Fab festive light trails, illuminations, and switch-ons across Dorset

Christmas lights decorate a lawn in attractive patters and around trees

Illumination trails are set to be popular this Christmas - Credit: Steven Van Elk, Unsplash

Fill your Christmas in 2021 with festive sparkles, from magical winter wonderlands to town-centre light switch on celebrations.

Nothing says Christmas quite like lighting up the dark with colourful and twinkling lights. Once you've decorated your own home, or if you're looking for inspiration, there are plenty of places to go and enjoy a festive atmosphere in Dorset this year.

In no particular order, we've found ten places to enjoy the show with trails, illuminations, and switch-on events.

Lyme Regis Christmas Lights Switch On

Broad Street, Lyme Regis

November 27th

In 2021 the festive extravaganza is set to be bigger and better than ever. Start your countdown to Christmas in style with an illuminated Carnival, lantern parade, and switch on of the town’s Christmas lights. Bring your own decorated lantern for a chance to win a prize.

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Christmas Lights and Reindeer Experience

Nutley Farm, Winfrith Heath, DT2 8DT

November 27th - January 2nd

This will be the second year of festive fun at Nutley Farm and all proceeds go to the Somerset and Dorset Air Ambulance Service. Meet the friendly reindeer, enjoy an even longer light trail, and have the chance to say hello to Father Christmas on certain days. 

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Christmas Lights Illumination at Brewery Square

Brewery Square, Dorchester, DT1 1GH

November 27th

Enjoy live music, entertainment, mulled wine, illuminations, late night shopping and more at this year's celebration. There will also be a skate rink where you can practice your best Torvill and Dean impression.

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Christmas at Kingston Lacy

Kingston Lacy, Wimborne Minster, BH21 4EA

December 3rd - 5th and December 8th - January 2nd

The National Trust's hugely popular illumination trails are coming to the Dorset countryside this year. Join family and friends for a night-time walk and be amazed by how the grounds are lit up alongside festive music. 

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Steam and Lights

Swanage Railway, Swanage, BH19 1HB

Various dates through late November and December

Children and adults alike will love our next event with a "festive, evocative, dramatic and colourful Steam and Lights train journey through the Isle of Purbeck countryside". On board the train, there will be festive music synchronised to the lighting displays passing the carriage windows.

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Christmas Tree Wonderland

The Square, Bournemouth BH2 5LY

November 19th - January 2nd

Bournemouth is set to be lit up by more than 100 festive-themed illuminations this winter. The wonderland, including a 60-foot feature tree and trail, are part of a larger celebration this Christmas in the town which includes an excellent Alpine Market too.

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Runton Road Christmas Lights

Runton Road, Branksome, Poole, BH12 1NX

By the second week of December

Our next Christmas light event is a delightful community event where the residents of a little cul-de-sac get together to decorate their homes and gardens for the enjoyment of visitors. After cancelling last year, they are very excited to be back shortly.

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Ferndown's Merry Christmas Lights Switch On

Ferndown Town Centre, Ferndown, BH22 9TH

November 29th

There will be festive fun in the centre from 10am with a big switch on at 5pm. Santa will also be on hand in his grotto to meet with children after he has helped turn on the beautiful lights. 

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Christmas Lights Switch On in Poole

Falkland Square, Poole BH15 1ER


Not much has been confirmed about this popular event yet but, if previous years are anything to go on, it's sure to be a blast.

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Corfe Castle Lights Switch On

The Cross, Corfe Castle, Wareham BH20 5EZ

December 4th

Celebrate the switching on of the village Christmas lights with special guests reported to be in attendance. There is nowhere quite as atmospheric, so wrap up warm and enjoy the magic of the evening.

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