100 Things to do in (and around) Bournemouth 81 – Poole Christmas Maritime Light Festival

New for 2022, is Poole’s Maritime themed Christmas light display. From mid November until the New Year, you can enjoy the spectacle which runs from the Bus Station, through the Dolphin Centre shopping arcade, along the High Street and onto the Harbourside.

Poole Christmas Maritime Light Festival

Dolphin Centre

We parked in the Dolphin Centre car park, which costs £1 per hour. By public transport, most buses stop at the Bus Station, which is right next door. It’s also the start of the trail (which we missed). Here we met up with the kids, who’d been to lunch in Poole.

Festive Polar Bear and Penguin

Inside the Dolphin Centre itself are some illuminated animals, such as a polar bear, some penguins and what I first thought was a kangaroo, but is perhaps a dog – who knows?

Festive possible kangaroo

Falkland Square Deep Sea Tree (3)

Outside in Falkland Square is a sea themed tree adorned with fish, starfish and anchors. Attempting to combine the walk with lunch was perhaps a mistake, as it wasn’t quite dark when we started, thus minimising the effect of the illuminations.

Deep Sea Tree

Old Harry’s Ship (8)

Along the High Street are Christmas trees decorated with a nautical theme of crabs and starfish, a large illuminated sailing ship. This is, apparently a replica old infamous local pirate Harry Paye’s ship. Because who doesn’t love a festive pirate?

Old Harry’s Ship

Walkthrough Bauble (9)

There’s also a bauble you can sit it for that all important photo op.

Family Bauble Shot

30m Maritime Light Curtain (10)

Up above hangs a 30m curtain of lights, also with a nautical theme. There’s a longer (120m) one of these further along, which we managed to muss. Maybe because we weren’t looking in the air. Maybe because we’re just stupid…

Maritime Curtain

Walkthrough Lantern (12)

As you continue along the High Street, another walkthrough decoration; this time a giant lantern. Well, it’s got to be done…

Walkthrough Lantern

Sea Shell Tree (13)

Next up is a Sea Shell themed Christmas tree. There are some sea shells on there somewhere.

Sea Shell Tree

Blue Lagoon Anchor (18)

On the Harbourside, more naughtical trees and more festive photo opportunities. Even the ferries have got in on the action and are festooned with lights, next to the Blue Lagoon Anchor.

Blue Lagoon Anchor

Tinsel the Recycling Turtle (19)

Along the route are a couple of recycling points, continuing the festive nautical theme. There’s a whale in the High Street, while the harbour has Tinsel the Recycling Turtle. Tinsel doesn’t light up. We know this because we spent ages looking for the non existent ‘on’ switch!

Tinsel the Recycling Turtle

Walkthrough Snowflake (20)

My favourite was the giant snowflake. The perfect backdrop to frame that festive outing memento.

Family Snowflake Photo

Christmas Present Tree (21)

The next walkthrough photo friendly offering is the Christmas Present tree. Next to the water, decorated with a large flashing bow, it has an arch through the middle. Anyone want two teenagers for Christmas?

Christmas Present Tree

Magical Maritime Tree (23)

Further along the Harbourside is another maritime themed tree. We turned at this point and made our way back to where we’d parked.

It’s not quite as impressive as the Christmas trees in Bournemouth, but it was significantly less crowded, so a more laid back way the spend a Sunday evening. We walked for an hour and didn’t quite fit in all the decorations, but an hour was sufficient walking for our combination of old codgers, a pregnant lady and teenagers.

Poole Harbour

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