Crowds gathered at The Mowlem triangle to witness the switching on of the Christmas lights in Swanage marking the beginning of festivities for 2022.
Earlier in the day the Artisans on the Beach opened up their beach huts on Shore Road and started selling local unique hand-crafted items, while opposite on the beach was the finishing line for the Endurance Life trail running with some competitors completing ultra marathons.
The crowds gather for the Christmas lights switch-on at The Mowlem triangle
Artisans on the Beach
Artisans on the Beach was officially opened at midday by Swanage Town Mayor Tina Foster helped by the town crier Andrew Fleming.
This year bookings by local crafts people for the beach huts went quickly and there’s plenty of choices from artwork to Christmas decorations to knitted hats. The beach huts will be open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until Sunday 1st January 2023.
The beach huts in Shore Road are transformed into a mini market
The Artisans on the Beach is officially opened. Left to right: Swanage Town Council visitor services manager Culvin Milmer, Swanage Town Crier Andrew Fleming, Swanage Town Mayor Tina Foster and the mayor’s escort Leslie Parkinson
Endurance runners crossing the finishing line
From the beach huts there was a clear view of all the competitors crossing the Endurance Life finishing line having completed either 10k, half marathon, marathon or even an ultra marathon.
All the routes were along the South West Coast path with the longer distance runners looping round Lulworth before heading along the coastal route to Swanage.
The finishing line for the Endurance Life competition was on the beach opposite Artisans on the Beach
Shore Road was closed for the first time for Artisans on the Beach and the trail racing, giving everyone more space
Switching on the Christmas Lights
The rain in the afternoon didn’t stop play and fortunately dried up in time for the switching on of the Christmas lights at 4.30 pm.
The lucky winner of the raffle was Seb, who along with his younger brother, got to switch on the lights.
Santa also made a guest appearance in their sleigh and was later seen flying off past Swanage station towards Rempstone Road.
Institute Road lights up
The Christmas tree at Swanage station
“A great day for the community “
Swanage Town Mayor Tina Foster said:
“It’s been a great day for the community with everyone turning out to see all the events. The town has been buzzing and that’s lovely to see.
“We have some lovely independent shops and cafes and our Christmas lights really are the icing on the cake – making everything feel so festive!”
Deputy mayor Chris Moreton added:
“As a retired Methodist minister, you may expect me to say that Christmas is a very special time, but I do just love it.
“There’s been such a lovely atmosphere today and I’m really looking forward to all the other Christmas events happening across Swanage over the next few weeks.”
Children were pleased to see that Santa had arrived in Swanage – the first of many expected appearances
The Christmas in Swanage team organise the raffle
Even more Christmas events next weekend
Next weekend will be even more festively busy with the Swanage Christmas Market organised by Swanage and Purbeck Rotary taking place on Saturday 3rd December 2020 from 10 am to 4 pm in Station Road.
Shore Road will be temporarily open in one direction to allow traffic through to South Swanage.
The Swanage Railway Steam and Lights service also starts on Saturday 3rd December 2020. Take a steam train covered with brightly coloured lights and heated carriage interiors festively decorated for a one hour round trip passing through illuminated stations.
Swanage Christmas Market will transform Station Road again on Saturday 3rd December 2022. Pictured here is the market in 2021
St George’s Christmas Tree Festival in 2021 will be taking place again this year
Plenty happening across Purbeck too
Further afield next Saturday 3rd December 2022, there’s the St Aldhelm Benefice Christmas tree festival at St George’s Church in Langton Matravers until Monday 5th December.
There’s Pull a Pine at RSPB Arne from 10 am to 3 pm, where visitors are invited to pull up a pine tree and take it home for Christmas while helping to restore the heathland.
While at Corfe Castle, the Christmas lights will be switched on in the evening with Santa helping out in the Square.
They’ll be plenty of other events happening throughout December too