Christmas is getting closer now that we are halfway through November, with Christmas lights switch-ons being a regular event that marks the beginning of the season.

Town centres will be illuminated against the backdrop of the winter darkness, bringing a sense of wonder.

Many different events will be taking place around Dorset (and Ringwood) to switch on Christmas lights, or to get people ready for the season.

Christmas lights switch-on events for 2022


If you live in and around Bournemouth then you will be well aware of the classic Christmas Tree Wonderland event.

Bournemouth Echo: Bournemouth Christmas Tree WonderlandBournemouth Christmas Tree Wonderland (Image: Newsquest)

The popular spectacle attracts thousands of visitors to the town centre each year, with multitudes of brightly decorated Christmas trees to be found in the Lower Gardens.

It will run between Friday, November 18 and Monday, January 2 and there will also be features and illuminations throughout the town.


Poole's answer to Bournemouth's Christmas Tree Wonderland has a nautical theme for its Christmas lights show.

Bournemouth Echo: One of the features of the Maritime Light FestivalOne of the features of the Maritime Light Festival (Image: BCP Council/Blachere)

The Christmas Maritime Light Festival begins on Saturday, November 19 and will showcase thousands of lights.

Installations include a 120-metre ‘under the sea’ light curtain, a giant anchor and a five-metre tall ship.

Additionally, there will be another Christmas lights event in Poole as Runton Road will be opening up their display on Saturday, December 10.

The road has become famous for its festive lights, which residents have been turning on annually for nearly 30 years.

Bournemouth Echo: A display from Runton Road in 2021A display from Runton Road in 2021 (Image: Newsquest)

It disclosed there may be a few of the larger decorations missing "due to the cost of running them", however, they will still be running "most" decorations as the use of LED lights has helped them reduce the costs.


Christchurch will be hosting a Yuletide Festival on Saturday, November 26, which will be finished off with the official Christmas lights switch on.

There will be a parade, festive markets and live entertainment before that happens.


Wimborne's Christmas lights event will also be taking place on Saturday, November 26.

There will entertainment to be found in during the day in the town centre, including the Quarterjacks marching band, before the main switch on happens at 4.30pm.


Swanage Pier will be the host of a Christmas lights illuminations taking place on Friday, December 9.

From 5pm there will be music from local bands, people being dressed up as Christmas characters and a special guest coming to turn on the lights.

If you wanted to try something different in the area, then Swanage Railway are running a 'Steam and Lights' event.

Bournemouth Echo: Swanage Railway from a previous 'Steam and Lights' eventSwanage Railway from a previous 'Steam and Lights' event (Image: Newsquest)

On its website it states: "Not to be missed pre-booked steam train experience, the steam locomotive and carriages will be covered with brightly coloured lights while the cosy steam-heated carriage interiors will be festively decorated for the one-hour evening round trip passing the historic ruins of Corfe Castle."

Tickets are available to be booked for this event at their website here.


Wareham's annual Christmas event will take place on Sunday, December 11, starting from 4pm.

There will be street entertainment and a Christmas parade before Father Christmas arrives.

After that there will be the opportunity to visit Santa in his grotto before the Christmas tree lights are officially switched on.

Ringwood, New Forest

On Sunday, November 27 Ringwood's annual Christmas community event will take place.

A busy day in the town centre will feature a market with over 60 stalls, two Santa parades. stage entertainment, Santa's grotto and more.

It will culminate in Santa turning on the town Christmas lights at around 6pm.


Former Coronation Street star Debra Stephenson will be the special guest switching on Westbourne's Christmas lights on Saturday, December 3 at 4.30pm.

This will kick off the Westbourne Christmas Festival which takes place every Saturday in December.

READ MOREBournemouth Christmas Tree Wonderland 2022 full programme


The Ferndown and Parley Rotary club will be organising the Christmas lights switch on at 5pm on Saturday, November 26.

The event will include a Christmas market, Santa's grotto, amusement rides and much more.

Corfe Castle

On Saturday, December 3, Corfe Castle will be hosting a Christmas lights switch on in the Village Square.

Refreshments will be available and singing will take place at 4.30pm before the lights come on at 5pm.

Kingston Lacy

Kingston Lacy's after-dark illuminated festive trail is back from December 2 to December 24.

It features two new light installations in the Laser Garden by Mandylights and Crystal Garden by Output Arts as part of the trail.

Tickets for the event can be bought at the website here.