Bournemouth has for many years been a firm favourite of the rich and famous, but perhaps a little known fact is that the town has also played host to some of the worlds most beloved authors and playwrights.
Lord of the Rings author, JRR Tolkein actually spent the latter part of his retirement soaking up the sights and sounds of Bournemouth having spent many of his childhood holidays here. Novelist, Enid Blyton spent time seeking inspiration for some of her most notable works here, and in nearby Studland was where she found the inspiration for Toytown (where Noddy lived).
Treading slightly further afield from the bustling town centre, author Robert Louis Stevenson came to write The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in Westbourne which is also home to a beautiful boutique arcade, comprising of a bakery, book store and many charming cafe’s.
If your looking to explore Bournemouth, take in some of its recent history, or even to muse over its Art-Deco influences, and along the way share in the stories of its most famous inhabitants, join us at the Balincourt, another little slice of the towns great history for a relaxing and comfortable stay perfectly situated to enjoy all that this great town has to offer.
The Bournemouth International Centre is one of Bournemouth biggest concert and live music venues, that often plays host to some of the biggest names in live music. We’ve put together this brief whats on guide to share just some of the great events coming soon to this much loved venue;
That’ll Be The Day
Back by ever-growing popular demand, get ready to party as the UK’s favourite Rock & Roll variety production returns to Bournemouth Pavilion with another brand new summer show!
Featuring incredible live music performances, this hugely entertaining Rock & Roll spectacular blends classic gold hits from the 50s, 60s & 70s, with bags of hilarious comedy!
Celebrating an entire era of timeless nostalgia, the production is well known for its ability to make audiences return time and time again for a new experience. Now in its 33rd year of consecutive national touring, That’ll Be The Day is living proof that Rock & Roll will never die!
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Hot on the heels of last summer’s hugely successful production of Priscilla Queen of the Desert, BBLOC once again hop aboard an out-of-the-ordinary vehicle to bring you a fantastic, family-friendly musical adventure.
Based on the much-loved 1968 film version of Ian Fleming’s children’s book and featuring an unforgettable score by the Sherman Brothers, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a ‘Truly Scrumptious’ blockbuster which promises to delight its audiences.
We follow the fortunes of the eccentric inventor, Caractacus Potts, who sets about restoring an old race car from a scrap heap with the help of his children, Jeremy and Jemima. They soon discover the car has magical properties, including the ability to float and take flight. Trouble occurs when the evil Baron Bomburst covets the magic car for himself. The family joins forces with Truly Scrumptious and batty Grandpa Potts to outwit the dastardly Baron and Baroness and their villainous henchman, the Child Catcher, and rescue all the children of Vulgaria.
Filled with amazing stage spectacle, superb costumes, unforgettable songs – including the Academy Award-nominated title song – Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, is a high-flying, fantasmagorical, fun-filled, not to be missed adventure from start to finish.
Pavillion Tea Dance
Bournemouth Pavilion are extending the programme of tea dances in their ballroom during 2018.
There will now be 8 tea dances held during the year with a variety of visiting performers to cater to a wider audience.
Internationally acclaimed organist Michael Wooldridge is delighted to be returning with his music for dancing to Bournemouth’s Pavilion Ballroom for afternoon Tea Dances featuring a mix of Ballroom, Latin and popular Sequences Dances. Already hugely popular as resident dance organist at the Assembly Hall in Worthing and on Europe’s largest Wurlitzer Theatre Pipe Organ at the East Sussex National, Michael has enjoyed playing for dancing throughout the UK, including at the famous Winter Gardens in both Eastbourne and in Blackpool, where he has also played in concert and for dancing at the famous Blackpool Tower Ballroom
For more information on whats on at the BIC, head to www.bic.co.uk
It’s time for the famous Bournemouth Air show to arrive on the golden sands of Bournemouth’s far reaching beaches. In what is expected to be the biggest show to date, an estimated 1 million people are expected to hit the town to take in the sights, and see all that Bournemouth has to offer. There’s certainly plenty of activities and displays to keep everyone thoroughly entertained.
With performances from the RAF Red Arrows, Breitling Jet Team and a first for this years festival… an aerial display with two jet suit pilots, who will be taking to the skies and demonstrating the latest frontier in human flight.. this is surely not to be missed.
At the Balincourt Hotel we’re welcoming guests to kick back and relax and take in the peaceful surroundings, and enjoy all that this years festival has to offer. Situated only a short walk from the beach, you’ll be in prime place to watch the displays and even catch the Royal Marines as they attempt to ‘Storm the Beach’ in an adrenaline fuelled display of military might.
To check out more of what’s on, and to see all of the individual displays in more detail – head on over to www.bournemouthair.co.uk
Not staying at the hotel during the festival? No problem, you can pop in for tea, or even try some of our much loved coffee, roasted fresh each day.
Bournemouth is renowned for being a beautiful seaside town with miles of stunning white beaches and plenty of entertainment for all ages. Let’s go in depth and look at the top ten places you can visit in Bournemouth during your stay at the Balincourt Hotel.
1. Bournemouth Beach & The Promenade
Nothing says seaside town like the seaside! Bournemouth is home to a stunning coastline for your to enjoy; from the costal cliffs of Hengistbury Head, round to the famous Bournemouth and Boscombe Piers, all the way to the stunning sands of Sandbanks where you can experience the seventh richest place in the world!
Did we also mention that Bournemouth Beach was voted the number one beach in the UK and the fifth best in Europe?! Just take a stroll along the promenade and enjoy the colourful beach huts, the Amusements and bounty of beachside cafes – then you will understand why Bournemouth is the UK’s number one.
2. The Skybar
Treat yourself to a cocktail or two in the bar enjoyed by the high society of Bournemouth. Level8ight Skybar is situated on the top floor of the Hilton Hotel. Just pop in for a drink or two, or enjoy an afternoon tea in the skies with stunning views all over Bournemouth and down to the seafront.
This stylish establishment was designed by Ted Baker for Bournemouth’s brand new Hilton hotel and entices you to enjoy every luxury that high-end wining and dining has to offer.
3. Bournemouth Gardens
There is no place more iconic in Bournemouth than Bournemouth Gardens itself. These beautifully groomed, historic gardens have been Green Flag winners since 1999. Either just enjoy the scenery or get involved with the activities and amenities such as mini golf, street food outlets and guided walks.
If you visit us a Christmas time, be sure to visit the ice rink in the Upper Gardens and enjoy a hot drink in the Alpine Bar. Or during the hotter months, take a stroll through the gardens right down to the seafront where there are a number of fairground rides and other attractions.
4. Jurassic Coastal Walks
Fancy yourself a bit of a walker? Bournemouth’s stunning Jurassic Coastline is the place to do it. Bournemouth is nestled between two large headlands: Hengistbury Head, where you can enjoy walks over the clifftops and down onto the beach, and beyond Sandbanks you can take the ferry over to Old Harry Rocks.
There is a land train on Hengistbury Head for a more easygoing tour of the headland and a cafe to enjoy refreshments before or after your walk. On the other side, Old Harry Rocks is for more keen walkers with a short ferry ride over from Sandbanks and a climb to the clifftop where you can enjoy stunning views over the glistening water. We recommend taking a picnic with you for this one!
5. Bournemouth Pier
Recently updated and just as iconic as the gardens in Bournemouth Pier. Enjoy a stroll along the pier for a fantastic view of the beaches and seaside. Recently they have added a zip line from the pier to the beach for thrill seekers to enjoy and the climbing centre on the end of the pier is the perfect place to take the kids for a fun day out.
If you are visiting in the summer months, you can also enjoy the fireworks on Bournemouth pier every Friday evening. Pop down to the beach or book a table in one of the local beach cafes to enjoy the fireworks and the view.
6. The Pavilion Theatre
This historic building was opened in the 1929 by HRH The Duke of Gloucester and is home to a host of brilliant performances fro comedy shows and pantomimes to ballet and opera. Step back in time when you enter this stunning theatre.
Enjoy the grand architecture and elegant styling of this historic building while enjoying one of the many shows it has to offer. At Christmas time, the Pavilion Theatre attracts families from all around for its much anticipated pantomime performances.
7. Compton Acres
One of Bournemouths local attractions is the must beloved Compton Acres. Not only is it the perfect venue for weddings and other events held in their Italian Villa, but it is also home to some of the most stunning gardens in the area. Enjoy a stroll around over ten acres of beautiful gardens then book yourself in for lunch or afternoon tea in their on site cafe and tearooms.
There are five stunningly themes gardens to choose from: The Italian Gardens, The Japanese Gardens, The Heather Gardens, The Woodland Valley and The Rock and Water Gardens. You can even purchase your own plants in the Plant Centre on site.
8. The Bournemouth International Centre (BIC)
The BIC is a popular venue for tourists looking for a variety of performances and entertainment: from shows and concerts to exhibitions and iceskating, there is something for everyone at the BIC.
Take a look at their websites for a whole host of events being run at this large venue. Big names such as Madonna, Michael Buble and Ed Sheehan have been known to play there as well as more local productions from local schools or performing arts academies.
9. The Oceanarium
For the ocean lovers out there, Bournemouth has another excellent and highly popular attraction. One the seafront, you are able to visit Bournemouths Oceanarium. This bite sized aquarium is perfect for a half day tour.
Enjoy visiting aquatic animals of all shapes and sizes, then tuck into a delicious lunch in their on site cafe.This attraction is great for the kids but also a nice relaxing trip for the adults to learn a little about the local sea life.
There are plenty of food outlets in and around Bournemouth town centre and onto the beach front.
Some of the most renowned are: Arbua; an elevated beachside bar and cafe with stunning views over the pier. West Beach; a beachfront bar and cafe with views over Bournemouth Beach, accessed via the promenade. Harry Ramsden’s; for the perfect, traditional fish and chips. NEO; for a taste of fine dining during the day and in the evening. 1812; the perfect cocktail lounge and bar experience with a restaurant to enjoy luxury dining.
Experience these and many more restaurants, cafes and bars in Bournemouth during your stay at the Balincourt Hotel.
When people think of Bournemouth, you think of the various beauty spots including the beaches, gardens and grand architecture. But there are so many more beautiful and historic sites to sample around Bournemouth and these can be found through the National Trust.
National Trust-owned areas are protected and conserved heritage sites which are open to the public to visit in exchange for a donation to their charity. They look after over 500 historic castles, manor houses, monuments and nature reserves as well as 775 miles of coastline and thousands of acres of land. The National Trust rely on their members and donations to help care for these areas.
So where are the best National Trust sites to visit, where you will not only get a great day out but will also be contributing to the upkeep of these beautiful areas.
Enjoy a short wander around the remains of Corfe Castle and take in the historic scenery and stunning views over Poole Harbour. Occasionally you will get the chance to see battlefield reenactments and learn more about what Corfe Castle would have looked like in it’s prime.
View Corfe Castle from afar at one of Corfe Village’s many tea rooms and beer gardens. Indulge in delicious local cuisine or a coffee and a slice of homemade cake in one of these many charming establishments.
There are plenty of other memorials, churches and sites of interest dotted around the village for you to discover on this relaxing day out.
Are you a fan of the wildlife? Hop on a boat cruise from Poole Harbour over to Brownsea Island. Take a short stroll on the beach or grab a picnic and enjoy the stunning views across Poole Harbour and the Purbeck Hills.
If you are keen on wildlife, make sure you bring your camera! Brownsea Island is home to a large variety of wildlife including the rare red Squirrel. Discover them in their natural habitat in the woodland of Brownsea Island.
Either spend the day with a picnic in the woods or just pop over for half a day and cruise back using the regular boat rides from Poole Harbour.
Another perfect picnic spot and chance to take in the amazing views. This natural area of sandy beaches and heathland is perfect for a late morning stroll and lunchtime picnic. Enjoy four miles of sheltered beaches including Knoll Beach, Middle Beach and Shell Bay; the perfect place to relax among the sandy dunes.
If you are feeling like you need more than a picnic on the beach to fill you up, book yourself in for lunch at The Pig on the Beach close to Studland. This enticing restaurant was once owned by the aristocratic Bankes family who had this manor house as their seaside residence.
In the summertime, be sure to admire the wildlife at Studland Bay including a variety of sea birds, dragonflies and even water voles – if you can spot them!
Find out more about the local National Trust sites available for visiting on the National Trust website.