There is a great deal of information to be found on the net about England’s Bournemouth Beach, its amusement strip, and the pier. Here, I won’t try to compete with what others have written; suffice it is to say that Bournemouth’s Pier Zip Line, which was first opened in 2014 (I think), is the world’s first, and longest, pier to shore zip wire experience. To catch a ride and surf above the waves, you pay your money (a lot), then listen to the instructor and put on your safety helmet before climbing to the top of the tower that sits very high above the deck at the end of the pier. There, you are attached to the pier zip by means of a harness that hangs down from the wire that runs across from the top of the tower to the anchor point on the beach, and away you go for a bit of a thrill, for a zip-wire surfing experience.
It all looked rather good to us, thrill-seekers that we are, but the weather was foul, and I didn’t notice any brave souls taking a wind-surfing zip. We certainly didn’t. In fact, I don’t even know if the zip line was closed for business, but if it had been open, and if the weather had been a little nicer than it was and the wind not quite as fierce, we might have been tempted to take advantage of being on the spot, and enjoyed the pleasure of a zip or two.
Bob and I could not even the enjoy the pleasure of eating an ice-cream during our flying visit to this famous beach because the season had not yet begun. Everything was still closed. Nothing, not even the ice-creamery, was due to open until the season officially began, another two weeks from then. Still, despite the fact that the season had not yet kicked off, and despite the fact that Bournemouth Pier and amusement strip are less favoured than other like sea-side holiday areas because it is considered to be a quieter area and one which does not offer as many amusements as do the other more favoured destinations, there seemed to us to be quite a few people around.
This comparative “quietness” suited Bob and me fine, and between us, even though the cold wind was blowing fiercely, we managed to take quite a few photos of the amusement strip, and the beach, and the pier, as well as the church that sits on the cliff above the beach.
Apart from the fact that I was thrilled to be there, to be actually living the atmosphere and breathing in history along with the saltiness of the sea air, I got a huge kick out of being unable to keep my feet as we walked along the high pier. I suppose one could say I am short, and rather slightly-built. As I mentioned, the wind was blowing very hard indeed. Much to Bob’s amusement and the amusement of a number of more solidly-built onlookers, while we were walking along the pier I got knocked sideways by the gusting wind and ended up flat on the deck, and being blown towards the rails at a great rate of knots. It was some experience. I suppose that on one hand it was a teeny bit frightening: I was certain I’d end up going over the edge and taking a swim with the board-riders. To me, the sea looked a tad cold and uninviting, and, here I was, dressed in heavy, warm clothes. Yet at the same time the experience was wonderfully exciting and exhilarating, and I loved every minute of being the wind’s plaything.
Further along the beach we came across rows and rows of bathing boxes that had been there since Victorian times. These boxes were deserted. The only person around was a hardy fellow dressed in nothing but a pair of budgies. We asked him if the boxes were only there for show. He assured us that they were still very much in use today, and that things would get a little more lively once the season began, in two weeks from now.