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Christmas By The Coast

Think of Bournemouth and your mind will likely wander to visions of sea, sand and soaring temperatures. Indeed ours is a beach resort, a literal hotspot for thousands of sun seekers hoping to top-up their tans and revel in the summer sunshine.

If however you think the town hibernates throughout the Autumn and Winter periods you are badly mistaken! Know that Bournemouth has just as much, if not more to offer as the nights turn colder and the Christmas decorations spring up. In fact, so varied are the festivities they make for a perfect getaway…

So just what is there to look forward to if planning a stay at Hotel Collingwood this yule tide? Well as scenery goes they do not come any more magical than that provided by the Christmas Tree Wonderland.

An awe-inspiring collection of 100+ trees and illuminations, they will light and line the walkway from our glorious pier down through Lower Gardens and beyond.

Brought to you by the organisers of the Bournemouth Air Festival, we have been told to keep a lookout for LED lit teddies, gingerbread men, polar bears and more, displays certain to get even the Scrooge like into a festive spirit.

Fittingly perhaps the centrepiece will be a 60ft tall Bournemouth Wonderland Tree, one placed in the heart of the town square and certain to provide a backdrop for a thousand selfies!

If that is unmissable so too is the annual Christmas Market. From November onwards stalls transition into wooden cabins in scenes reminiscent of the North Pole itself. Stock is duly bolstered by seasonal goods, including homemade items and many imported from far flung countries.

A winding stretch of huts connect our two main shopping streets as Commercial and Old Christchurch Roads come together as one, just like the community.


Nestled amidst the market is the much-loved Alpine Bar. A two-floor lodge, it serves up all manner of Christmas treats – including German beer and bratwurst by the bucketload, no shortage of mulled wine and mince pies and – to the delight of locals and visitors alike – meat and cheese boards made to be devoured.

As if that was not enough, live music is performed each and every day in the lead-up to the 25th. If you fancy a headline slot, bring your instrument!

As attractions and entertainment goes however that is just the beginning. An outdoor ice rink is erected each and every year, complimenting the Cool Coast, indoor equivalent setup yearly in Purbeck Hall. Wherever you choose to don your skates, you will be recreating Central Park across the pond.

As for our local concert arena, the Bournemouth International Centre is teeming with events this fall. Among the many musical performers heading south are Billy Ocean, Jess Glyne, Madness, Jools Holland and Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. If game for a laugh meanwhile, comedians Jason Manford and Joanna Lumley are bringing the jokes. With tickets still available, why not take in a show as part of a well-deserved break?

Christmas would not be Christmas of course without a pantomime or two. In 2018 the big draw is Sleeping Beauty featuring not one, but two Carabosse’s as EastEnders’ Rita Simmons and Brookside’s Jennifer Ellison conspire to wreak havoc in alternate slots. The production is set for Bournemouth on December 8THand runs until January 6th.

The aforementioned Lower Gardens meanwhile are aglow with entertainment changing on a daily basis. Bringing colour, character and Christmas to the fore this year are the likes of the Winter Fairy. Complete with crystal ball, this bedazzling dancer turned juggler promises to cast ‘magic’ over her many passers-by on December 13th. A circus act with a difference, she will need to be seen to be believed.

More random but no less entertaining will be the Roller Skating Puds. Yes, ladies adorning Christmas pudding outfits really will be winding their way through the crowds and delighting the masses on December 14th. Not to be outdone, the Bouncing Snowmen will be hot on their heels, high fiving all before them as they hopscotch across town.

Why not marvel at the scaled-up Snow Globe while in the area? A festive float encasing a real-life Snow Queen, this carefully designed display will be slaloming through the gardens on December 23rd. Considering she is sat within a ‘blizzard’ the Queen herself is only too happy to pose for photographs with enchanted youngsters.

Talking of kids, the upcoming Night Tree experience being laid on by Second Hand Dance is a must for schoolchildren familiar with Eve Bunting’s book of the same name. A fictional world brought to life, all-comers are encouraged to walk through the snow-kissed ‘woods’ and drape their tree with (edible) decorations. Remember to bring your ballet shoes, as this is one voyage filled with plenty in the way of song and dance.

For more information on the complete Lower Gardens Christmas schedule click here.

Nothing spells Christmas quite like a heart-warming film. While dedicated movie channels are all well and good there really is no substitute for the big screen experience, something afforded by the nearby BH complex, obviously, but also the country’s smallest cinema.


Yes, Bournemouth is proud to boast the much-cherished Colosseum – a downsized and proud auditorium, it is not averse to showing titles from as far back as the 50s. Rest assured, they also air their fair share of Xmas flicks every advent – just be sure to reserve a seat!

With so much to savour Bournemouth represents a brilliant holiday destination this winter. And when it comes to securing accommodation Hotel Collingwood ticks every box. Located close to town, we are but a brisk stroll from the coastline. Better still we offer free parking to all guests, something in short supply as the crowds gather to toast the season. Not to be left out, we also lay on our fair share of Christmas events…

Join us for festive afternoon tea – wherein sandwiches, scones, mince pies and tea cakes make for the perfect interval to a big shop. Also available this year are fizz and canapes, this as we serve-up champagne in our speakeasy bar and lounge.

If your Christmas is shaping up to be a busy one, why not treat yourself to some respite between the big day and New Year? Our Twixmas breaks bring some much-needed chill time in between the festivities. We even throw in a chocolate bar to honour the name!

If you’re looking to start the New Year in style, we will also be holding a New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner. A sumptuous 6-course dinner followed by a night of dancing into the small hours and a glass of fizz at midnight! And, if you want to make more of the New Year festivities take a look at our New Year package and stay with us from 30th December through to 2nd January with lots of delicious food and entertainment to enjoy!

If you would like to know more about the happenings in Bournemouth this December or enquire about one of our festive events, contact us.