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When the poet Percy Shelley died, his body was burned on an Italian beach and his heart was snatched from the flames, making the long journey to Bournemouth to be interred at St Peter's Church. That the heart of the famous Romantic is buried here should come as no surprise to city residents, for, with the sunsets on the Atlantic and miles of yellow sands, Bournemouth is ripe for love. It is only fitting that the dating scene, like so much else in the city, should focus on the beach itself.
Tourists are often a nuisance in summer, but one advantage of being a Bournemouth resident is that you can take advantage of even the most unexpected sunny days when the beaches are emptiest. Whenever it looks like a dry spell, why not hire one of the beach huts along the coastline and make it you and your date's private den for the week? A hut costs £35 for the week, and they are a little poky, but if you can really get into the spirit of beach life, you will have a real date to remember.
The committed can purchase a portable barbecue for those summer evenings, but if you'd rather have your food done for you then try a traditional fish and chips. Chez Fred on Seamoor Road is one of the best, though it is fairly far from the beach, so take a bus. Or, for a quality meal closer to the seaside, go with your date to the Edge Restaurant by the waterfront, which has received adoring reviews from customers. L'Assiette on Belle Vue Road also comes highly recommended, English and French cuisine nestling side by side in a way that would make Napoleon cry.
During the day however, don't forget the simple pleasures of the beach around your hut. Play the architect with the sands together, lie back and receive burn (or tan) lines from the sun. Partially burying your date is usually hilarious for both. Try fashioning a mermaid tail or tentacles from the sand covering their legs, to make them that perfect novelty photo opportunity.
If you're feeling active, hit Amusements, Bournemouth's beach arcade, for a spot of the only kind of gambling that still feels innocent. For £12.50 each take a ride up in Bournemouth's air balloon, which lifts off from the Lower Gardens. Kayak hire is also possible, but you'll get more (and cheaper) pleasure simply by buying a couple of lilos from one of the beach shops and skimming about on the waves.
As if we have to ask the question - of course it's raining, and anything outdoorsy, whether beaches, the New Forest, or cycling the Isle of Wight, has suddenly become much less of an option. Well, asides from the traditional restaurant date, why not go out to the theatre? The Pavilion Theatre is the obvious choice for drama, although don't steer clear of the Jaggers Comedy Club either, for some deep belly laughs and a more intimate venue.
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Beaches are a blessing on any city, and Bournemouth certainly has all it needs to make dating sheer pleasure for locals. So why not used eHarmony to find a sand-loving partner, and make the most of the weird appeal of the British seaside? Register with eHarmony, and start meeting like minded Bournemouth singles today!