Free parking is being offered in Weymouth in the run up to Christmas.

Weymouth Town Council successfully applied to Dorset Council to allow free parking in its car parks on Saturday, November 25 and Saturday, December 2.

Participating town centre car parks include Weymouth Pavilion, the Pavilion Forecourt, Governors Lane, Cosens Quay, Harbourside, Melcombe Regis, Park Street and the Swannery.

Cllr Ryan Hope, Chair of Services Committee, said: “Our thanks go to Dorset Council for supporting this initiative again this year.

“It’s great to have free parking for these two big events which will bring people into the town as well as encourage those to shop local and boost the economy."

The November 25 date coincides with the big Weymouth Christmas light switch on in the town centre.

The Mayor of Weymouth, Cllr Kate Wheller, will be doing the highly anticipated countdown to the switch on next to the big Christmas tree at 5pm.

There are plenty of other festive events taking part on the day as part of the Elf Extravaganza, which will be wrapped with an elf street party which is now in its third year.

There will even be a special guest appearance from Britain’s Got Talent winner George Sampson who is starring in this year’s Weymouth Pavilion pantomime – Snow White.

He will take to the stage alongside much-loved Weymouth band, the Leggomen.

The second free parking date corresponds with Small Business Saturday which is a national event organised to encourage people to shop local and support small businesses who are a key part of Weymouth’s high street.

After a few hours of shopping, there will be festive joy in the air as people are invited to head down to the promenade for Carols on the Coast at 5pm.

The family carol service will take place next to the Beach Control Office and public toilets, where a Christmas tree will also be placed.

Seasonal refreshments will be on offer in the form of mince pies and mulled wine.

The Westhill Donkeys are also set to make a guest appearance alongside the Salvation Army band who will be playing some festive tunes.

Car parks are expected to be busier than usual on these dates and Weymouth Town Council are encouraging people to walk, cycle or use public transport where possible.