Bournemouth’s Arts by the Sea Festival Announces New Family Route

With the aid of this new guide, families can easily discover the best family friendly entertainment at the 2021 event. Simply the follow the route across Bournemouth’s beautiful gardens and outdoors spaces and find eight must-see attractions spanning music, walkabout theatre, circus, comedy and more, that children of all ages can enjoy.

Arts by the Sea, Bournemouth’s annual celebration of all things arts and culture, has revealed a family friendly route for the 2021 festival. This new route allows families with children of all ages to easily navigate their way around the festival to arrive at eight must-see attractions of music, walkabout theatre, circus, comedy, science and more. Children will delight in ticking each item off on their Family Route map – downloadable from the Arts by the Sea website – as they travel around Bournemouth Town Centre. All within walking distance, even for little legs, Arts by the Sea is an intriguing and exciting day out, whether witnessing or taking part. It’s free to attend and takes place across Bournemouth’s beautiful gardens, outdoor spaces and beaches from Friday 1st – Sunday 3rd October. Visit for more information.

Visitors start at the Faraway Tree in Westover Gardens before heading to Horseshoe Common. Here they’ll be meet with sing-a-long silliness from double act, Rimski & Handkerchief and their marvellous musical machines; Bicycle Piano and Double Bassicle. Here they’ll also find the comedic acrobatic and juggling spectacle, Books! by the bedraggled book enthusiasts, Tit for Tit.

Next, the journey takes guests down to The Square to discover an uplifting and high energy performance from the Bombay Bahdja Bollywood brass band. Complete with eye-catching outfits, it’s set to be toe-tapping fun for all the family.


A short hop to The Gardens is next on the route where there’s an abundance of interactive installations, dance, science workshops and more theatre and circus. Illumaphonium is one of the main attractions at Arts by the Sea this year and is suitable for everyone. Situated in the Upper Gardens, it is an all-sensory music-making experience featuring over two hundred illuminated chime bars that respond to human touch. With ever changing patterns of light and sound, Illumaphonium is fun and spontaneous and will be a hit with all festival goers.

Spanning out into Lower Gardens, more entertainment awaits. Flock by Swish Boing is a sheep herding show like no other where guests just might be chosen to assist Patch the Sheepdog and his diligent Shepherd to navigate the silly sheep back into their pen. Look Up is a show of highly skilled circus technique by Hickapee Theatre with the story of child puppet, Robyn at its centre. And for the next generation of space explorers and science enthusiasts, the Space Shed is a must with comedic storytelling and fun-informal interviews all about the wonders of our planet. 

Finally, meander towards Pier Approach for Roadworks by Etta Ermini Dance and witness a quirky and humorous engagement between a dancer and a BMX rider, incorporating acrobatics, B-Boying, BMX-ing, music, and much more.

With over 100,000 visitors each year and over 100 unique installations, musical performances, exhibitions, dance and theatre, visitors are spoilt for choice at Arts by the Sea. With the aid of this new route, families can now map out their journey of discovery to find the most suited and engaging experiences that young people and children will enjoy.

Now in its 11th year, Arts by the Sea is delivered by BCP Council in association with Arts Council England, and under the creative direction of From The Fields (Bluedot Festival / Kendall Calling). For more info visit or follow @artsbythesea on social media: #Connect2021 / #artsbythesea.