101 Things to do in Bournemouth – Boscombe Street Art Trail

When you tell people you live in Boscombe, it conjures up conflicting images. Either of a lovely sandy beach, multicoloured beach huts and a Victorian pier. Or of a rather seedy town populated by junkies congregating around the ugly concrete jungle of a town centre.

Boscombe Pedestrian Precinct
Boscombe Pedestrian Precinct

Once ranked one of the worst places to live in the UK, Boscombe has been having a bit of a facelift. More and more of that ugly concrete has been covered in some wonderful street art.

Rosie's Cafe mural
Cycling Boscombe Street Art Trail

I have enjoyed wandering round Boscombe taking photos of the various murals. I compiled a list and plotted a route which covers the artwork I saw. The entire route is just over a mile long (skipping the final mural will bring it to less than a mile). It can be covered on foot or by bike. There is a link to my route map at the end of the article.

Underpass Woodland Mural

Start at Boscombe Bus Station. Make your way to the underpass which crosses from the Bus Station under the A35. Here, the length of the underpass has been painted with a woodland scene portraying a collection British wildlife, complete with seagull soaring overhead.

Underpass Woodland Mural
Underpass Woodland Mural

This was painted by MBN Arts; a local organisation which creates urban art projects for young people.

Underpass Woodland Mural

Sovereign Centre

Return to the Bus Station and the rear entrance to the Sovereign Shopping Centre. Here, you will find another MBN project produced in collaboration with a local school.

Sovereign Centre Boscombe
Sovereign Centre

Owl Mural

Return to the bus station, turn right and make your way along Ashley Road to the start of the Pedestrian Precinct. Here, on the side of record shop Snu-Peas, is a 12.5 metre tall owl mural. This the work of Tech Moon (artist Krishna Malla). Krishna came to Bournemouth two decades ago to study at Bournemouth Arts University and has remained in the town, adorning it with his amazing art work.

The Boscombe Owl
The Boscombe Owl

The Boscombe Owl was inspired by an owl which had taken refuge in nearby Boscombe Gardens. The mural was painted for the 2021 BEAF Festival. The BEAF (Bournemouth Emerging Arts Fringe) is behind much of the street art in the area.

Elephant Mural

Walk through the pedestrian shopping precinct to the front of the Sovereign Centre. Above the entrance is ‘A Memory of Elephants’, another piece by Tech Moon. It might seem a strange theme for an English seaside town, but a century ago, when the circus came to town, the elephants used to be paraded up and down the high street between performances. This 29 x 6 metre mural depicting 6 elephants pays homage to these beautiful creatures.

Boscombe Elephant Mural
A Memory of Elephants

Peace Sign

Walk through the alleyway next to Sainburys, past the violet peace sign. This peace sign marks the premises of nail salon Ultra Violet. Continue through the alleyway into Sainsbury’s car park.

Peace sign mural
Ultra Violet Peace Sign

Sneakers Mural

In the car park between Sainsburys and Costa, you will find a shipping container with another work created for BEAF Festival (this time 2018) by local artist Miroslav Lucan aka LucanArt. Artist and designer Miroslav has lived in Bournemouth for may years and plenty of his work can be seen around the town, both on walls (and shipping containers) and in local businesses.

Sneakers mural

Angels Mural

Continue along Hawkwood Road, turn right briefly onto Sea Road where a pair of angels mark the entrance to the Back Door Project, a local homeless charity. Unfortunately, the angels have deteriorated somewhat since I took this photo.

Angels mural
Angels Mural

Seaside Mural

The entrance to Roumelia Lane is just behind you. This little lane, primarily a service road for the high street shops, boasts several murals amidst the rubbish bins. First, is a Boscombe seaside scene.as part of MBN Arts Alleyway Art Project, which aims to improve the local area through a combination of murals and community clean ups.

Boscombe Seaside mural
Boscombe seaside mural

Seahorse Mural

A little further down, in the entrance to a block of flats is a cute seahorse blowing bubbles.

Seahorse mural
Seahorse mural

Jungle Mural

A few doors further down, is a jungle scene, another creation of MBN Arts.

Boscombe Jungle mural
Jungle mural

Chaplin’s Bar (Rear)

Pass the rear of Chaplin’s Bar. Here, Charlie Chaplin and a friend are peeking out from the corner of an outhouse. A glimpse into the Chaplin’s Beer Garden will show that this local entertainment venue is awash with art. Pass Charlie and continue to the rear of Iceland.

Charlie Chaplin mural
Charlie Chaplin Mural

Astronaut Mural

In the Iceland car par are two murals; to the right are three intrepid astronauts off in search of adventure. Or maybe they just don’t like frozen food?

Boscombe Astronaut Mural
Astronaut Mural

Awakening Mural

Opposite is an abstract mural created in 2014 by Bark Lloyd as part of the Great Exhibition of Boscombe. I like to think of it as a groovy black hole about to suck the astronauts opposite into a brave new world…

Awakening mural
Awakening Mural


At the end of the road, on the side of The Majestic Gym is some topical Boscombe Graffiti.

Boscombe Mural

Chaplin’s Bar (Front)

Turn right into Adeline Road and right again onto Christchurch Road (A35). Shortly, you will reach the front of Chaplin’s Bar, which is colourfully decorated in a bold art deco style, with Charlie and another friend looking on. This is the work of Bournemouth artist and designer Vivien Hofmann.

Chaplin's Bar
Chaplin’s Bar

Vivien didn’t stop with the building’s façade; her work continues throughout the bar and adjoining Modern Times Restaurant and out into the beer garden, which includes a mural of a man with a living beard!

Sausage Dog Mural

On the corner, just before Aldi are two stacked shipping containers. These have been adorned with a sausage dog, another piece by Tech Moon, created for the 2019 BEAF Festival.

Sausage dog mural
Sausage Dog Mural

Churchill Gardens Mural

Turn left into Palmerstone Road, continue to the end, then left into St Clements Road. In an alleyway, just before the junction with Walpole Road is another mural by MBN Arts for the Alleyway Art Project. This depicts some of the residents of Churchill Gardens; a pigeon and squirrel with attitude.

Churchill Gardens mural
Churchill Gardens Mural

That’s the end of my tour. Continue through the alleyway, into Churchill Gardens back towards Boscombe. Alternatively, you can check out some more of Tech Moon’s work nearby.

Kings Park Skate Park

At the Skate Park in Kings Park, you can see Tech Moon’s nautical/skater themed facelift.

Kings Park Skate Park
Kings Park Skate Park

I shall leave these pictures here, although in reality, the Skate Park has been scribbled on rather a lot since I took these.

Kings Park Skate Park
Kings Park Skate Park

Pokesdown Station

Further along the A35 is Pokesdown Station. Running the length of the station wall is a mural featuring some of Boscombe’s ever present seagulls.

Pokesdown Station
  • Written: March 2023

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