Guest blogger Written by

Charlotte Tuohy (USA)

My name is Charlotte Tuohy from the USA and I am studying MSc Tourism Management and Marketing. Its Christmas time here in Bournemouth and it is a great place to be during this festive time of year! I love the time leading up to Christmas, so I have tried to take advantage of as many British traditions as possible before I go to the US for the break.

Christmas Markets and destinations

The centre point of the festivities is the Christmas Market in Bournemouth’s town square. Up and down the high street, stalls sell festive food and drink as well as gifts and trinkets. It is a great place to wander around, especially in the evening when the lights are on! Afterwards, be sure to grab a drink with your friends at one of the local pubs to soak up the atmosphere, or enjoy a hot drink in the Alpine Lodge bar which has log burning fires inside.

If you have some extra time, November and December are the perfect time to take day or weekend trips around the UK and visit Christmas Markets in other cities. Salisbury is just one hour from Bournemouth and has an impressive market. Through the student union, you can pay for a trip to the Bath Christmas Market – a large market set in a picturesque historic town. It’s also easy to visit London via bus or train to see popular sites such as Winter Wonderland or walk down Oxford Street if you fancy a bit of shopping!

Christmas flavours

Another great part about Christmas time is the delicious food options that are unique to the UK! Some of my favourite treats are mince pies (mini pies filled with spiced fruit), mulled wine, and a great turkey dinner. Since I missed out on the American holiday Thanksgiving, I made sure to enjoy a roasted turkey at a pub to make up for it!

Christmas shopping

Speaking of shopping, there are many places around Bournemouth to buy Christmas presents to bring or send back to your family! The high street in Bournemouth is a great start, since there are a lot of large shops such as Debenhams and House of Fraser, as well as smaller shops tucked away on side streets like The Arcade.

Just a short bus ride away is Castlepoint Centre, where you can find even more gift options at stores like Thornton’s or Marks and Spencer. If you are like me, shopping will get you in the Christmas spirit right away!

Getting ready for Christmas in the UK may be quite different from what you’re used to; however, if you embrace some of the festivities you will be sure to have a great time. You may even end up bringing some British traditions back to your own country!

By Charlotte Tuohy (USA), MSc Tourism Management and Marketing