Festive Maritime Cheer in Poole

Nautical illuminations celebrating Poole’s maritime history are returning for a second year running this Christmas. 

Poole Christmas Maritime Light Trail will return from 25 November – 2 January 2024 with a dazzling display through Poole town and onto the Quay.  

This free light show, organised by Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council and supported by Poole BID, features an array of maritime decorations in a nod to the town’s rich heritage as one of the South Coast’s most important medieval ports. 

Visitors to Poole Quay will be welcomed with new two-metre gold Poole lettering shining brightly by the sea music sculpture. 

One of the illuminated trees positioned along the High Street will have visitors reaching for their smartphones due to an interactive element, which enables bystanders to control the colours and animations on the tree by downloading an app. Tapping on the smartphone app will make the lights flash in rhythm, with a special ‘selfie’ mode to capture this unique moment. 

Glistening overhangs in the form of white icicle lights will also feature along the buildings in the Old Town High Street to the Quay.  

Favourites including the five-metre-tall ship, the recycling whale, giant illuminated anchor, gold walk through bauble, and various maritime-themed trees will be making a welcome return. 

Councillor Andy Martin, Portfolio Holder for Customer, Communications and Culture, BCP Council said:    

“To feature a light trail over such a big distance wasn’t an easy feat, but the first year of Poole Christmas Maritime Light Trail was a great success. It brought the holiday spirit to Poole, and I’m delighted it’s running again this year.  

“We’ve made subtle enhancements this year, such as raising the tall ship on a blue plinth to give the impression it’s sailing, and we’ve even got an interactive tree for people to engage with halfway through the trail which I’m looking forward to seeing in action. 

“With the rising costs of living impacting everyday lives, I’d encourage everyone to come to Poole and enjoy these free maritime illuminations with friends and family.” 

The opening night promises much merriment with Santa walking through the town and onto a City Cruise boat on Poole Quay, while Poole BID, the main sponsors, will be unveiling their window display competition soon.    

Jacqui Rock, Manager of Poole BID commented: 

“Lots of hard work has once again gone into recreating the second year of our successful Poole Christmas Maritime Light Trail. Not only will there be some new features as described, Poole BID are also delighted to be working with City Cruises to bring Santa to our shores during the launch on the 25 November which will also include Rock Choir as well as Resonate. Our Christmas choirs will be a heartwarming and engaging addition to your Christmas festivities, bringing people together in the spirit of the season.

“Additionally, alongside our seasonal window competition there will be a light trail giving homage to Aladdin which is our pantomime taking place at The Lighthouse, Poole during the festivities and so it’s a great opportunity to create lasting memories and enjoy the holiday season with your colleagues and friends. So, why not come early and appreciate the hospitality that Poole town businesses have to offer.”

Poole Christmas Maritime Light Trail is also supported by South Western Railway.   

Richard Barker, Partnerships and Events Manager for South Western Railway, said:   

“The inaugural Poole Christmas Maritime Light Trail was an incredible family event, and South Western Railway is eagerly anticipating collaborating with BCP Council to ensure its resounding success this year, alongside Bournemouth’s Christmas Tree Wonderland.”

So ships ahoy! Make your way to Poole and enjoy plenty of free festive cheer over the six weeks of Christmas! 

Find out more about Poole Christmas Maritime Light Trail here.