Doctor Doughnuts' Guide to Good Times Around the UK.

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<b>Welcome to the home of Doctor Doughnuts - evil genius by appointment to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II</b><p>

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If your computer has a soundcard in it, you may have noticed a really annoying bit of music playing right now. If you press this button...<a href="" >">
<img src="" >" border=0></a>...and download and install the Beatnik plug-in, it will sound better. Go on...treat yourself. It's free and everything. And it even works on those Apple "Fisher Price" Mac things. You will also discover where Thomas Dolby's been hiding since the '80s!<p>

This page contains the scribblings which I will be submitting to the Guide. In the interests of your own mental well-being, please limit the time you spend here to a minimum.<p>

<center><b><i>NOW WASH YOUR HANDS.</b></i><p></center>

<b><u><i>Dorset is not as bad as you may have been lead to believe</i></u></b><p>
A lot of people don't know where Dorset is. A slightly smaller number of people have no wish to know where Dorset is. I'm going to tell you anyway. I'm also going to tell you a few things about it which may help you if you're ever in this neck of the woods.<p>

Get a map of Britain out. Just off the South coast is a small island. This is the Isle of Wight. Nothing ever happened there that you will want to know about. What you DO want to know about is that the bit of coast to the North West of this island is where Dorset lives. It's sandwiched between ooh, three, perhaps four (who knows), other counties. I forget what counties they are (one of them's Hampshire I think). That's not important though. What <i>is</i> important is that you now have a rough idea about the part of the world I'm on about.<p>

Dorset is, for the most part, boring. Steeped in history, yes, but very dull if you have a short attention span and no interest whatsoever in history. This is only for the most part though, as I said. There are bits which can be really, <i>really</i> fun. These are the bits I'll tell you about first. I might do the boring bits later too, but to be honest I probably won't want to.<p>

<b><u>Interesting bits of Dorset:</b></u><BR/>
There are several places you need to know about if you are in Dorset after sunset. Bournemouth, Poole, Boscombe and Weymouth. You can quite comfortably forget everything else, safe in the knowledge that you're not really missing out on anything worth mentioning.<p>

Bournemouth is, by conservative, retirement town standards, very, very cool.<p>

If arriving by train (Bournemouth is served predominantly by <a href="" >">South West Trains</a>...quite possibly the worst service in the known universe), you're stuffed. The railway station is miles out of the way. Hop on a bus immediately (or into a taxi...more on Bournemouth cabs later) and demand to go to the Square. The Square is the ideal place to start a tour of Bournemouth.<p>

During the day, all shops imaginable are within walking distance. Wander around for a few hours and I categorically DEFY you to not find a shop you like. Keep looking...refreshing yourself in a few of the many public houses and bars strategically placed at regular intervals. You can get very drunk very easily whilst shopping in Bournemouth. This is not advisable, however. Bournemouth is about as close to cosmopolitan as you get in Dorset, and the prices for everything reflect this and magnify it three-fold. You need a <i>big</i> wad. Being a retirement town, everything is extortionate. This is so because the retail industry is well aware of the short remaining life-span of the majority of its clientelle, and aims to extract as much money as possible from them before they croak and leave it all to a cats' home. If you have the financial wherewithal though, stick with it until sunset.<p>

Despite the fact that this is a seaside town, Bournemouth is busy pretty much all year round. Doubly so in summer, when the place floods with <i>"grockles"</i>. <i>"Grockles"</i> are people who come into Dorset from somewhere other than Dorset. Tourists in other words. The tourist industry sustains this town, but also makes a right mess of it too. Come here in winter, not me. You'll spend less time queueing and get less chewing-gum stuck to your new shoes.<p>

Nightlife is varied. The multitidinous pubs are joined by a plethora of bijou drinkeries in the early evening. Places to be seen are:<p>

<b>Bar Med</b> (tries to be posh and fails)<p>

<b>Yates's</b> (they're all the same)<p>

<b>Edwards</b> ( are these)<p>

<b>Jumpin' Jack's</b> (theme bar...although no-one's quite figured out what the theme's meant to music most nights if that helps at all)<p>

<b>Hot Rocks</b> (surfer-themed bar and nice food)<p>

<b>Slam</b> (tries to be posh and succeeds...provided you're minted, you'll have fun here)<p>

<b>K-bar</b> (more of the same)<p>

If you'd prefer to do something other than drink with pretentious berks, there are three different cinema complexes around town, several casinos and a <b>Sega world</b>. Gentlemen's clubs (OK, strip joints) abound too. I recommend <b>Jezebels</b> and <b>For Your Eyes Only</b>.<p>

After time is called at the bar, staggering to one of the following nightclubs to finish the job might be a good idea...or a spectacularly bad one...either way, it'll be fun trying to get in. All the bouncers in Dorset HATE anyone who has a regional accent other than their own. As a rule of thumb, put on the most outrageous "oooh-aaar" farmer type voice and you should be alright. Places to go are:<p>

<a href="" >"><b>Slinky</b></a> (The Opera House, Boscombe...trendy and big)<p>

<b>Zoo/Cage</b> (second most popular venue in town...meat market)<p>

<b>Berlins</b> (disturbingly like a church hall)<p>

<b>The Villa</b> (used to be a cool rock club...underage drinkers rule here)<p>

<b>Club X</b> (hard-to-find new rock club...10 points if you spot it)<p>

There are loads of others...I can't think of them off the top of my head though, so they can't be that good.<p>

Apres club, you won't go short of a bite to eat either...all the major fast-food franchises are open late Thursday to Sunday, and there are plenty of Kebab houses, burger vans and other culinary cess-pits where cheap food may be consumed noisily and messily then vomited back up two minutes down the street.<p>

Trying to catch a cab now? You poor sod. Bournemouth taxis are yellow, noisy, often smell of stale urine and never...repeat: NEVER EVER stop when you try to hail one after 1am. Your best bet is to pre-order one and arrange for it to pick you up from a residential address (just pick one and stand outside if you're here alone). Alternatively, there are literally hundreds of hotels and B&Bs which seem to be permanently empty...find one to crash out in local to the town centre early in the afternoon and stagger back there when you've had your fun.<p>

Poole is where they all come to die. Blue rinses and cardigans are the order of the day here. This place is like a cemetary with lights during the winter months, but does actually get a little on the lively side in summer. Despite its quiet and necrotised nature, it is possible to have a good time in Poole. Tourist attractions are a bit on the crap side. There's the world famous <a href="" >"><b>Poole Pottery</b></a>...yeah, right. A couple of museums...hmmm. The <a href="" >"><b>Mathmos</b></a> factory (lava lamps...the pricey ones that are so popular at the moment and; apparently; aren't fire hazards any more). <b>Poole Quay</b> during the day is host to a plethora of rusty cargo ships, an aquarium, a model railway, an amusements den and a bucketload of restaurants, cafes and pubs. Occasionally, the very rich lady who owns <a href="" >"><b>The Body Shop</b></a> docks her big boat here and all us plebs gather around to gape in awe and wonder at the sheer decadence of it all. The <a href="" >"><b>Sunseeker</a></b> shipyards are situated around here too. Poole is also home to the head offices of <a href="" >"><b>Exchange & Mart</a></b> magazine.<p>

The High Street and adjoining areas are filled with pubs and restaurants which cater to almost any taste you care to mention. Italian (pointlessly expensive), Indian (5 to choose from, all within vomiting distance of each other), Greek (kebabs and other animal bits), English (traditional stodge with gravy and chips, served everywhere), Chinese (not worth bothering with really), Japanese (items you'd never have thought would classify as edible), Mexican (surprisingly good), and so on...<p>

Shopping is basic, but adequate. <b>The Dolphin Centre</b> houses all major retail outlets. Hundreds of strange shops selling nearly anything you need when you reach 60 years of age line the High Street. Stay near the High Street. Your evening begins here...<p>

Start in <b>The Old Harry</b> (recently became a franchise of Bass Leisure Retail and consequently not the dive it once was. Trust me!). They serve <b>Carling Premier</b> in here so you can quench your thirst rapidly. They also have a <b>"<i>Quids in</i>"</b> night on £2 on the door and all drinks are a quid all night. The ideal sequence from here goes thus:<p>

<b>Yates's</b> (you already know what it's like before you even go in, safe territory)<p>

<b>The Brewhouse</b> (Old men, cheap beer, pool 40p a game)<p>

<b>The Blue Boar</b> (family-type pub. Old men, cheap beer, no pool table)<p>

<b>The Angel</b> ("fun pub"...karaoke, disco on Fri/ drinks, fights a-plenty as the under 18's drink here)<p>

<b>The Hogshead</b> (same as all the other Hogsheads...dull and overpriced)<p>

<b>JJ Murphy's</b> (Irish theme pub. Guinness, anyone Irish or wants people to think they're Irish, pool £1 a go)<p>

<i>On to the quay...</i><p>

<b>Lord Nelson</b> (Dead during the winter, packed with bikers in summer. Live bands weekends, rock/blues)<p>

<b>Jolly Sailor</b> (Popular, packed all year, psychotic doormen keep fights to a minimum but drunken marines used to destroy the place on a weekly basis)<p>

<b>The King Charles</b> (right up the other end of the quay...10 points if you find it. Nice place, good beer, disco on Saturday nights)<p>

A lot of the above mentioned pubs participate in a <b>"Pub to Club"</b> scheme on Thursday nights, ask at the bar and they'll provide you with a ticket to get into <b>Woody's</b> (above the aquarium complex on Poole Quay) free before 11pm.<p>

<b>Woody's</b> is the best club in Poole. Open Thurs, Fri & Sat until 2am. Thursdays is party music, Fridays is dance and trance night (always cool). Saturdays...depends who's resident.<p>

<i>Other clubs are:</i><p>

<b>Corkers</b> (small, friendly, expensive)<p>

<b>Lators</b> (youth club filled with power-drinkers and 16 year old criminals with their pregnant girlfriends, situated opposite the bus station.)<BR/>
NB: One thing worth mentioning about Lators is that downstairs from this place of ill-repute is a nice pub called <b>Grey's</b>. Greys is usually quiet and pleasant. Weekends see the cream of local thrash metal bands making peoples' ears bleed here.<p>

Eating options after 2am are limited to <b>Taffy's</b> on the corner of the High Street(kebabs, burgers, chips, the usual), and <a href="" >"><b>KFC</b></a> by the bus station. I'd recommend waiting 'til you get home to eat.<p>

Cabs are few and far between now, there's usually a dozen or so stop outside <b>Woody's</b>, otherwise, stagger to the station, where there's a good chance you'll find one, failing that, head up towards the rear of the Dolphin centre on the roundabout. This is where all the cabbies go before they clock off so you should be OK until about 4am.<p>

By getting off the train at Pokesdown station and turning right out of the doors, you'll enter sunny, downtown Boscome...Home of <a href="" >"><b>Slinky</b></a> and capital of illicit narcotics use for the South of England.<p>

<b>Comments? Suggestions?</b> <a href="mailto:[email protected]"><img src="" >" border=0></a></center>


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Doctor Doughnuts

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