Discover the hidden Dorset places that are miles from the mainstream

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SECRET STORIES: The bunker at Talbot Heath
SECRET STORIES: The bunker at Talbot Heath

Discovering places with hidden stories is great fun – but when they are in areas you think you know well, it can be truly eye-opening.
Those in the know who love unearthing hidden details in towns and cities tend to consult their trusty ‘111 Places’ guide books and this new, sunshiny-yellow addition to the series, 111 Places In Bournemouth You Shouldn’t Miss, is no exception.
Written by local author, Katherine Bebo, who has gone to great lengths to unearth the quirks and curiosities of her beloved Bournemouth, Christchurch, Ringwood and surrounding areas, it’s a great little guide for residents and visitors alike.
The book is illustrated by local photographer Oliver Smith.
While it features stuff we locals know well, like Christchurch Priory’s Miraculous Beam, the Ducking Stool, the Coven of Witches and the Highcliffe Beach ammonites, there are also plenty of less-explored pockets of the region viewed through the eyes of an already enamoured local.

SECRET STORIES: The bunker at Talbot Heath and the Tregonwell and Creeke statue. Below, the Regent Cinema in Christchurch
Join Katherine as she entertains you with insights, cultural anecdotes and insider tips, all snappily written as fun and informative ‘storylets’, with
useful tips and clear directions.
Take Rolls Drive in Southbourne. That it happens to be the only Rolls Drive in the UK – possibly the world – is unusual enough; discovering that it honours Charles Royce, co-founder of the Rolls Royce empire, makes it more intriguing and the ripping yarn that tells us why is fascinating.
A curious epitaph on a tomb in Christchurch Priory, dated 1641, is also engaging since it’s kept people baffled as to who is buried there for years. The theories that do exist are food for thought.
Add where to swim with a whale, Batman’s old stomping ground, the clifftop hotel that changed history, the woods where a Hollywood blockbuster was filmed and Napoleon’s wine cooler and you’ve got a dedicated area guide that’s enormous fun.
Katherine has also written 111 Places in Poole That You Shouldn’t Miss.
111 Places in Bournemouth That You Shouldn’t Miss £13.99, emons.

by Lorraine Gibson

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