festival is via the Town Square.
Some events are ticketed and take place in indoor venues across the town.
There is level access from the main entrance to:Lower Gardens Festival indoor venuesTown Hall car park
There is level access from the car park to:Grass areas & Park Benches in the Gardens
Travel by public transport
There is a bus station and a taxi rank outside the train station. Most buses will take you into the Town Centre via Bournemouth Square (Gervis Place).
Travel by taxi
The main part of the festival will take place in the Central and Lower Gardens and the Town Square, which all have accessible routes. The Pier and Town Hall are less than 1 mile apart from each other and are connected by the Gardens and the Square. (Please note that the performance outside the Town Hall is not accessible from the Central Gardens, please follow Bourne Avenue for wheelchair friendly access).
Most parts of Bournemouth are on a slope, however access from the Pavilion car park into the gardens is level (with 2 purpose built slopes behind the Pavilion). The new BH2 complex in the town centre has parking and is adjacent to the Lower Gardens with level disabled access into the Gardens.
Path to main entrance
The festival is centred in the Gardens, branching out to the Pier, Beaches and Town Hall. There is direct access from the Town Square to both Central and Lower Gardens. The Town Hall can be accessed via the Square, following Bourne Avenue (please note that the Town Hall is not accessible from the Central Gardens). The Pier and Beaches are accessible via the Lower Gardens. Most entrances have accessible slopes, however some can be steep. Best accesses are via the Pavilion lift or from the Town Square.
Getting around inside
Things to See and Do
Spectator/ Audience viewing areas
Town Hall: accessible viewing area
There is an accessible viewing area for performances outside the Town Hall. Other locations do not have a designated area.
The toilet is located in the Lower Gardens, opposite the old balloon field.
It is very close to the Town Square and buses.
There are more Accessible Toilet facilities throughout Bournemouth: 1.Debenhams, Town Square, 2.Bournemouth Central East Promenade, next to Harry Ramsden’s 3.Pier Entrance 4.Richmond Gardens, Floor 1 multi-storey car park, 5.Bournemouth Library, The Triangle 6.Bournemouth Station, next to the National Express ticket office
Festival indoor venues
The Festival includes performances in several indoor venues. These are either unticketed, ticketed and free or require paid tickets. Please check the festival website or brochure for more information. For Accessibility information on these venues, please contact the venue or visit their website:
Pavilion Dance South West: https://www.pdsw.org.uk/about-us/visit-us/
Shelley Theatre: http://shelleytheatre.co.uk/article.php?sec=ABOUT&articleId=3567
Russell-Cotes Museum: http://russellcotes.com/accessibility/
Bournemouth Natural Science Society: http://bnss.org.uk/visit-us/
St Peter's Church: http://www.stpetersbournemouth.org.uk/contact-us/
Getting around outside
Grass areas & Park Benches in the Gardens
Please note that this is an outdoor festival. Visitors are welcome to bring their own food which can be consumed anywhere around the gardens, except the kiosk benches, which are reserved for customers only. Visitors can use the grass areas and park benches around the gardens, however there are other picnic and cafe areas from different businesses that may allow you to consume your own food at their tables.
Town Hall car park
Customer care support
Customer care support