Pokesdown For AFC Bournemouth
If you are visiting Dean Court this season here is our visitors guide provided by the Pokesdown Community Forum.
If you are coming to watch a game at Dean Court, Pokesdown is the nearest place for shops, eateries and cafes. As Pokesdown station is also the nearest train station you will probably find yourself walking through the area.
If you only have a few a hours before a game we have put together a guide to the area specifically with away fans in mind. If you have longer it's not a surprise we would suggest hitting the beach or town centre. There's a brief guide lower down. A word of warning is that the centre of Bournemouth is at least 45 mins walk from the ground so don't expect to pop into town before the game. Plan ahead and enjoy your visit.
Getting From Pokesdown to Dean Court
Pokesdown itself is just east of Boscombe and about 15-20 mins walk from the ground. If you are getting the train, Pokesdown is the nearest stop to Dean Court, although check if your train stops here. It's a fairly small station and if you feel the lack of lifts is a problem do us a favour a let South West Trains know what you think:)
From the train station turn right (there is only one exit) and walk down Christchurch Road for approximately 10 mins, until you get to Gloucester Road. Turn right into Gloucester Rd and continue until you enter Kings Park. The ground is just beyond the car park.
Vintage and Arts
Pokesdown is the home of vintage and antiques shops, and easily ranks amongst the best places for retro shopping on the south coast. Several of the shops are regularly featured in top ten vintage shops or national magazine shoots.
If this is your thing don't miss out on Clobber (huge vintage clothes shop), What Alice Found (fashion and art) or Love From Hetty and Dave (handmade accessories). Geek Boutique is also a must for anyone into anything from Star Wars to old toys or cult clothing.
For more details check out our guide to vintage shops click here.
Pokesdown has traditionally been known as the place to pick up antique treasures. Anything from expensive furniture pieces to small items and bric a brac can be found in the numerous shops. We have prepared a guide to Pokesdown Antique shops, but be aware there are more beyond the boundaries and new shops opening all the time (click here).
Food and Drink
Great local beers and ciders as well as locally produced food can be found in Monty's Lounge, whilst the Seabournes is the a large pub in Pokesdown serving the legendary Ringwood Beers on tap. A number of coffee shops have been established for some time, whilst Little Pickle Deli is great for a bite of lunch and a cuppa. Don't forget the chippy, Fish Tails, opposite Gloucester Road.
Our guide to food and drink will give you a starting point in Pokesdown (click here).
I'm Looking For Away Friendly Boozers/Pubs?
If you are coming in a large group of away fans, wearing colours etc looking for typical football pubs you'll find the big pubs near the ground are now home fans only. The Seabournes (The Bell) in Pokesdown is one of these and usually designated home fans only. However, for low profile games with few away followers this is sometimes relaxed. Designated away pubs are usually in Bournemouth (for high profile games) or at least two can be found in Boscombe just a short walk from Pokesdown along Christchurch Rd. The Percy Shelley is a Wetherspoon, although this is a 'no colours' pub, whilst 'Mello Mello' next door is also open to away fans. Neither will win awards for good food or pub of the year award, but it depends what you are looking for. As always check before you go because this can change at any moment. Dorset Plod ran a twitter feed during 2012-13 which gave good updates on where to go for these sort of pubs (if you fancy drinking behind a line of Police out of a plastic cup).
If you want to sample decent beer or food, other places in and around Pokesdown will of course accept away fans, er, 'undercover', but wearing colours and starting a sing song will certainly mean goodbye. Due to one or two incidents recently in pubs there is a zero tolerance hence the rigorous home fans only policy in the area.
Check out the guide above to drinking and food.
Exploring further into Bournemouth & Boscombe
If you new to the area and have a bit longer venture further into town. An excellent guide to places to eat has just been put together by the Guardian (click here). This avoids all the usual chain restaurants and tourist traps. A couple of these are within walking distance of Pokesdown as well. We would also recommend Boscanova in Boscombe for a bohemian type cafe, Urban Reef for stunning views overlooking Boscombe Pier and Chaplins/Cellar Bar for CAMRA approved beer nearby.
As you can guess, there are hundreds of hotels if you choose a long weekend. Pokesdown itself has very few B&B's within the boundary, although there are plenty of fantastic places nearby which are a great base for a weekend to enjoy the town. We'd recommend Urban Beach in Boscombe or Southbourne Grove Hotel in Southbourne. Further into Bournemouth you can find a multitude of hotels for all budgets and styles. There are plenty of older hotels reinventing themselves into 'boutiques', so it's worth looking beyond the chains. Try The Cumberland for an Art Deco alternative, or The Green House on the East Cliff. There's even a Chocolate Hotel on the West Cliff:-) If you are staying outside of town, or camping somewhere like the Purbecks in the holiday season double your journey time on the roads to Pokesdown or Dean Court.
Written by Pokesdown Community Forum.