Town centres have suffered from the effects of the pandemic and it’s sad to see empty shops and pavements so Bournemouth’s Christmas market and Christmas Tree Wonderland are a very welcome addition. We visited at dusk on a weekday afternoon and parked easily on Westover Rd which runs alongside the gardens.
The town centre known as ‘The Square’ has a range of the usual wooden huts selling gifts and food which can be found in many town centres and they add to the festive feeling but the stars, in my opinion, are the huge tree structures which are positioned through the Lower Gardens. We walked through from the Square to the seafront just in time for a beautiful sunset and by then the lights were looking stunning against the dark skies.
There were families taking in the sights but on the whole it wasn’t as crowded as later in the evening. We bought Churros from a van which were a little doughy for my taste and on our way back through the gardens caught the ‘performance’ of the largest tree which has a light display in time to music which put smiles on everyone’s faces.
For those who like a more active visit there is a large skating rink where sessions need to be booked in advance. And there is a wider range of Christmas lights available on a Christmas trail map.
With ample parking in surrounding car parks and we’ll paved paths it is a good trip for those less mobile although there are some steep slopes if you park on the northern side of the gardens.
If you are unsure about the safety of seasonal indoor gatherings then an outdoor attraction seems a good option and this certainly felt festive and best of all it’s free.