Welcome back to our bi-weekly blog about the unknown (or at least unknown to me) facts about some of the nation’s favourite holiday destinations! This week, we’ll be looking at Bournemouth. It’s one of the few seaside town’s in the UK where you’re most likely to be able catch a few rays on the beach, plus it’s a town that offers excellent nightlife and a range of attractions.
History of Bournemouth!
It wasn’t until 1810 when a man named Tregonwell visited Bournemouth’s beach with his wife, who instantly fell in love with the area and persuaded her husband to build a house there. Originally, the Bournemouth area was known to be cattle grazing lands, but Tregonwell’s new home became the first house to be built in Bournemouth.
The Story of Percy Shelley’s Heart…
In 1822, the famous poet Percy Shelley drowned in a boating accident in Livorno and was cremated on the beach. His friend, Edward Trelawney, grabbed his heart out of the flames and presented it to his wife, Mary Shelley, who kept his heart with her from there on. When her son died, his and his father’s hearts were placed in the Shelley vault at St Peter’s Church in Bournemouth, where you can visit today!
The Home of Literary Icons!
Bournemouth is obviously a centre for inspiration as literary greats such as famous fantasy writer, JRR Tolkien and children’s favourite, Enid Blyton lived at the seaside town. It’s also known thatq Robert Louis Stevenson wrote “Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” while in Bournemouth.
Did you know that Bournemouth beach reaches up to seven miles of sand? That’s a lot of beach! Bournemouth and its neighbouring town Poole have also won Blue Flag awards for their beaches, which means their standard is up there with some of the best beaches in the world! Plus, Bournemouth seafront is one of the first in the UK to be awarded a certificate from the Green Tourism Award, which means that Bournemouth aims for sustainable tourism and the diminishment of environmental damage.
DID YOU KNOW?
London and Liverpool may have been where the Beatles played most live, however Bournemouth comes in third. The Beatle’s second album cover (“With the Beatles”) was a photograph taken at the Palace Court Hotel in 1963 (which I believe is now a Premier Inn).
Famous People From Bournemouth!
Amanda Holden, who started her career as a contestant on Blind Date, grew up in Bournemouth. She’s known as an actress for Cutting It and Wild at Heart, however most people recognise her from the judging panel on Britain’s Got Talent.
Alfred Hawthorne Hill, commonly known as the great British comedian Benny Hill,also grew up in Bournemouth. Known for the long-running “The Benny Hill Show” and the favourite novelty song “Ernie”, Benny Hill has set his reputation as one of the best British comedians.
Alex James, known as the bassist of the Brit-Pop band Blur, comes from Boscombe, Bournemouth. Apart from being in Blur, he is also known for being a journalist and for owning an award-winning cheese farm!
LEGOLAND’s® is a favourite amongst the little ones with imagination, excitement, fun and thrills around each corner! There’s plenty of attractions to enjoy from live shows to smaller rides that are more suitable for younger children.
LEGO® Star Wars Miniland…
May the force be with you as you enter LEGOLAND’s® Star Wars section of the park! Here, you can enjoy the UK’s only Star Wars miniland display, which offers seven iconic scenes from the Star Wars films, plus a scene from the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
Land of the Vikings!
Visit the Land of the Vikings, where you can make a splash on the water rapids—a firm favourite at the park! When you’re soaked from the ride, step off and venture through Loki’s Labyrinth and unravel the mystery of what lies in the centre! There are also rides, such as the Longboat Invader and the Spinning Spider, which are sure to be hits amongst the younger members of your family.
Explore the Knights Kingdom!
The Knights Kingdom is great for your little knights and princesses to explore, as they travel through the castle and moat—but be careful of the dragon! The land has more smaller rollercoasters and rides, such as The Dragon rollercoaster, the Dragon’s Apprentice (a calmer ride for younger guests) and The Knight’s Quest—a carousel for all ages.
The Pirate Shores
In this area, you walk through the enchanted forest, where you can hear different wildlife—it’s also a popular picnic area for many visitors. There are also attractions like The Castaway Camp, which is a pirate themed play area, or The Jolly Rocker (a big pirate ship) and Pirate Falls Treasure Quest, which may seem like a gentle boat ride, but the animated pirates and creature will be sure to make it far from calm!
Go Back in Time to the Kingdom of PHARAOHS!
Go back in time to ancient Egypt and battle your way through the land in search on ancient treasure! Spend time on some of the area’s rides, such as Scarab-bouncers, Laser raisers, Thunder Blazer, Desert Chase and AeroNomad.
Explore the recently built water play area, DUPLO®Valley, which is fantastic if your toddlers are looking for a splash about. You can also have a gentle ride through the Fairytale Brook, which is a peaceful ride that all the family will enjoy. Plus, you can go exploring through Brickville, which is an interactive village, where you can fight fires are the Brickville fire station, play detective at the Brickville police station or bake cakes at the Clown’s Cake shop.
NEW: Heartlake City
All new for summer 2015 is Heartland City, an area of the park that offers the opportunity to sing along with Mia, Olivia, Andrea, Emma and Stephanie as they embark on an fun-filled show of surprises. Beware—you may get wet! This area comes with attractions, such as Mia’s Riding Adventure, Olivia’s House, Pirates of Skeleton Bay Stunt Show and the Heartlake City Express.
The Imagination Centre
Spend time in the Imagination Factory where your kids (and you!) get free rein over the LEGO® and are able to build whatever they can dream up! The centre also includes the XBOX Gaming Zone where the family can experience the latest games from LEGO®. There are also rides such as the Sky Rider, Space Tower and the Exploratorium!
The BIG Shop
While in LEGOLAND’s®, do not miss the BIG shop! It’s perfect if you’re a LEGO® fan, as it’s the UK’s largest one-stop shop for LEGO®. There is also a build-your-own mini figure station, so you can build your own figure to take home—and with so many combinations, you know that there will be a slim chance that anyone else would have the same as the one you made!
Home to the First Nunnery…
One of the first nunneries was believed to be in Folkestone. In 630, the King of Kent had the church built for his daughter Eanswith—who later became the patron saint of the church of St Eanswythe. It stands near where the Old Bayle Fort is now and on this site it was rebuilt as a monastery in 1095. In the Victorian era, builders were doing work in the church and they found remains in a box in a church wall. They believed the box held the remains of St Eanswythe herself!
Remember to Pack Sun Lotion!
Did you know that Folkestone is one of the sunniest places in the UK? It’s great for your summer holidays, as Folkestone averages about 2000 hours of sunshine per year.
The Hidden Roman Villa…
In 1923, a landslide on East Cliff in Folkestone unearthed an old Roman villa with even older relics that surrounding the place. To this day, the villa is site of interest, especially for scientists because of its wildlife and geology. In the 1950’s, the villa was open for tourists to look around.
William Harvey, the famous physician and journalist, was born in Folkestone. Harvey is most famous for discovering blood circulation in the human body and he was also the first to suggest that humans were reproduced via fertilisation from the egg and sperm. He also had close ties to the royal family and supported Charles I through the Civil War.
The Tallest Brick Arched Viaduct in the World!
With arrival of the Southern East railway, Sir William Cubitt built a brick arched viaduct (which is apparently one of the tallest in the world), so travellers could continue their journey to the Harbour Railway station. Unfortunately, it’s not in use anymore, but you can still see the viaduct standing tall in Folkestone.
History Behind the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway…
The Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway (RHDR) is one of Folkestone’s key attractions, which offers a scenic ride around Kent. On the launch day, the railway was attended by none other than comedy legends Laurel and Hardy!
During the First World War, Folkestone homed many nearly 65,000 Belgium refugees, as Folkestone was the main port where soldiers left to fight in the trenches of Belgium and France.
People Associated with Folkestone!
Over the years, there have been a lot of famous people who have lived in Folkestone!
The legendary actors, David Tomlinson, is one of them! Known for films such as Mary Poppins, Bedknobs and Broomsticks and The Love Bug.
Eastender’s veteran actress, June Brown (who plays Dot Cotton) is known to have two houses in Folkestone.
For all you rock enthusiast, Noel Redding the famous rock bassist also hails from Folkestone. He recognised as the bassist in the Jimi Hendrix Experience.
Dynamo’s “Magician Impossible” Tour
If you’re looking for jaw-dropping be sure to see Dynamo on his 2015 tour, “Magician Impossible.” Dynamo is best known for his electrifying stunts and magic tricks that will leave you in awe—this show is unmissable! You’ll be seeing him at the Manchester Apollo and there will be an included excursion to the medieval walled city of Chester!
Cats at the Blackpool Opera House!
From its sold-out season on the West End, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Cats” will be stopping at the Blackpool Opera House this summer! With its new run, Jane McDonald will be taking the reins from Nicole Scherzinger and playing the iconic role of Grizabella the glamour Cat, where she will be singing the infamous “Memories.” You’ll be staying at the Savoy, which offers spectacular views of the Irish Sea and you will be at a great position so you can get the most out of your stay in Blackpool.
Simply Red Live in Concert!
For the first time since 2010, Simply Red are returning for a world tour to mark an incredible 30 years. Overall, the band has sold over 50 million records and has won many awards, including two consecutive Brits for Best British Group. While on our Simple Red trip, you will also have free time to spend around Liverpool, where you can go shopping or see the city’s many popular attractions!
Ken Dodd at Blackpool!
Take a trip to Blackpool where you can sit back, relax and laugh out loud to the ever popular, Ken Dodd! Known as one of Britain’s favourite entertainers, Ken Dodd has won the Lifetime Achievement Award—one of comedy’s highest accolades. You will also be able to spend some time around Blackpool, where you can see some of the town’s endless attractions, such as the infamous Blackpool tower, enjoy time on the piers, stop off at the Zoo or visit Blackpool’s Madame Tussauds!
London Theatre Weekends!
As always, we have an array of exciting of first class shows for you to see at amazing prices! We have favourites such as Wicked, Billy Elliott, Mama Mia and Lion King, but we’ve also got some fantastic news shows like Made in Dagenham, Memphis: The Musical, Bend It Like Beckham and just in time for Christmas, Elf: The Musical!
Lord of the Dance
See the global phenomenon that is Lord of the Dance at the Dominion Theatre in London! Lord of the Dance, choreographed by Irish-American Michael Flatley, brings an energetic show of intricate and exciting dance routines! With this trip, you will also get free time in London Covent Garden where you can look around the shops or spend time in their cafes.
Sinatra at the Palladium!
To celebrate 100 years of Sinatra, the London Palladium will host an extraordinary concert that will be like nothing you’ve ever seen before! There will be a 24 piece orchestra, dancers along with never seen before footage of Frank Sinatra singing the songs he’s most remembered by, such as ‘My Way’, ‘Come Fly With Me’ and ‘Strangers in the Night.’
Shrek the Musical and Blackpool Christmas Circus
We have tickets to the immensely popular Shrek the Musical at the Liverpool Empire! Join Shrek and Donkey on another world-wind adventure as the musical arrives directly from the West-End with all new songs, plus the crowd-pleasing anthem “I’m a Believer”! We’re also throwing in an excursion to the Blackpool Tower Christmas circus; an exciting event that will be sure to get you into the festive mood.
Welcome back to our bi-weekly blog on the little-known facts about the holiday destinations we visit. This week, we’re looking at Bath—a city known for its hot springs and 18th Century Georgian architecture.
A Muse to Many…
Bath has influenced many famous authors over the years, such as Jane Austen, who lived in Bath for a number of years and she even set two of her novels, Persuasion and Northanger Abbey, in the city. It’s also known that Mary Shelley was inspired by Bath to finish the celebrated story of Frankenstein. Charles Dickens also stopped off in Bath, as he satirized the Bath social scene in his novel, Pickwick Papers.
Over the years, Bath has attracted many of Hollywood’s famous faces, as the city has been the setting of films such as The Duchess, Les Miserables and the BBC adaptation of Persuasion.
See Bath’s Famous Landmark…
The Royal Crescent was thought up by John Wood the Younger and it took seven years to build, finally opening in 1774. Originally, the Royal Crescent homed the elite of the Georgian society and many notable people have either stayed or lived there—if you look around there are many plaques to commemorate them around the houses.
A World Heritage Site…
In 1987, Bath was inscribed as a world heritage site, due to its beautiful Georgian architecture, many theatres, museums and event and sporting venues, which makes Bath one of the major centres for tourism in the UK, with over 1 million staying visitors per year to 3.8 million day visitors.
Did You Know?
Sir William Herschel, who was German born but lived in Bath later on in life, discovered the planet Uranus in his back garden on New King Street. Originally, William Herschel named the planet “The Georgian Star”, which won him favour with King George the III. However, this did not stick (mainly because the French didn’t like referencing the English King) and it universally became known as Uranus — unbeknownst, the start of many, many jokes…
Famous People from Bath…
Comedian, Bill Bailey, known for his sharp humour and musical-comedy was born in Bath. He is best known for the music game show, Never Mind the Buzzcocks and has also been in popular comedy shows, such as Spaced and Black Books.
Everyone’s favourite television cook, Mary Berry, is also from Bath. She’s known as “Mary Queen of Cakes” from her many baking recipe books, but also from fame of the immensely popular, “Great British Bake Off.”
Actress Julia Davis also reigns from Bath! She’s best known as Dawn from Gavin and Stacy and has also appeared in films such as Four Lions, Persuasion and Love Actually.
Famous author and former children’s laureate, Jacqueline Wilson, was born in Bath and is known for her diverse and popular children’s stories that cover hard topics, such as mental illness, abuse and foster care.