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Want to explore Christmas Tree Wonderland, but don’t want to have to walk between the varied attractions and festive themed activities? Neither did I but thankfully, thanks to Yellow Buses' open-topped Christmas Tour, there is now a far easier way to move between central Bournemouth and the surrounding coastal villages.

After exploring the Christmas Tree trail from Pier Approach and the lovely winter scene at Smuggler’s Cove Adventure Golf, I meandered my way through the lower gardens with my two children, Andy who is five and Amy who is eight. Having two little ones to look after by myself meant that the compact nature of the first half of the trail was perfect, and they were delighted to see the Polar Walk and Teddy Bear’s picnic which really peaked their interest. Amy seemed to adore the bright-red luminous Vodaphone tree which stood out with its unique features.

However, by the time we had reached the Alpine Market my pocket rockets were feeling a little knackered and weren’t quite as enthused as I was about tracking the trail further round. Then I remembered the Yellow Buses tour, which departs from their Travel Shop in the town centre.

With Andy, Amy and I fed from the stunning Hog Roast stall at the market, we grabbed a soft drink and hopped onto the bus and moved up to the top deck for the best view of the light displays we were travelling to see. I was delighted that the weather had stayed cool and dry, with some nice cosy winter air warming our bones ever so slightly. The downstairs seating offered equally-as-good-a-views and would have been perfect on a more weather inclement day.

An illuminated pink tree, with a giant illuminated white tree in the background from Bournemouth's Christmas Tree Wonderland 2019.

The bus is a non-stopping service, so my children and I were able to sit back and enjoy the various illuminations that we were being paraded through. From the town centre the bus meandered towards Westbourne before moving over East Cliff. Andy was enraptured by the lights that linked Boscombe to Pokesdown, with the streets simply alive with Christmas cheer. Across to Southbourne cross-roads, the bus then did a return loop allowing us to marvel at the lights once again.

Once we were back in Bournemouth, the kids were still feeling particularly lively, thanks to Yellow Buses' organisation of a brief pause at the fantastically welcoming Marsham Court Hotel allowing us to have a Christmas nibble and warm beverage. This allowed the kids to wake themselves up before the end of the tour, and meant they were fully prepared for the short journey home, full and satisfied.

The tour finished back in Bournemouth Square, which meant we could easily reach our car that had been left in the Winter Gardens car-park. The PayByPhone app on my phone had once again saved the day, as I had originally only paid for a brief two-hour parking stint and then had to extend it whilst we enjoyed the myriad activities on offer in the vicinity. All-in-all the bus tour was an amazing way to make the most of everything Bournemouth and the associated coastal villages could offer at Christmas time, I could not recommend one of these tours highly enough. 

Yellow Buses recommend booking tickets in advance, with a group ticket offering the best value for money for up to 5 people travelling together. 

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