Travel writer Laura Botia writes about Snowdonia National Park and the diverse range of activities and landscapes this corner of Wales has to offer.Written by Laura Botia on 16th March 2018
Best of Britain | Bournemouth
Music Editor Issy Campbell explains how you can make the most of seaside town Bournemouth this Christmas
It’s only recently I started to appreciate my hometown and I’ve realised now I was taking it for granted, especially at Christmas. Despite Bournemouth being a seaside town (with a beach voted one of the best in England), I find it really comes into its own during the Winter.
There is something special about the combination of a seaside pier with a German-inspired Christmas market. The centre has this certain buzz, one that you just can’t get at any other time of year. Perhaps it’s just the Christmas spirit, perhaps it’s the steins of beer from the outdoor bar… but whatever it is, nothing beats it. The stalls which line the streets sell a range of small gifts from local craftsmen; from homemade flavoured fudge to fabric bracelets and every scent of incense you can imagine, all of which make for the perfect stocking fillers. As you amble around the centre, mulled wine or cider in hand, you can listen to live music from notable local talent play Christmas covers and sometimes even originals.
“There is something special about the combination of a seaside pier with a German-inspired Christmas market
If the market's food or drink doesn’t tickle your fancy, you can just head to the new ‘BH2’ complex, where there are plenty of restaurants and bars. The complex is situated at the top of Bournemouth Gardens, another gem in my vibrant town. It is here you will find the seasonal outdoor ice-skating rink - whilst not as extravagant as the one in Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland, it really adds to the festive vibe Bournemouth so excellently creates. This year, however, the ice rink is offering up something a little different, combining ten pin bowling with curling to make for a fun alternative to skating. Accompanied by a covered bar with waiter service, this is a great way to spend your winter evenings with friends.
The best thing about Bournemouth is that you can have a complete change of scene in just a five-minute walk. Situated away from the bustle of the town centre, the beach offers a breathtakingly beautiful view. For a small price, you can head onto the Pier, and even zip-wire from the end back onto the beach if conditions permit. And even if the weather in winter isn’t exactly right for an ice cream, there is something special about having a hot chocolate whilst sat by the beach to warm you up. If you head to the cliff top, where one of the numerous car parks can be found, be sure to admire the view of the stunning southern coastal line.
“The best thing about Bournemouth, however, is that you can have a complete change of scene in just a five-minute walk
Another perk of the Christmas festivities is late night shopping. Bournemouth boasts a wide range of high street stores, from clothing shops like Topshop, New Look and H&M, department stores like Debenhams and Beales, and gems like Bodyshop and Lush which are always amazing at this time of year. From late November to just before Christmas, the shops open late on Thursdays and all day on Sundays offering everyone the chance to get there Christmas shopping done around busy schedules. There is also free parking at selected car parks, so there is really no excuse not to go into town and buy your Secret Santa a gift.
There is a real lure of attraction towards Bournemouth in the winter and it’s easy to see why. A little gem on the south coast that will fill you with festive cheer, good food and wonderful views; what isn’t to love?