Living in Boscombe and Southborne, Bournemouth
Written by Anonymous Visitor and posted in Dorset, South West


Not quite a council estate, Boscombe was once a nice seaside town until everyone went away for their holidays and Boscombe became rough. Palmerston Road is for the prostitutes, and druggies live in Pokesdowne, for the discerning, there’s MaccyD’s, Poundland, Wilkinson’s and many antique shops in Pokesdowne.

I am from Parkstone in neighbouring Poole. Me and my friends (Not even skaters or grungers) have been threatened by a gang, saying that they were going to knife us but that never happened. Boscombe Pier is ran down with old toilets with the chains yanked out and other toilets have been closed. King’s Park is gloomy with a half built football stadium and other closed toilets where you can climb over the room and pee on needles. There isn’t just one gang here, but there are loads! Cackers go to Portchester Boys School or Avonbourne Girls School or for the really bad boys, Bicknell (Named after Bessie Bicknell who was interested in Bournemouth’s education) The crescent gardens has always been for drinkers and druggies with one eye asking you if you want to buy weed off them. Don’t go down Walpole Road or into the park at night and if you wait for a train at Pokesdowne, don’t go down to the platform until the train comes, I notice people wait in front of the camera where it is a bit safer (Just).


Sadly the characteristics of urban decay have moved into my dad’s childhood area of Southbourne. In the 1990s they closed the good Beaufort School to send the pupils to Portchester or Avonbourne schools and sold the site to build cheap houses, which singles mums moved with their kids- result, the crime went up and the house prices dropped and the middle classes (And lower) suffered. In Southbourne Cackers live on “The Estate” (Beaufort Estate) “The Mew” (Douglas Mews) or “The close” (Morley Close) or new areas. My mate moved into an average road and hated it their but has gotten used to it. Luckily most of Southbourne is safe still.

If you want my advice from a visitor, stay away!

  • Sparky

    I think that some of you need to stop flapping your gums rapidly on something you havnt got a f*cking clue about clearly, the way some of you have gone right into one about how we’re all druggies, scum etc then I think it would be safe to say NOT ONE OF YA HAVE EVER LIVED IN BOSCOMBE!!! I WOULD SUGGEST HOW THE F*CK can u know so much about how bad it it????? Your all just typical sheep following the crowd, and believing ever little bit gossip you hear. There may be a few down an outs in boscombe, but the Vast majority are PEOPLE WHO WORK, PEOPLE WITH A BIT OF CHARACTER IN LIFE, BUT MOST OF ALL PEOPLE WHO ARE REAL!!!! BETTER THAN BEING A SHEEP OR A WANNAA BE SNOB!!

  • Miranda Jones

    I lived in Boscombe for 1.5 years on my own in my flat on Walpole road. I have never had problem here, My neighbour keep them self to themselves but always say hello. I live across for chaplains bar which is probably the best bar in Bournemouth for Entertainment and food also with jerk hut, Urban Reef,Reef encounter. Boscombe beach is lovely compared to Bournemouth its quiet and never packed full of people and Boscombe garden is very family friendly . I never felt unsafe here and I am a 26 year old women who lives on her own , yes it has it moment but like every where at 3’O clock in the morning you are more likely to be mugged but that can be happen any where at that time. I have had friend live in parkstone who was just as rough as Boscombe maybe more but Bosombe has allot more going for it

  • Anaximandrecles

    Probably needs a new photo.

  • Saddened Resident

    We used to holiday in Boscombe when the children were young. It has really beautiful beaches. unfortunately somebody in there infinite wisdom decided to move in rehab centres when many were closing up and down the country…. so the whole area was filled with people in rehab. There are some, I am sure, that joined these groups and turned their lives around… but the ‘majority’ sit around on the backsides in cafes most of the day, enjoy the social life and wait for the excitement of a celeb turning up in their group and make no effort to contribute to society and taking an increased benefit payment as they are ex heroin addicts! . There are pushers everywhere, as many relapse after being paid to go into a detox centre. It is very easy to buy drugs there and many teenagers are being drawn into the life watching the dross claim their benefits and live in their government funded flats and hostels. It is sad that such a lovely place has been ruined beyond saving. The police are unable to do anything and must be frustrated pulling in the same people. What a waste of police funding! Now a very depressing place to live.

  • Abz

    I have lived in boscombe 4 years its not that bad ok there are a lot of people on benefits but they are only robbing themselves.
    Me and my husband run a successful business from our flat in boscombe, and have never encountered any of these problems.
    I was brought up on a rough estate in enfield and boscombe is paradise compaired to that . Home is what you make it.

  • Nigel Butter

    Before you dis Southbourne along with Pokesdown and Boscombe you should try living in some of the disenchanted areas around South London such as Brixton, Camberwell and Peckham. I moved away from Bournemouth to South London a number of years ago and make many visits to my old home town. Its is like going from the desert to a vibrant Oasis.
    Re Bicknell, I had a friend was well adjusted, very bright and persued a very fruitful career; he was sent to Bicknel for stealing a couple of cars. He didn’t have ADD, ADHD, Aspergers. Crime was definitely an element in the lives of a number of people at the school and the reason they were there. That was 35 years ago and I am glad that things appear to have changed.
    I would love to return to Southbourne at some point and I think it is a great place to be.
    I went to Beaufort school and was saddened greatly by it’s closure. It pad for the BIC though(note of sarcasm).

  • david


  • david

    S**T HOLE

  • david

    I moved to this sh*t hole without knowing the area .WHAT A CULTURE SHOCK FULL OF CRAP AND I GOT OUT IN ONE MONTH …..A QUALITY S**T HOLE

  • JACK

    Boscombe is simply a dismal place to find yourself. I have worked there for a while now, and do not agree with the ‘victim’ mentality of the druggies and prostitutes, those of which just make it a dire place for anyone who is just trying to get on and earn themselves a living in a respectable way! It isn’t a case of being a middle class snob – rather a working class person who doesn’t spend their lives scrounging off the state & being resentful towards ordinary folk, who have to live life by the rules – & earn a crust to support their families.
    Yes visually there is the history & the beautiful buildings in Boscombe – but it is the scum bag people that come from all over the place (other than Bournemouth itself) to get treatment for their numerous addictions………… Who suffer? the local residents!
    I have had my bag stolen from my work place, my car wing mirrors ripped out & verbally abused on countless occasions, whilst just on a lunch break.
    I’m also fed up of spending the summer working there, only to look out the window & see the usual faces, sat on their backsides drinking one coffee between about 8 people in order to hog the local cafes, to do their criminal activity………….. A lot of these people are pimps or selling stolen goods, thinking the rest of us are just too dumb to see behind the guise………… Well it appears some of us are, reading some of the pathetically wet comments on here!

  • Rosie

    I live in the heart of Boscombe and I have for years and while it’s not a walk in the park most of this is sensationalist rubbish.

    There aren’t gangs in Boscombe and contrary to the comments above it’s not murders galore. Boscombe sees a couple of murders a year – like most boroughs in Bournemouth do. Last year someone was decapitated in Lansdowne but because it’s a nice area no one drags it back up. Yes there are drug users and alcoholics and prostitutes in Boscombe, they’ve got to live somewhere and they aren’t the majority.

    Boscombe has plenty going for it – it’s central, there’s so many vibrant independent businesses, Boscombe seafront is beautiful and the pier, whilst not as nice as Bournemouth pier, has a lovely sense of history about it. There’s no airs and graces in Boscombe either, people take you as they find you and in my experience most people are friendly. I love the area – that’s why I’ve stayed!

    Despite living here for 3 years and working in a Boscombe pub I’ve never felt at risk or threatened in Boscombe and I’ve never had anyone try to make me feel that way.

    Yes Boscombe has a higher proportion of people with social issues but that’s partly due to a significantly higher level of poverty than any other part of Bournemouth (Boscombe is the most deprived area in the south west poverty wise) and partly due to lots of people being housed in Boscombe in grim tiny bedsits and left to rot on the dole for the rest of their lives.

    As for your comments about Bicknell – they’re disgusting. You’re describing disabled children as ‘really bad boys’. It’s a mixed gender school and a lot of the children have complex special educational needs. Would you go up to an autistic person in the street and tell them they’re not disabled just bad??

    • Sarah

      Rosie, I was starting to worry but then I read your comment. I work in Boscombe and couldn’t agree more with what you’ve said. People are so melodramatic!

    • Cindy-Lou Gregory

      When I left avonbourne back in 1990 Bracknell was a all boys boarding school for naught boy that has been in trouble the police that came from all over the country

    • Katy

      I have moved into boscombe and love it here! And yes myself and my husband both work, no we don’t sell sex or drugs and no we aren’t addicts. Our neighbours are nice normal people as are most of the people walking round the town. The residents that do some or all of the above keep themselves to themselves. People should try living somewhere that is really rough! I would recommend boscombe to anybody who has half a brain and can make a judgement without listening to nonsense.

  • I agree with all Maddy says,Boscombe. Is incredibly beautiful if you try looking up^ when you walk down the main streets even though some of it is crumbling ,neglected it still has so many strange and un usual facades, balconysand ,well just try looking, you can feel its history and it also is melancholy but vibrant, there i
    s much unhappiness and suffering due to poverty leading to unintended addictions,which end up with desperate people with desperate needs who are allways blamed for the towns downfall and dereliction by the middlclass and the rich ignorant people who have never gone without or expeirenced hardship,i also agree with mitch that dave wells is a slum landlord and I think is raking it in from the goverment ,ie all the housing benefit he is getting!!! But these (undesirables),,as you put it are also human beings,Boscombe needs help for the people and for the buildings forlorn as they are,both crying out to be cared for ,

  • John

    What a sh!thole Boscum is. I am so glad I got out of that place. Drugs are all over the place, crime is also. Murders and stabbings a plenty.

  • William

    To be honest those places aren’t actually that bad, there are pretty much no gangs, maybe a few family rivalries. The schools are just full of little fagots that think they are “hard” because the go around on groups of 20. The Bicknell school ( which is now changed to Tregonwell Acadamy ) isn’t for ” really bad kids ” it’s a behaviour/special needs school. The kids there have things like ADD, ADHD, and aspergers. I know this because I live in Bounemouth and went to Bicknell. But I do agree that they are all run down chav towns.

  • Mitch

    Wot a crap hole this place really is, dave wells killed it with all the bed sits and studios. He is a modern day slum land lord . So no wonder so many undesirable people live there . I wouldn’t wish it on any decent people to live there. Stay away you have been warned and don’t leave a nice car parked up in Walpole rd at night

  • Maddy

    Every town has its good and bad. Luckily the good in Boscombe is improving every year. I choose to live here because of the bohemian, eclectic and creative vibe and the sense of community. Vintage markets, craft fairs, street parties, antique shops, independent businesses, art galleries, art studios, charity shops, public art, all nationalities of cafes and restaurants, live music venues, vintage clothing shops, tattoo parlours, historical landmarks, all day charity music festivals… It is a unique and quirky place, which with some attention and funding could hopefully help with the problems and help to lose this negative reputation is has acquired.

  • lived in boscome in the early 90s it was full of prostitutes an druggies then an the drunks just hung around the streets seems nothings changed