Christmas can be the most magical time of year wherever you are, whatever the weather. And despite Bournemouth being one of the UK’s premier beach resorts, it turns out we can do winter too! Bournemouth and many of its neighbouring towns and villages still perform the traditional Christmas light switch-on ceremony, with local celebrities and pantomime stars lining up (oh yes they do!) to officially welcome the winter festivities.
Alpine market – new for 2017!
Bournemouth Square really goes to town with its decorations with a dedicated Alpine market and lodge and traditional Santa’s grotto giving you that warm and cosy holiday feeling regardless of what the weather is doing! If you’re looking for an original gift, there are tens of charming sheds lining the town’s two main shopping high streets (Commercial Road and Old Christchurch Road) selling Christmassy wares including handmade and imported items, winter-warming food and the ever-popular pop-up Alpine bar, which occupies two storeys in the heart of town. Not only does this bar serve up the most festive refreshments but it’s heated too!!
Through the Lower Gardens you’ll enjoy Bournemouth’s spellbinding Gardens of Light exhibition, which casts wintry pictures like snowflakes on the ground as you trudge through to the seafront. The trail of light projections and illuminations are completely free for all to interact with and enjoy and runs from the end of November until early in the New Year.
A winter’s skate
The icing on the cake is Bournemouth’s outdoor ice rink, Skate, which pops up in mid-November bringing this fun winter sport to locals and visitors still lamenting the closure of the town’s only permanent ice rink. Glide on fresh ice under the trees or watch the action from the cosy rink-side apres-skate Moguls Bar while enjoying a warming snack or a hot chocolate. The Bournemouth International Centre also opens its own enchanting Cool Coast temporary ice rink over the winter in its beautiful Purbeck Hall.