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3230-(1)It’s that time of year again; the Christmas market has come back to Bournemouth town square! Size isn’t everything, as proven by the variety and quality of crafts and food crammed in to Bournemouth’s compact market. And come on, what other time of year can garden sheds adorned with fairy lights look so adorable?

There are a variety of craft stalls at this year’s market offering a variety of goodies, including gorgeous handmade jewellery, leather bags, old photos, sheepskin clothing, dream catchers, beads, wooden figurines, hats, scarves, ponchos, socks, you name it! As well as this, there is a chance to buy crafts from all over the world including South America, Thailand, Nepal/Tibet, Marrakesh, and Bali. My favourites are the stalls selling Christmas decorations and ornaments, some of which are personalised, making them a lovely gift idea.

While all the craft stalls are brilliant, there’s something even better about the Christmas Market – the food stalls! Bournemouth Christmas Market offers a huge selection of food from around the world; you’ll find German sausages, Spanish food, traditional roast chestnuts, hog roast, festive sweets, chutneys and cheeses and of course the sweet or savoury crepes, which are amazing! To wash all that down, there’s the Moose bar, constructed every year especially for the market and named so due to a giant talking moose head at the gable end of the bar. Don’t be fooled by the family look of this bar, you still need ID to get in, so don’t leave it at home! At the bar, there are a selection of soft drinks, real ales, beers, schnapps and the famous glühwein (mulled wine to you and I), served steaming hot in a mug shaped like Santa’s boot, which for a small fee, you can take home as a souvenir. The bar is very busy and so you may have to wait a while for a drink, but trust me, it’s worth it. If you are lucky enough to push your way inside you’ll find it’s filled with radiators, but standing out in the cold doesn’t take away from the Christmas cheer.

There’s nightly entertainment on the stage in the form of singers and dancers, who are actually very good. Who is performing depends on which night you go, but the stage will be up until 4 January so there’s plenty of time to go. The market will be open until Christmas Eve but will then re-open until 30 December for those of you not quite ready to let Christmas get away too soon!

I would thoroughly recommend going to see the market if you’ve not yet been, but a word of warning: wrap up warm! Don’t miss Santa riding between buildings on a unicycle or the giant Christmas tree. Enjoy soaking up the atmosphere and if you aren’t in the festive spirit before going, you certainly will be when you leave.

Merry Christmas, or as we Welsh say, Nadolig Llawen.

By Lowri Roberts