Pokesdown For AFC Bournemouth - A Guide For Visiting Dean Court
Pokesdown is the nearest for shops, pubs and cafes if you are coming to Dean Court. Pokesdown station (petition to make it accessible) is the nearest train station as well. Outside the station is 'The Bell' (mixed home and away fans usually) and football memorabilia shop, 'In Off The Far Post'.
We have put together a guide to the area specifically with visiting 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 this page. A word of warning; the centre of Bournemouth is at least 45 mins walk from the ground so don't expect to just pop into town before a game. Plan ahead, and enjoy your visit. For the main AFCB fans web site (and busiest discussion forum) check out Up The Cherries - Vitals
Getting From Pokesdown to Dean Court
Pokesdown is east of Boscombe and about 15 mins walk from the ground. If you are getting the train, Pokesdown is the nearest stop to Dean Court. It's a fairly small station and if you feel the lack of lifts is a problem do us a favour and let South West Trains know what you think and sign our petition to make the station accessible
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.
I'm Looking For Typical Away Friendly Boozers/Pubs, Where Can I Go?
'The Bell' in Pokesdown now welcomes away fans for most games. However, for certain games Police may instruct the pub to adopt 'home fans only' so do check our twitter updates or check ahead. It is mainly home fans but welcomes all fans happy to have a beer and chat. You can find it directly opposite Pokesdown station, so you can't miss it. It was called The Seabournes for a couple of years so you may hear it referred to this. The name 'The Bell' is the original name and locals always called it this.
If you are coming in a large group of away fans, wearing colours etc looking for typical football pubs you'll find the other big pubs near the ground are now home fans only. Designated away pubs for large groups are usually found in Boscombe just a short walk from Pokesdown along Christchurch Rd. The Percy Shelley is a Wetherspoon, although this was 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 run a twitter feed
which gives good updates on where to go.
If you want to sample decent beer or food, other places in and around Pokesdown will of course accept away fans, er, 'undercover', but big groups wearing colours and starting a sing song will probably mean goodbye. Due to one or two incidents over recent years there is a zero tolerance when it says home fans only.
Check out the guide below to drinking and food. The area is very friendly and looking forward to seeing you.
Food and Drink
Great local beers and ciders as well as locally produced food can be found in Monty's Lounge, whilst The Bell is a large pub in Pokesdown serving Ringwood Beer. In Southbourne Grove, a new Micro Pub has opened up - The Wight Bear. Offering discounts for those in AFCB shirts it is already a fave watering hole pre match.
A number of coffee shops such as The Coffee House 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.
Vintage and Arts
Pokesdown is the home of vintage and antiques shops, and easily ranks in 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), In Off The Far Post (football memorabilia) or Geek Boutique is also a must for anyone into anything from Star Wars to old toys or cult clothing. There is also a huge vintage undercover market about 10 mins walk down Pokesdown Hill. The Bournemouth Vintage Emporium
houses loads of traders and also has a coffee bar. Bit out of the way if you are short of time but worth the trip if this your thing and you have a bit of time.
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.
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. 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 and drinks 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, Beach Lodge
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.
Getting To Pokesdown
You may find yourself parking up at Dean Court and needing to kill a few hours. There is very little around the ground for away fans as pubs by Kings Park are now home fans only. Pokesdown shops and cafes are only 10 mins or so away, while The Bell pub is around 15 mins walk. Look for the large car park behind the Ted Mac Stand and walk towards the far end of the car park (there is a path on the left hand side). You will see a small roundabout with a road heading directly away from the park through a road gate. This road, Gloucester Rd will lead to Christchurch Rd, turn left on here to be heading towards Pokesdown.