Produced by Hannah
BA (Hons) Social Work
If you’re staying in Bournemouth over the festive period, there’s always plenty to of opportunities to get all Christmassy. The festive season in Bournemouth is always one of my favourite times of year. Bournemouth and the surrounding areas within South Dorset have so much to offer. One of my favourite is the free display of Winter Wonderland Trees in Bournemouth Gardens. It consists of around twenty Christmas trees on a tree trail, illuminating up the town. There’s usually live music and the Alpine Christmas markets on, along with the ice rink in the centre. It can feel really magical, and you don’t have to spend a penny to walk along it all.
If you love being outside in nature, like myself, then the National Trust Christmas events might be for you. The most local one to Dorset is at Kingston Lacy. The illuminated lights trail takes around 90 minutes to complete and has new installations this year.
Another family favourite, if you’ve got little ones, would be Stewarts Garden Centre. You can experience the elves Winter Wonderland and go through to meet Father Christmas, where you’ll encounter dancing elves, penguins and real reindeers. You can have your photo taken with Father Christmas and then head back to the garden centre to see the Christmas lights.
If you’re more interested in popping out shopping after all-day lectures or work, you can experience late night Christmas shopping on a Thursday night in Bournemouth. Make the most of your student discount on the buses, as parking might be difficult to find! Don’t forget to take your student ID with you to lock in all those discounts too.
Morebus bus operator is your local service for South Dorset, including your university buses. They’re offering Christmas deals this year on weekends all day in December and for Thursday evenings after 5.30pm a reduced price group ticket, where five can travel for jut £5. So get a group of your friends together and make the most of a ticket for just £1 each from your halls or Talbot Campus to Bournemouth’s Main Square.
If buses aren’t your thing, Beryl bikes are offering half price hire to and from Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole town centres on the run up to Christmas. This deal is available all weekends in December and late-night Christmas shopping evenings from 5.30pm.
Poole Maritime Light Festival is a short hop from Bournemouth, and is running this year until 2 January 2023. Alongside this, Poole are hosting a traditional Christmas market of festival food and attractions.
If you fancy hopping on a train to West Dorset, you’ll experience a traditional historic town, Dorchester. Dorchester Christmas Cracker is taking place on 11 December for stalls and events on throughout the day.
There is plenty to see and do in and around South Dorset at Christmas time. It’s a magical place to be at the festive time of year.