Bournemouth invests £1m in festive illuminations

Bournemouth Borough Council has partnered with local Business Improvement Districts to create a £1 million Christmas attraction to make the resort a year-round destination, writes Angie Cronin.

The council has worked with the Town Centre BID and the Coastal BID to develop the Christmas Tree Wonderland trail featuring more than 100 glittering trees and illuminations.

It will start with an illuminated big wheel at the seafront, before weaving through the resort’s Lower Gardens, featuring themed trees from cities around the world including Moscow, St Petersburg, Bethlehem, Seattle and Warsaw, as well as a Tree of Light and a canopy of cascading lights over Pine Tree Walk.

The centrepiece of the attraction will be the Bournemouth Wonderland Tree in the Lower Gardens – a 60ft LED spectacle comprising 30,000 individual lights programmed for regular sound and light shows.

The Christmas Tree Wonderland trail, which will take place every year until 2021, will also incorporate character illuminations, including a giant teddy bear, gingerbread people and a giant bauble, as well as animated polar bears, a snow lion, fairies, elves and a Santa’s grotto in the Lower Gardens.

There will be a traditional alpine market – with a two-storey lodge-style bar in Bournemouth Square – and the SKATE rink will return to the Lower Gardens this Christmas.

The Christmas Tree Wonderland will launch on November 16 and will be in place until January 2.

The festive atmosphere will also be introduced to other areas of the resort, including key commercial hubs, such as the Triangle, Horseshoe Common and Lansdowne, which will have themed attractions.

Other areas of Bournemouth, including Boscombe, Southbourne and Westbourne, will have packed programmes of themed events, including Victorian, continental and vintage attractions.

Local transport operator, Yellow Buses, will be the Bournemouth Christmas Tree Wonderland’s exclusive bus transport provider to help residents and visitors travel around the destination. Weather permitting, the operator is hoping to run an open-top bus decorated with lights to link the Christmas markets in Boscombe and Westbourne with the town centre.

Picture of illuminations by Bournemouth & Poole Tourism.