ONE of the UK’s most festive streets has once again drawn visitors to Poole with its dazzling Christmas lights tradition.

Runton Road in Branksome has become a staple of the holiday season in the conurbation due to residents of the cul-de-sac annually turning on an impressive array of home illuminations for more than 30 years.

While most previous iterations have gone all out with lights and switch-on ceremonies, the 2022 hosting has been a much more subdued affair amid rising energy bills.

This year, residents have gradually set up their displays before the lights were officially declared ‘switched on’ at around 4pm on Saturday, December 10 – thereafter young families and neighbours began to look around, take pictures and donate to charitable causes.

Bournemouth Echo: Runton Road Christmas Lights 2022Runton Road Christmas Lights 2022 (Image: Newsquest)

Runton Road resident John Tuvey told the Echo while he and others wouldn't be using some of the more high-voltage lights due to their running costs, the lights tradition is still as important as ever.

He said: “We used to have a lot more blow-ups for example as they run on normal lightbulbs, and of course those are the ones that use the most power. I’m using LEDs this year, but other than that I have no intentions whatsoever of cutting back too much because, let’s face it, the little kids expect to see a nice display.

“Also it’s so important for the charities, I collect for Julia’s House and I want to get as much as I can for them.”

Utilising a simple collection box outside his home, John has raised around £23,000 in ten years while living in the road solely through donations.

Bournemouth Echo: Runton Road Christmas Lights 2022Runton Road Christmas Lights 2022 (Image: Newsquest)

“It’s not a case of we’re out here begging, it’s just a box outside,” he said.  

“The most important thing is seeing the smiles, the happiness it brings and raising money for the charities – it’s vital. I won’t stop doing it.”

Other local charities being fundraised for this year include Amelia’s Rainbow and Cheers4Chester.

Having taken her daughter to see the lights, Parkstone mum Amanda said: “I think the fact so many homeowners are still doing it this year is a testament to the Christmas spirit, it’s real a positive in a not so positive time.”

The Runton Road lights will be mostly lit from around 4pm until 10pm.