Full steam ahead for Santa and Swanage Xmas lights switch on

Characters from The Polar Express are to join Santa for the Swanage festive lights switch on before he heads off on his sleigh around the town and over to Langton Matravers and Corfe Castle in Dorset in the weeks running up to Christmas.

The official switching on of the festive lights along Station Road, Institute Road and the High Street in Swanage’s town centre will take place at 4.30 pm on Saturday 25th November 2023 but there’s to be plenty of fun beforehand at The Mowlem Triangle from 3 pm.

Polar Express at Swanage Railway 2023

The conductor from The Polar Express will be stopping off at the Christmas lights switch on

Polar Express performances

It’s expected that the conductor from the Polar Express train experience, currently taking place at Swanage Railway, along with a couple of other cast members will perform a number of songs at 3.45 pm, 4 pm and 4.15 pm.

Children will be able to get a golden ticket from 3 pm and if their number is drawn, they will get the chance to press the button and turn the town’s Christmas lights on for 2023.

Earlier in the day, the Artisans on the Beach will have opened their doors, selling local unique hand-crafted items at Shore Road beach huts along Swanage seafront. This local craft market will continue until Sunday 31st Dec 2023.

Switching on the Christmas lights

The gathering point to watch the switch on will be the Mowlem Triangle

Sparkling festive lights

Once Santa has made sure that all the festive lights are sparkling and the Christmas tree is twinkling, he’ll be preparing his sleigh, with help from Swanage and Purbeck Rotary, to tour around Swanage roads from Tuesday 28th November 2023.

He’ll also be popping over to Langton Matravers and Corfe Castle with the assistance of Crazy4Corfe in the run up to Christmas. Santa’s elves will be collecting donations for charity.

Christmas lights for 2022 in Station Road

Station Road festive sparkle for 2022

“Great delight for us to see so many happy children”

President of Swanage and Purbeck Rotary Chris Le Fevre said:

“The run up to Christmas is Rotary’s biggest fundraiser by far, collecting money for local and international good causes.

“All the funds raised this year will go to help charities including local young carers, the Greengage community garden in Swanage and the Shoe Box Appeal. This year we’ve already sent 266 shoe boxes containing much needed and useful items to those in need in Ukraine and other Eastern European countries.

“But it’s not just about fundraising, it’s a great delight for us to see so many happy children getting to see Santa on his sleigh coming along their road. It really exemplifies the best of Rotary’s community action.”

Other Christmas events organised by Swanage and Purbeck Rotary are the Christmas Market in Swanage’s town centre from 10 am on Saturday 2nd December 2023, the Christmas mail service from Friday 1st to 15th December 2023, and a charity pop-up shop in Swanage from Monday 4th December 2023.

And of course, bringing plenty of festive cheer, will be Santa and his sleigh between Tuesday 28th November 2023 and Saturday 16th December 2023.

Santa at Switching on the Christmas lights

Santa waves to a child on Shore Road

Santa’s Christmas 2023 itinerary


Tuesday 28th November

Victoria Avenue • Smiths Farm • Prospect Crescent • Rabling Road • Northbrook Road • Walrond Road • De Moulham Road • Rempstone Road • Cranborne Road • Ilminster Road • Gilbert Road

Wednesday 29th November

Kings Road West • Locarno Road • Argyle Road • Hanbury Road • Court Road • High Street • Princess Road • Howard Road • Linden Road • Newton Manor Close • Cecil Road • Morrison Road • Hendrie Close • Findlay Place • Ancaster Road • Aigburth Road

Thursday 30th November

High Street • Townsend Road • Richmond Road • Manwell Road • Manwell Drive • Osborne Road • Queens Road + Mead • Mount Scar • Gordon Road • Priests Road • Hoburne Road • Foxhill Close • Mariners Drive • Cowlease

Saturday 2nd December

Christmas Market, Station Road

Monday 4th December

Ulwell Road • Whitecliff Road • Moor Road • Parsons Close • Hill Road • Redcliffe Road • Ballard Way • Bay Crescent • Bay Close • Streche Road • Ballard Road • James Day Mead

Tuesday 5th December

High Street • Jubilee Road • Shirley Close • Bell Street • Marsh Way • Ash Close • Priest’s Road • Purbeck View • Panorama Road • Hillview Road • Wills Road

Thursday 7th December

Days Road • Holmes Road • Sydenham Road / Bay View • Casterbridge Close • Higher Days Road • Shaston Close • Shottsford Close • Kingswood Close • Alderbury Close • Anvil Close • Leeson Close • Benlease Way • High Street

Friday 8th December

Bell Street • High Street • Steer Road • Hillsea Road • West Drive • South Road • Newton Rise • Newton Grange Close • Cow Lane

Saturday 9th December

Swanage Co-op, 10 am to 4 pm

Monday 11th December

Dolphin Court • Cauldron Barn Road • Cauldron Crescent • Cauldron Meadows • Cauldron Barn Park • D’Urberville Drive • Anglebury Avenue • Northbrook Road • Greensands Way • Brickyard Close • Old Grammar School Road • Wessex Way

Tuesday 12th December

Burlington Road • Victoria Road • Ulwell Road • Seaward Road • De Moulham Road • Bonfields Avenue • Northbrook Road • Cauldron Barn Road • Cauldron Crescent • Battlemead • De Moulham Road • Cauldon Avenue • Beach Gardens • Gannetts Park • Vivian Park

Langton Matravers

Wednesday 6th December

Capston Field • High Street • Tom’s Field Road • Old Malthouse Lane • Durnford Drive • Gypshayes • The Hyde • Steppes • Lower Steppes • Nine Barrow View • Steppes Hill • Serrells Mead • Three Acre Lane

Corfe Castle

Friday 15th and Saturday 16th December

In conjunction with Crazy4Corfe

Christmas lights in Station Road

Swanage Railway and the Christmas tree all lit up in 2022

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