Lots of students choose to stay in Bournemouth over the winter break, so you won’t be alone if you’re staying local this year. You can find out what you can get involved with over the next few weeks below, plus wellbeing support for you and others.
We’ve also shared information about what university services are available during the winter break (15 December – 7 January) on our website. Please refer to this if you plan on visiting campus during the break.
ResLifeBU events open to all students
ResLifeBU has organised a range of events and activities for you to get involved in during the winter break. These activities are open to all students, so whether you live in BU-managed halls, locally with family or in private accommodation – you can join the festive cheer. Activities include pottery making, quiz nights, a Christmas Day lunch on 25 December and more. You can browse the full schedule of events on the Linktree created by the team.
If you’d like to attend any of the ResLifeBU events, please book your place as places are available on a first-come first-served basis.
Faith & Reflection events
The Faith and Reflection Centre will close from Friday 22 December and re-open on Tuesday 2 January.
If you’re staying in Bournemouth during the break, please take a look at what local events and activities are happening in the community.
Should you require support around accessing a Muslim prayer space over this period please email Sister Tama Merdaci; [email protected].
Carol singing and live music
Some carol services will be attended by BU Music and Faith & Reflection and you are welcome to attend to join in the festive singing or to enjoy the music:
‘A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols’ event at St Peter’s Church
Thursday 14 December, 6pm
Join us for a free, traditional carol service with the University Music Chamber Choir at St Peter's Church in Bournemouth.
There are also more opportunities to enjoy live music over the winter break, some examples of these are below:
Midnight Mass at St. Mark's Church in Talbot Village
Sunday 24 December, 11pm
'TWIXMAS' Lunchtime Jazz, Swing and Blues at St Peter's Church
Friday 29 December, 1pm
A range of choirs, singers and bands at Bournemouth Square
Various times and dates between 2 December and 1 January
Take a look at our music pages to see what other events are happening in the lead up to the winter break.
Your Students’ Union at BU are kicking their festive events on Tuesday 5 December with the SUBU Christmas Fair in the Student Centre between 10am and 4pm and a cheese and wine night for mature students between 6pm and 8pm. Events continue into the winter break for students staying local this year with:
International Students Winter Social
Saturday 18 December, 3pm – 5pm in the Student Hall, Talbot House, Talbot Campus
Community Kitchen Supper Club
Wednesday 20 December, 5:30pm – 6:30pm in the Student Centre, Talbot Campus
Things to do in the local area
If you fancy feeling festive, a visit to the Christmas market in Bournemouth town centre should be on your to do list! Open daily from 11am (except for Christmas Day) from now until 1 January, you'll find traders and caterers as well as an alpine lodge, ice skating, live music and entertainment to enjoy. You can also follow the Christmas tree Wonderland trail featuring 100 glittering trees and illuminations starting at Bournemouth sea front and continuing through Bournemouth Gardens.
There’s also lots happening in Poole including the annual charity bath tub race at Poole Quay on 1 January – not one to miss! And a Maritime Light Trail running between 25 November 2023 and 2 January 2024.
There are plenty more activities taking place locally that you may want to take part-in. With the £2 cap on bus fare’s being extended to at least the end of December 2023, it’s now even easier to get out and about in the local area and get involved!
- Christmas Tree Festival – St Luke’s Church, Winton at 3pm – 5pm between 3 December and 24 December
- Let it snow event - Outside The Real Greek at BH2, 17 November - 1 January
- Free Christmas movies at FestivePoint – Castlepoint Shopping Park, various times, 2, 9, 16 and 23 December
- Westbourne Christmas Festival - Westbourne High Street, 2 December - 23 December
- Christchurch Elf Hunt - Christchurch High Street, 25 November - 9 December
- The Shape of Things to Come Trail, Bournemouth Town Centre, 1 December - 4 January.
Free Christmas Lunch for those alone on Christmas Day
Hall & Woodhouse, a brewery local to Dorset and based in Blandford, is offering free Christmas meals at fifty of its pubs on Monday 25 December for people who would otherwise be alone on Christmas Day.
The scheme offers a warm and welcoming space to be on Christmas Day and the opportunity to chat with others in a similar position. Anyone wishing to benefit from this scheme simply needs to call, email, or direct message via social media one of the participating pubs. Spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis and you can view which pubs are near you on the Hall & Woodhouse website.
Enjoy some festive cheer… and respect others
If you're living in a residential area many of your neighbours will have time off work, school and college during the holidays, so please remember to keep noise to minimum, the front of your house tidy and put your bins out for collection (and bring them back in again!).
This can also be a lonely time for some people, so keep an eye out for your neighbours - why not send them a Christmas card or knock on the door with some homemade mince pies to let them know you'll be at home.
If you see anything suspicious, report it to the police by calling 101 from a mobile or landline - or 999 in an emergency.
If you need wellbeing support over the winter break, we encourage you to contact the following organisations:
- Student Assistance Programme on 0800 028 3766 for a free 24/7 wellbeing helpline
- Shelter on 0344 515 2000 for housing support
- Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 for personal support
- NHS Connection 24/7 Mental Health advice and guidance line on 0300 123 5400
- Please also see the online and external resources for help and support over the winter break