Bournemouth is a large coastal resort town in the county of Dorset, England. It first came to prominence in the late-19th century thanks to a book called The Spas of England, which identified its waters as particularly beneficial for respiratory complaints. Affluent holiday-makers began flocking to it and the town quickly grew, with the creation of the Winter Gardens, the Pleasure Gardens and the Pier, as well as various theatres and cafes. In recent years it has continued to find innovatory ways of attracting tourists, such as the Bournemouth Eye, a helium-filled balloon attached to a steel cable which provides a panoramic view of the surrounding area.
Bournemouth is well served by the rail network with two railway stations in the Borough: the main Bournemouth station and Pokesdown to the East. South West Trains operates a comprehensive service to London Waterloo with a journey time of as little as 97 minutes. This line also serves Southampton, Winchester and Basingstoke to the East, with Poole, Wareham, Dorchester and Weymouth to the West.