Shakespeare and nature on Brownsea Island

Poole Harbour, Dorset

See Shakespeare acted out in the open air, part of this summer’s theatre programme on the National Trust’s Brownsea Island in Dorset.

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Located in the picturesque Poole Harbour, Brownsea Island is a unique setting for a cultural holiday. Take a picnic with you and explore the Island after hours, before sitting down to enjoy William Shakespeare’s magical and mystical tales at the open air theatre.

The Bard’s plays have been performed on the island for over 50 years, since 1964. Brownsea Island isn’t your average destination for a theatre trip, however. During the Second World War, the island was given the frankly rubbish job of acting as a decoy for German bombs in order to protect Poole and Bournemouth.

But rather than the resulting bomb craters being an eyesore, they have become a sanctuary for wildlife, providing beautiful surroundings for a wonderful show.

Lord Baden Powell thought so highly of it that the first Scout camp was held there and hundreds of youngsters and the young at heart return year after year. 

This fantastic nature reserve is home to rare (and very cute) red squirrels as well as deer, birds and other wildlife. The resident Peacocks’ haunting cries add to the Island’s own magic and mystery.

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BBrownsea Island, Poole Harbour © Visit Dorset
BBrownsea Island, Poole Harbour © Visit Dorset
PPeacock on Brownsea Island © Visit Dorset
SSquirrel on Brownsea Island © Visit Dorset
CCouple at Pig on The Beach © Visit Dorset
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