100 Things to do in (and around) Bournemouth 82 – Christmas Tree Wonderland

Introduction

Bournemouth’s annual Christmas Tree Wonderland is a trail including replica Christmas trees from cities around the world, other festive illuminations, plus ice skating, a Christmas Market and Alpine Bar. It runs from Mid November until the New Year. Since we moved to Bournemouth, it’s become part of our family Christmas tradition to take a wander round the gardens enjoying some of the decorations. Below are some musings on and photographs of Christmas Tree Wonderland. It peters out before the end, basically because I’m too lazy to walk the whole trail.

BMTH XMAS
BMTH XMAS

Orientation

The illuminations stretch all the way from the sea front, through the gardens to the Square, then on up to the Triangle and along Old Christchurch Road as far as Lansdowne Road. I have covered the entire route on running club Christmas sessions, but it is quite a trek (in the region of 3 miles in total). To limit walking too far, we usually stick to the first 25 or so items on the the trail. It’s also worth noting that the recommended route; starting at the pier and working its way through town, involves quite a lot of uphill walking.

Christmas Tree Wonderland Trail

1) Pier

Starting at the pier (which nobody actually does unless they’re Poseidon or the Man from Atlantis and have just waded in from the sea). It is apparently lined with 60 Christmas trees. When we went, only one was lit, which was somewhat of an anti-climax. But, seemingly feeling the need to compensate for the lack of illuminations, the sun provided a spectacular sunset.

Bournemouth Pier at sunset
Bournemouth Pier at sunset

2) Walk Through Bauble (Pier Approach)

This year’s illuminations focus heavily on that Insta moment, with an abundance of walk through ornaments. The first of these is a bauble on Pier Approach.

Walk Through Bauble and Observation Wheel
Walk Through Bauble and Observation Wheel

3) Snowman Simulator

There is often a simulator on Pier Approach. Usually it’s a Red Arrows simulator, but for the festive period we have a Snowman simulator. The mind boggles. Is it the same simulator? Did The Snowman have a maximum speed of 645 MPH? Did James have to withstand gravitational forces of 7G? My kids would have been terrified of this ride when they were little. Next…

Snowman Simulator
Snowman Simulator

4) Kyiv tree

New for this year is the blue and yellow striped Kyiv tree.

Kyiv Tree
Kyiv Tree

5) Smugglers Cove

The Mini Golf Course has been given a a festive makeover, because everyone knows pirates love Christmas. Why are pirates so obsessed with Christmas? Because they aaarrrr!

6) Wheel

Santa seems to have got himself stuck on the big wheel. If you want to take a look at the illuminations from up high, this is your chance.

Festive Observation Wheel
Festive Observation Wheel

7) Giant Reindeer (Bournemouth Gardens)

Moving into Bournemouth Gardens for more festive illuminations. The giant reindeer has been around for a few years, but I think this is his first appearance in the gardens, he’s usually further up.

Giant Reindeer
Giant Reindeer

8) Seattle and Sphere Tree

Likewise, the Seattle Tree has been part of Christmas Tree Wonderland for a while now. This year it looks like it’s had a tree baby!

Seattle and Sphere Tree
Seattle and Sphere Tree

9) Giant Boot

New for 2022 is the giant boot. When we went, it was switched off.

10) Liberty and Teddy Tree

Also new and also in darkness when we visited. Has Bournemouth Council not paid its electricity bill?

11) Rockery Installation

Outside the Pavilion Theatre, the rockery has been transformed into a magical waterfall of lights. This is one of my favourites. Beautiful to watch but takes rubbish photos.

12) Colour Changing Tree of Light

The colour tree of light is, unsurprisingly, a tree. With lights. That change colour. I love how the lights reflect in the river.

Colour Changing Tree of Light, Warsaw Tree and Lucerne Tree
Colour Changing Tree of Light, Warsaw Tree and Lucerne Tree

13) Warsaw Tree

The pink Warsaw Tree is a Wonderland stalwart. It is next door to the Lucerne Tree.

14) Lucerne Tree

Lucerne Tree and Warsaw Tree
Lucerne Tree and Warsaw Tree

15) Bethlehem Tree

The Bethlehem Tree comes complete with its own nativity scene.

Bethlehem Tree
Bethlehem Tree

16) Picnic on the Piste and LED Light Stone Trail

We missed this one completely.

17) 5m Etoile Tree

18) Polar Walk

The polar bears are fenced in so not particularly photogenic, unless you are a fan of fences.

19) Curtain of Light

20) Trees of Light (Westover Road)

Just outside the gardens are the Trees of Light. This doesn’t form part of our lazy pootle round the garden route, so here is a photo from a more energetic running club outing.

Tree of Light
Tree of Light

21) Bournemouth Wonderland Tree

This 20 metre high walk through Christmas tree is adorned with 30,000 LED lights. There is a regular sound and light show (every 30 minutes from 4pm until 9pm). There are a number of different themed performances from Classical music to 80s pop to children’s favourites.

Bournemouth Wonderland Tree
Bournemouth Wonderland Tree

To be honest, the poor old Wonderland Tree has seen better days; a big panel of LED lights were out leaving a brown rectangle in the midst of the display. Here’s a photo from 4 years ago of the tree in its full glory.

Bournemouth Wonderland Tree
Bournemouth Wonderland Tree

22) Cluster Trees

A cluster of small trees.

23) Ice Rink

The Ice Rink is open daily from 10.30 am to 11 pm. It is necessary to book in advance for a one hour slot. Tickets cost £13.50 for adults, £12.50 for concessions (teenagers, students and senior citizens), £11.50 for children under 12 or £44 for a family of four. A skate aid costs an additional £5. If, like me, you find skating all a bit stressful, you can unwind at the Alpine Bar. Or just avoid altogether.

24) CTW Sign

The CTW Sign isn’t at the top of the gardens as indicated on the map, but at the other end overlooking the pier.

Bournemouth Christmas Tree Wonderland
Bournemouth Christmas Tree Wonderland

25) Christmas Market (Bournemouth Square)

In the Square you will find the Christmas Market and another Alpine Bar.

Bournemouth Christmas Market
Bournemouth Christmas Market

26) 5m Grand Vega Tree (Commercial Road)

Continue up past the market onto the pedestrian precinct in Commercial Road for the Grand Vega Tree.

Grand Vega Tree
Grand Vega Tree

27) Romance Arch and Swirls (The Triangle)

The Romance Arch and swirls are another Instaworthy photo op. I’m not sure what the swirls bring to the Christmas party?

Romance Arch
Romance Arch

28) Santa (Old Christchurch Road)

A giant Santa sits watching shoppers go about their business in the town centre. And this is as far as we got before (a) getting tired and (b) running out of time on our car parking.

Giant Santa
Giant Santa

29) 5m Tree and Presents

30) Drop Lighting (Horseshoe Common)

31) Tree Lighting (Lansdowne Roundabout)

Author: Jane's Midlife Journey

Stopped work, started travelling. Sometimes I run - combining the two with some parkrun tourism.

2 thoughts on “100 Things to do in (and around) Bournemouth 82 – Christmas Tree Wonderland”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s