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Bournemouth: where your world turns upside down

Posted by Jonathan Broom on 14 November 2018
Related property: Langton House
Bournemouth: where your world turns upside down

The largest resort on England’s south coast, Bournemouth has long been a magnet for tourists. More than five million visitors flock to the town each year, attracted by its soft sand ‘bucket-and-spade’-y beaches, its Victorian elegance, its shops, pubs and eateries, its lively club scene, and the other entertainments on offer – some typical of a British seaside resort town, others less so.

Surely falling into the latter category is Bournemouth’s newest attraction: the Upside Down House (pictured at top), which opened its doors on 10th November 2018 in the town’s ‘Triangle’ – a vibrant and quirky hub for dining, live music, nightlife, culture and the arts.

50% art, 50% fun, and 100% strange, the Upside Down House fits in well.

A blend of street art and experiential entertainment taking inspiration from a similar attraction on permanent display in Lithuania, the inverted wooden building is the first of its kind in Britain, providing visitors with a zero-gravity illusion experience in a safe and family-friendly environment. The black-and-pink structure took events company Upside Down House UK nine months to make, and it’s the first attraction of its kind in the UK.

Inside there’s a sitting-room, a kitchen, a bathroom, an office and two bedrooms. All the rooms have real furniture and fittings, and there’s even a pair of slippers next to one of the beds. There’s a cot in one of the bedrooms, a toilet in the bathroom, and a desk in the office. All as you would expect.

What you would not expect, perhaps, is the whole lot to be above your head and facing downwards.

Climb the stairs to go down (and vice versa); do handstands on the sofa without taking your feet off the floor; walk on the ceiling; and let your perceptions be thoroughly messed-about-with.

The expectation is that in our selfie-obsessed social-media age, visitors will take normal photos of each other (and themselves) inside and later flip the pictures 180 degrees (as above) to make it look as though they are upside down. Or the house is. Whatever...

“[The Bournemouth house] took around 11 days to construct and early reaction has been incredibly positive,” said Upside Down House UK chief executive Tom Dirse. “It’s something very different and people seem really excited by it.”

The interiors are all finished in plain wood, but Mr Dirse said an in-house designer was constantly on-hand to make sure the house remained free of scuffs, bumps and dirty marks. “You can tell it’s new and so far we’re delighted with how people are reacting,” he added.

The Upside Down House will remain in situ until the end of June 2019, but Mr Dirse is looking further ahead. “After our initial seven months it’s very much open what we do,” he said, “but we’d love to find a more permanent home here.”

The Upside Down House will be open from Monday to Friday between 10am and 7pm, and from 10am to 9pm on Saturday and Sunday. Admission is £4 per person during the week, and £5 per person at weekends. Children under eight can enter free of charge, but must be accompanied by an adult.

The journey from Langton House to Bournemouth is about 23 miles, and takes around 50 minutes. Take the B3069 and merge onto the A351. Follow the A351 for about 12 miles to Lytchett Minster, then take the A35, the A350 and the A3049. Bournemouth will be well signposted from there on.

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Jonathan Broom

Jonathan Broom

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