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Enjoy the most Dorset has to offer with the huge selection of festivals in Dorset. From food festivals to country shows, you can find something unique at one of these Dorset festivals.

Whether you are travelling with family or friends, Dorset has a lot of festivals that can keep you busy throughout the year. You can find unique gifts, meet like-minded people, and enjoy the atmosphere these festivals have to offer.

Find your next Dorset festival with this up-to-date list from Dream Cottages…

January Festivals

Illuminate at the Blue Pool

January 13th – February 27th

illumination at the blue pool in Dorset

Keep that New Year positive as you wander around the peaceful Blue Pool in Dorset.

Along the 1-kilometre trail, you can find enchanting illuminations and relaxing music to help find some tranquillity.

To keep yourself warm, wear warm clothing and suitable footwear. Refreshments are available at the Art Deco Tearooms.

Where to go: 

Blue Pool Car Park
BH20 5AR

Weymouth Pavilion Wedding Fair

16th January

weymouth Pavilion wedding fair

If you are newly engaged and need to start planning the big day, this Dorset festival is a must-visit.

The Weymouth Pavilion Wedding Fair draws people in from all over the region, showcasing some beautiful ideas for your wedding.

Take the bridesmaids and spend the day getting inspiration. You can find everything you need here to have a perfect wedding day.

Whether you are looking for cakes, photographers, jewellery, or venues, you can plan it all at this Dorset based festival.

Where to go

The Esplanade

February Festivals

Dorchester Beerex

4th February – 5th February:

For over 18s only, the Dorchester Beerex has been raising money for charitable causes for over 30 years.

Why not grab your friends and head over to this traditional beer festival? You have the choice of over 80 beers and ciders. What better way to spend a February afternoon.

Since the first festival in 1988, the Dorchester Beerex has raised over £200,000 for charity. So you know your money is going to good use.

Where to go

High East Street

Holistic Festival

5th February – 6th February

A chance to explore your spiritual journey with many like-minded people.

Where to go

Centre For The Arts
21 Kingland Road
BH15 1UG

March Festivals

Swanage Blues Festival:

3rd March – 6th March & 6th October – 9th October

Swanage blues festival

You can find many music festivals in Dorset. From blues to jazz, the region loves expressing their unique melodies.

With over 100 musicians and 60 events, you can find good food, great dancing, and quality music at the Swanage Blues Festival. 

If you are a musician, why not get involved at one of the open mic nights. Go on, give it a go, and impress your friends.

Where to go

60 gigs in 15 indoor venues across Swanage

April Festivals

Abbotsbury Food Fair

17th April

abbotsbury food festival

At Dream Cottages, we love food. We are always on the lookout for quirky new food festivals to indulge at.

To find unique, local producers, the Abbotsbury Food Fair is perfect. Follow your nose as you make your way through the fragrant stalls.

The choice is yours at this Dorset festival. You can find chillies, coffee, cheese, and baked goods on offer.

Say goodbye to your New Year diet.

Where to go

Buller’s Way

Lyme Regis Fossil and Earth Science Festival

29th April – 1st May

lyme regis fossil and earth festival in dorset

Why not head to the Lyme Regis Fossil and Earth Science Festival if travelling with kids. There are plenty of chances to learn about the history of Dorset and meet other inquisitive children.

But don’t worry, there is plenty to keep the adults entertained too.

You can ask questions to some of the world’s leading palaeontologists. Or get involved with your kids and learn new skills to provide a better future for your family.

Where to go

Marine Parade
Lyme Regis

Sherborne Abbey Festival

29th April – 6th May

An award-winning music and performance festival at the stunning Sherbourne Abbey.

Where to go

Abbey Close

May Festivals

Dorset Knob Throwing Festival

1st May

The Dorset Knob Throwing Festival is one of the most unique events on this year’s list.

As part of the Frome Valley Food Fest, Dorset Knob Throwing can fire up a tasty competition between the competitors.

These competitors take turns throwing The Dorset Knob along the landing strip. Where the longest underarm throw is crowned as the years champion.

Alongside the competition, you can enjoy live music, hot food and local producers to sample.

We do love the quirky Dorset festivals that bring communities together.

Where to go


Shaftesbury Food and Drink Festival

8th May

A chance to enjoy artisan food and drink from local sellers and businesses.

Where to go

Shaftesbury town centre

June Festivals

Christchurch Food Festival

2nd June – 5th June

christchurch food festival in dorset

Offering fresh food and drink and a selection of chef demos, musicians and family entertainment.

Where to go

Christchurch Quay

Wimborne Minster Folk Festival

10th June – 12th June

Celebrate the Wimborne Minster Folk Festival’s 40th anniversary this year and enjoy a selection of folk music, comedy, magicians, and local traders.

From folk legends to the new kids on the scene, you can enjoy a variety of musicians across the weekend.

This festival also offers camping for those that love a weekend of live music and a friendly atmosphere.

Where to go

The Square
Wimborne Minster
BH21 1JA

Bridport Food Festival

12th June – 24th June

Showcasing some of Bridport’s best food and drink.

Where to go

Bridport town centre

July Festivals

Bourne Free

8th July – 9th July

bourne free bournemouth festival

One of our favourite festivals in Dorset, Bourne Free, is a celebration of the diverse people of Bournemouth.

The festival started in 2004 and has grown into an annual celebration that involves a parade through Bournemouth city centre.

The new home to Bourne Free is Meyrick Park, where from 2022, you will be able to find educational and sensory areas.

There are also many stalls to get refreshments along the way.

Where to go

Meyrick Park
Central Drive

Cerne Abbas Music Festival

7th July – 10th July

A collection of local musicians coming together to showcase live music with a classical twist in St Mary’s Church.

Where to go

St Mary’s Church
Cerne Abbas

Parking available at

The Village Hall
Kettle Bridge Lane
Cerne Abbas

Jurassic Fields

8th July – 10th July

We told you there are a lot of music festivals in Dorset.

Each year Jurassic Fields gets bigger and better. Located in Bridport, the music festival has seen artists like The Pigeon Detectives and Scouting for Girls.

Whether you want to stay the whole weekend or just visit for the day, there are plenty of tickets on offer at Jurassic Fields.

But wait, it gets better!

For those of us conscious of giving back, this Dorset Festival works closely with the local community to provide a chance for aspiring musicians to perform.

Where to go

Sea Road

Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival

15th July – 17th July

Celebrating the history of the Tolpuddle Martyrs Union. With music, debates and food on offer.

Where to go

Tolpuddle town centre

Camp Bestival

28th July – 31st July

camp bestival

Since its creation, Camp Bestival has secured itself as one of the best music festivals in the UK.

There are plenty of camping options across the 4-day weekend. And you can experience a selection of music genres on your visit.

What makes the festival so special is the accessibility. Tickets are available for all ages, and the camping options include anything from tents to motorhomes.

Where to go

Lulworth Castle
East Lulworth
BH20 5QS

Bournemouth Reggae Weekender

29th July – 31st July

A weekend for the whole family to enjoy live reggae music with great food and trade stands.

Where to go

Kings Park

August Festivals

Melplash Agricultural Show

25th August

melplash agricultural show

The Melplash Agricultural Show highlights the farming culture at the heart of Dorset’s heritage.

You can find out about food production, farming and learn more with the farm to food activities.

As well as showcasing a variety of farming methods, you can also find stalls that specialise in home crafts and much more.

It is a chance for children to learn more about how the food gets on their table.

Where to go

Melplash Showground
West Bay Road

Great Dorset Steam Fair

25th August – 29th August

The Great Dorset Steam Fair is the world’s largest heritage event.

Running over five days, there are steam exhibitions, classic vehicles, and World War commemorations.

But the Dorset festival isn’t just looking at old cars and trains. There are stunt displays, a fairground, live music and as much food and drink as you can stomach.

Where to go

Great Dorset Steam Fair
A354, Tarrant Hinton
Blandford Forum
DT11 8HX

September Festivals

Bournemouth Air Show

1st September – 4th September

bournemouth air show in dorset

If you have never been to an air show before, the Bournemouth Air Show is sure to get your adrenaline flowing.

Across the weekend, there are air performances, marine performances, and entertainment throughout the day.

Seeing these skilled pilots will have you on the edge of your seat as they twist and turn in formation.

Get out with the family and inspire the kids with a fantastic display of aerial acrobatics. The Bournemouth Air Show truly is a unique festival in Dorset like no other.

Where to go

Park and Ride

Dorset County Show

3rd September

A day of livestock parades, show jumping, craft, and local food. Dorset County Show is the perfect day outside with the family.

Where to go

Agriculture House
Acland Road

Swanage Folk Festival

9th September – 11th September

The Swanage Folk Festival is one of the most popular festivals in Dorset.

You can enjoy live music, dances, concerts, and workshops. It is one of the best ways to learn about the rich history of Swanage.

Plus, 2022 is the 30th anniversary of the Swanage Folk Festival, so it is a big event.

If you want to get a taste of the Dorset festival but don’t want to buy a ticket, there are a few free concerts that take place over the three days.

Where to go

The festival is based around the town centre and the seafront.

Seafeast, Dorset Seafood Festival

10th September – 11th September

Seafeast is one of Dorset’s award-winning festivals. The Dorset Seafood Festival showcases some of the region’s freshest marine food.

And let me tell you, it is some of the freshest seafood money can buy.

The event isn’t limited to just food and drink. Seafeast also offers a chance to see your favourite chefs prepare food. Plus, there are live music and children’s activities to keep everyone entertained.

Where to go

Weymouth Pavilion
The Esplanade

Contender Fest

10th September – 12th September

Contender Fest is a Dorset festival for any fitness enthusiasts out there.

Across the weekend, you can find competitions, challenges and meet like-minded fitness enthusiasts.

There is also an opportunity to try some of Dorset’s best healthy fast food from some of the food stalls on display.

Where to go

3 Violet Lodge
30 Castlemain Avenue

Sturminster Newton Cheese Festival

10th September – 11th September

A collection of Dorset’s favourite artisan cheese producers. As well as a packed schedule of live music and entertainment.

Where to go

Sturminster Newton Recreation Ground
Sturminster Newton
DT10 1BY

Purbeck WALX Festival

16th September – 18th September

Purbeck walking festival

If you love walking, The Purbeck WALX Festival in Dorset is a chance to enjoy something different.

Many of the walks start from the historical Corfe Castle and are led by experienced walkers from the area.

Alongside these walks, there is a variety of entertainment to keep you entertained throughout the evening.

Where to go

Several walks take place throughout the Purbeck region during this Dorset festival.

Christmas and New Year Festivals

Christmas Markets

There are so many Christmas markets in Dorset. 

They are a magical place to enjoy in the lead up to Christmas. And you can fill your stomachs and have a drink from one of the many festive stalls.

To see more about the Christmas festivals in Dorset, check out our Christmas markets blog.

Front Live

31st December

new years celebrations at front live in weymouth

As the biggest New Years Eve event in Weymouth, Front Live is perfect to enjoy some festive celebrations.

With food and drink on offer, you can settle in to watch the explosive fireworks display.

Plus, in the lead up to the fireworks, enjoy live music and artist performances throughout the night.

Where to go

The Esplanade

There are so many festivals in Dorset to keep you busy throughout the year. Whether you love food, music, or something else, you can find something to enjoy with your family and friends. 

Find the perfect holiday home to stay in on your visit to one of these unique festivals with Dream Cottages.

Image Credits – Alwyn Ladell – (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0); John Cummings – (CC BY-SA 3.0); Dorset Council – (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0); Jim Champion – (CC BY-SA 2.0)