Welcome back to our bi-weekly blog on the mysteries and the little-known facts about our holiday destinations. This week, we’ll be looking at the city by the sea that is known as one of the happiest places in Britain–yes, we’re talking about Brighton!
The Grade I listed building known as The Brighton Dome has witnessed many famous moments in music. Over the years, the venue has seen an array of music icons such as Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Nina Simone, Bette Midler and many more! In 1974, Brighton held the Eurovision song contest, which became the year that ABBA’s career was launched, as they won the competition with “Waterloo”. The Brighton Dome was also the venue where Pink Floyd played for the first time the famous album, “Dark Side of the Moon” as the band regularly played at the seaside resort.
Tidbits about Brighton’s Beaches and Pier…
- Did you know that over the five miles of Brighton’s beaches there are 370 billion pebbles? Personally, we would like to find out the person who has counted each one!
- Brighton is also known as the place that opened Britain’s first naturist beach back in 1979!
- Brighton Pier has over 60,000 light bulbs—a fact probably coming from the person who counted all the pebbles…
- More than 3 million people visit the pier every year.
- The Pier has featured in films and TV, such as Carry On at Your Convenience, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, The Leisure Hive and Doctor Who.
Brighton’s Sealife Centre
The Brighton Sealife Centre may be an award-winning aquarium, but it is also known to be the world’s oldest operational aquarium and boasts the country’s largest underwater tunnel! Out of all the seaside aquariums in Britain, who knew this one was the oldest?
Beware of the Dark!
Brighton is known as the second most haunted city, straight after York, with many paranormal tales of mysterious figures in the city, such as the Blue nun who roams Brighton’s medieval lanes. According to folklore, the nun was bricked up behind a wall due to her illicit affair with a local fisherman.
Great for Green Spaces!
Brighton is also a perfect place if you’re a gardening enthusiast or enjoy an afternoon walk, as the seaside city has nearly a 100 parks and gardens for you to explore!
May the Force Be With You!
According to the 2001 census, Brighton seems to have the most people who class themselves as a Jedi—the Star Wars inspired religion.
Brighton’s Famous Residents!
Sir Winston Churchill is one of the best known residents of Brighton. The former Prime Minster spent his childhood in Hove, where he attended school.
Elizabeth Allen, the movie star, lived in Brighton from 1977 to the year she died in 1990. She was known for classic films like A Tale of Two Cities (1935), David Copperfield (1935) and Camille (1936).
Former Radio One DJ and Strictly Come Dancing presenter Zoe Ball currently lives in Brighton with her husband and internationally renowned DJ, Fatboy Slim.
UPDATE 16:09 19/06/15: After this blog went live, there was a discussion in the office about the origin of the word “tidbit.” For the record…
Tidbit vs. titbit. In American and Canadian English, tidbit is the preferred spelling of the noun referring to (1) a choice morsel or (2) a pleasing bit of something. Titbit is preferred everywhere else. Neither spelling is right or wrong.
Who knew? (Well, we didn’t…one person (ahem) thought it was local slang.)
Today is the day we announce our new Facebook competition for our fan page users, and this time around we’re taking things continental…
For those who guessed it, we’re offering a break to Paris for two! That’s right – we’re giving away a break to the city of love, where you can see some of the most iconic sights, such as the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, and the River Seine. Plus, you can experience some galleries and museums that are not only the best in France, but in the world! Of course, I’m sure you will find time to shop in one of the world’s fashion capitals, too…
All you need to do is like one of our 8000k competition posts on Facebook and we will enter your name into the draw . It’s that simple! When we reach 8000 likes, we will randomly draw a winner from our page. Easy-peasy!
Make sure you read our Terms and Conditions before entering our competition…
T&C’s: No cash alternative. Entries from employees/agents of Travelstyle along with their relatives not accepted. Competition will close when 8000 likes is reached on the Travelstyle’s Facebook page with the winners being drawn at random shortly after. The winner will be notified via the Travelstyle Tours Facebook page. We reserve the right to publish the winner’s name on our website/Facebook/Twitter page. Entrants must be 18 years and over. Prize is a Paris Experience for two people by coach to the value of £395.90. The winner must be able to join the coach at a published Travelstyle pick up point. Any supplements/Travel Insurance is not included in the prize and you must have Travel Insurance, whether you arrange it through Travelstyle Tours or by your own means. Please acknowledge that this promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook.
Take a tour down to Torquay! A seaside town on the English Riviera and is often known as one of the jewels of the South West. Not only does it provide a stunning seafront, but it also has many activities and attractions for you and the whole family to enjoy. Here is our top 8 things to do in Torquay when you’re next there…
While in the English Riviera, it would be cheeky not to go on one of Torquay’s many boat trips. The Torquay Wildlife Seeing cruise is a favourite amongst tourists, as you can see seals, osprey, egrets, shags, cormorants, guillemots, gannets and if you’re lucky, you might be able to spot a porpoise or dolphin! These boat trips are £5 per person and £3.50 for children. If you’re looking to relax, step on one of their sunlight cruise, where you can have a drink, listen to music and watch the sunset. Heaven!
Agatha Christie Literary Trail
Whether you’re a fan or interested in local history, the Agatha Christie trail is a great way to discover Torquay. You will walk around the town and explore the places that inspired Miss Marple and Poirot. Some of the places you will visit is Ashfield, Christie’s childhood home, and the Imperial Hotel, which gave inspiration to novels Peril at End House and The Body in the Library. In Christie’s story In Sleeping Murder, the Imperial Hotel is featured as itself.
Discover Torquay History at Torre Abbey
Torre Abbey is one of the most important medieval buildings in Torbay. Since it was built in 1196, the Abbey has witness and survived some epic moments of history. The Abbey had been maintained by Abbots up until the dissolution of the monasteries; afterwards the Cary family bought the monastery and lived there for over 250 years and eventually the local council bought the abbey. Over the time, the Abbey has turned into an attraction, which offers a tour around the abbey and also has an art gallery.
Kents Cavern is a fantastic attraction to visit with the family, as it has something for everyone, as you explore the caves and learn their history. Your kids can also enjoy their many child-friendly activities, like cave painting, the fun dig and the wall of hands! Kents Cavern organises many walks, such as the Geopark walk, where you start from Kents Cavern and go along the Bishop’s Walk to Hopes Nose and Meadfoot. Plus, Kent Cavern also organises a spooktacular ghost tour, where you can walk through the dimly lit caves as characters appear from the dark (not recommended for children under 8…yes, it’s that scary!).
Remember to visit Dinosuar World while you’re in the area! It’s located near the Torquay seafront and offers a range of scaled-down dinosaur models for everyone to enjoy. There is fossil hunting, exciting information on the dinosaurs, a family quiz and you can even sit on a dino!
Living Coast is a bird and sealife sanctuary that have a wide range of wildlife for you to discover, such as penguins, seals, puffins and jellyfish.
Along the seafront is the Princess Gardens, which is the perfect place for a leisurely stroll when the weather is right, as you get stunning coastal views. The Princess Gardens are named after Princess Louise, who was then the royal princess and daughter of Queen Victoria. She laid down the foundation stone for the “pleasure ground” in 1890.
Cockington Country Park
Only a 15m bus ride from Torquay centre, Cockington Country Park provides beautiful green space for scenic walks and peace and quiet. For our outdoor enthusiasts, there are many walkings trails through the woods and surrounding parkland for you to discover. Check out their “what’s on” page, as the place has plenty of events for the public from arts and crafts to treasure hunts. Plus, Cockington Country Park also has a cafe, which sells an array of cakes and fresh hot meals.
Share your memories of Torquay in the comments!
Interested in going to Torquay? Click here!
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!