ALMOST one million people visited Bournemouth’s Christmas Tree Wonderland, organisers have said.

The dazzling festive attraction took place for the first-time last year and featured more than 100 trees of different shapes and sizes and illuminations including giant teddy bears, gingerbread people and a giant bauble.

Christmas Tree Wonderland will return later this year between November 15 and January 2.

A spokesperson said this year there would be some "new additions" to the attraction which would be announced at a later stage.

During the inaugural event, visitors were invited to take part in a free trail starting at the seafront which took people through the Lower Gardens and the town centre.

The centrepiece was the Tree of Light which stood at 60ft – the same height as the Angel of the North – and was decorated with 30,000 LED lights.

Spectators were also able to enjoy light and sound shows every half hour from 5pm until 8.30pm apart from Christmas Day.

Some of the trees featured during the trail were themed to represent six cities from around the world including the Bethlehem Tree and the St Petersburg Tree.

Other spectacles included six nightly light and pyrotechnic shows at The Big Wheel at Pier Approach and a host of Christmas characters in the Lower Gardens to entertain families including a Winter Fairy, Snow Lion, Red Queen and a living snow globe.

As reported in the Daily Echo on December 15, tourism bosses said they had seen a 42 per cent rise in footfall since the launch of Christmas Tree Wonderland.

It was hoped that 500,000 visitors would turn out to see the attraction. Around 300,000 people usually visit Bournemouth over the Christmas period.

The official light switch-on, which took place on November 16, attracted 18,000 people alone.

Christmas Tree Wonderland ran from November 15 until January 2 and the remains of the display are now being dismantled following the passing of Twelfth Night last weekend while the popular outdoor SKATE ice rink closed on Sunday.