THE festive season is finally upon us with the long-awaited return of the Christmas Tree Wonderland and Alpine Market in Bournemouth

Filling the air with the smell of freshly-made crepes and sweet hot chocolate, the Alpine Market is home to more than 50 traders open daily from 10am until late. 

With more than 100 illuminations, the Christmas Tree Wonderland runs from Bournemouth Pier to Lansdowne Roundabout through Beale Place and Horseshoe Common - both the market and wonderland are running from Friday, November 19 to Sunday, January 2.

The popular spectacle features a 60ft walk-through tree in Lower Gardens which is the centrepiece of the event.

The SKATE outdoor ice rink has also made a return with the Moguls Bar in the Lower Gardens, there is also the ever-popular Alpine Lodge Bar in the Square.

Visitors and stall-holders alike were full of Christmas cheer on Friday night, the first night the market opened.

Pat Taylor and Denise Jarvis travelled from Weymouth especially to visit the market. They said:

“We’ve come from Weymouth and it’s absolutely brilliant!

“We got here at about quarter to four and we’ve brought lots - it’s also not dear either which is great for a Christmas market.”

READ MORE: Every trader at Bournemouth’s Christmas Market 2021

READ MORE: Christmas Tree Wonderland 2021: Everything you need to know

Nitesh Mittal, owner of vegan street food stall and soon-to-open cafe Earthling  in Old Christchurch Road, said: “It’s the first day and it’s absolutely amazing here.

“I just moved to Bournemouth two days ago so everything is new to me and I’m absolutely enjoying it. 

“I’m opening a small cafe in Old Christchurch Road next to Revolution bar too so it’s very exciting.

“Here I’m serving tofish, vegan fish and chips and a vegan burger - I’ve been a vegetarian since birth and four years ago became vegan. I just wanted to share my healthy food with people.” 

Getting everyone in the Christmas mood the market was full of cheer on Friday evening.

Town centre resident, Ellis Dimond, said: “I love it, I’m so glad the christmas market is back.

“Before the market opened I was already singing Christmas carols so now I’m really looking forward to Christmas.

“I’ll be coming here everyday.”

Luxury hot chocolate and cake stall, the Wood Bar are based in Salisbury and have a stall opposite the Alpine Bar in the town square. 

Hetta Moore, operations manager at the Wood Bar said: “It’s our first time here and it’s really good so far, everyone seems really lovely and it’s a nice atmosphere. 

“The atmosphere they’ve created here is amazing, what more could you want really?"