Dorset events in 2018 » Dream cottages

Dorset events in 2018


January 2018

Great Reindeer Hunt at The Teddy Bear Museum

(17th Nov 2016 to 4th Jan 2018)

The Teddy Bear Museum

Eastgate, Dorchester

10:00am to 16:00

This is such a lovely event for little ones and adults alike since the setting is really magical, all decked out like a vintage Edwardian Christmas. The children can all help Santa find his missing reindeer in Edward Bear’s house. Each child will receive a free Christmas Bear.


Ice Skating in The Gardens

(16th Nov 2016 to 2nd Jan 2018)

Lower Gardens, Bournemouth

10:30am to 10pm

Ice skate on real ice under the twinkling trees of Bournemouth’s Lower Gardens. With everything you need for a cosy Christmassy evening; blankets, mulled cider and delicious food. Head to the Après-Skate chalet after skating and snuggle up with a warm drink or a glass of fizz.

Booking is recommended.


Weymouth’s BIG Christmas

(1st Dec 2016 to 1st Jan 2018)

Weymouth Town Centre. Free parking after 3pm

10:30am to 10pm

Weymouth’s BIG Christmas is a way to complete your fairy-tale getaway in a beautiful Dorset cottage. By January, Santa will be at home resting, but the ice skating and Christmas market festivities will still be going strong with festive music, mulled wine and delicious local food. A perfect end to a magical Christmas in Dorset.


February 2018

Dorchester Beerex Festival 2018

(2nd and 3rd Feb 2018)


Sample around eighty real ales and a dozen ciders / perries at the Dorchester Beer Festival.

Enjoy alcoholic beverages from many of Dorset’s microbreweries as well as from the more stablished names in the industry.


Dippy on tour

(10th Feb to 8th May 2018)


Dorset County Museum

Come along and see the world famous Dippy the Diplodocus, who has decided to leave his home at the Natural History Museum to see the sights, he will be on display in the museums Victorian Hall and this is a free but ticketed event. Why not spend the day at the Dorset County museum and take in all the other displays, from Thomas Hardy artefacts to Roman ruins and ancient fossils?


March 2018

Spring Steam Gala

(23rd March to 25th March 2018)

Swanage Railway


Enjoy a three day ‘feast of steam’ and see the Swanage railway in full effect. With an opportunity to ride as many different passenger and freight trains as possible, its sure to delight and enthral the whole family.


April 2018

Tiger Day IX

(28th April 2018)

The Tank Museum


See the only running Tiger tank in the world. This special tank only makes two appearances this year and is extremely popular. Take your little ones along to enjoy a truly immersive day out at the Tank Museum.


Powerstock Cider Festival

 Powerstock Cider Festival 2018

(Around 23rd April 2018)* Dates to be confirmed

Powerstock Hut

Near Bridport

Held in Powerstock Village Hall, also known as The Hut, cider makers come from near and far to show off their wares. Join lots of cider enthusiasts and revel the night away, sampling the finest cider in the land.


May 2018

The Dorset Knob Throwing and Frome Valley Food Festival

The Dorset Knob Throwing and Frome Valley Food Festival

(6th May 2018)

10:00am til 4:00pm

Kingston Maurward College

Join in and have fun throwing a knob and taking part in many other knob related activities such as the Knob and Spoon Race, Knob Eating, Knob Painting and Guess the Weight of the Big Knob. All celebrating the famous Dorset Knob whilst raising money for charity. The Dorset Knob Throwing Festival runs alongside the Frome Valley Food Festival where you can sample the finest breads, cheeses, ciders, meat, game and poultry, pies, preserves and puddings as well as chocolate, coffee and wine. The perfect way to spend an afternoon!


Lyme Regis Fossil Festival

Lyme Regis Fossil Festival 2018

(4th May to 6th May 2018)

Exhibition venues around Lyme Regis

Held in various locations around Lyme Regis, the Fossil Festival is a lovely and educational family event all geared towards enthusing young people about science; earth science in particular.

Enjoy walks, talks, theatre, music, comedy, exhibitions and lots of learning with hands-on fossil science activities for all ages.


Jazz and Blues Weekend Lyme Regis

Lyme Regis Jazz Festival

(Friday 25th to Mon 28th May 2018)

Around the town and the seafront

For lovers of Jazz and Blues, take your family to enjoy some live music around Lyme Regis. Children friendly so a great weekend for the whole family to enjoy. The Lyme Regis Jazz and Blues Weekend brings you the best in old and new music and if you are renting a cottage in Dorset in May, then this isn’t to be missed!


Chesil Rocks 2018

Langton Herring

(Saturday 23rd June 2018)

An intimate arts and music festival, showcasing local food, ales, ciders and coffee.

With comedy sets and live music to enjoy. Chesil Rocks is nestled in the beautiful surroundings of Langton Herring.


June 2018

Bridport Food Festival 2018

(10th June to 16th June 2018)

Around the town and surrounding area

The Bridport Food Festival consists of a week full of tantalising foodie events throughout the cool town of Bridport. The main event is at Asker Meadows on the 16th June where they join the Bridport Round Table Beer Table, which is enough to get the party really started! Dogs on leads are welcome.


July 2018

Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival

 (14th and 15th July 2018)

Weymouth Harbour

The Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival has won many awards and rightly so! Who doesn’t enjoy champagne, seafood, family entertainment as well as learning about all the fish that our shores have to offer! The festival is free to attend and takes place in the picturesque harbour in Weymouth. It’s the jewel in the Weymouth festival crown, and one which we are incredibly proud to sponsor.


Great Dorset Chilli Festival 

(28th and 29th July 2018)

Wimborne St Giles 

Join in with the ‘hottest day out in Dorset’. Learn all about chilli, including the Dorset Naga, once reputed to be the hottest chilli in the world. Sample some spicy delights from of the best artisan producers, as well as music, talks and lots of family fun.


Camp Bestival

(26th to 29th July 2018)

Lulworth Castle

Voted best family festival 2017, join in the maritime fun at Camp Bestival, with live music, pop up River Cottage café and so much more. Camp Bestival is the perfect family festival, set in a truly beautiful location.  Why not skip the camping and book one of our comfortable cottages close to the festival site?


 August 2018


 (2nd to 5th August)

Lulworth Castle

Run away with the circus this summer at Dorset’s biggest festival. With pop up restaurants, live music and an incredible circus. Besitval brings the colour and fun to the Dorset festival season Why not skip the camping and enjoy your stay in one of our cottages close to the festival site?


The Great Dorset Steam Fair

 (Thurs 23rd August to Mon 27th August 2018)

Tarrant Hinton

Blandford Forum

See how people lived, worked and played in years gone by. Described as being one of the most remarkable shows on earth, this exhibition is really not to be missed. From steam exhibitions and demonstrations to vintage vehicle displays and stunt shows. The Great Dorset Steam Fair is a fun packed day out for the family that kids will absolutely love! Whether you are a steam fanatic, an exhibitor, a heavy horse fan, an avid camper, a music fan or just on holiday in Dorset in a delightful holiday cottage, you will love this fair.


September 2018

Swanage Folk Festival 2018

 (7th to 9th September 2018)

Venues dotted around Swanage

A fun filled festival full of music and dance, The Swanage Folk Festival is a lovely way to spend the day in this lovely Dorset seaside town. Known as ‘a friendly festival by the sea’, the festival is happy and welcoming with a relaxed and cheerful atmosphere and stunning sea views.


Dorset County Show 2018

(1st and 2nd September 2018)

Dorchester Showground


The Dorset County Show is a hot event on the Dorset social calendar! Great food, vintage cars, fun fair rides, beer tents, craft stands, country sports such as ferret and terrier racing, farm animals, lots of competitions and games to get involved in. Get there early because you have a lot to fit in! Don’t miss the Grand Parade where the winning farmers show off their prize cattle. The pinnacle for any livestock farmer and great fun to watch.


Arts by the sea 2018  

(29th September to 6th October 2018)

Bournemouth sea front

Showcasing some of the best regional, national and international arts, dance, film, theatre, and spoken word, this extravaganza of the arts is sure to thrill and inspire. Running at the tail end of autumn, Arts by the sea is sure to end the season with a bang.


October 2018

The Enchanted Illuminations at Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens

Normally around the last two weeks in October 2018

Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens

The switch on of the Enchanted Illuminations happens in October (date yet to be confirmed as the Dream Team write this). The gardens are flooded with colour and look absolutely stunning. Walk along candle lit pathways on a crisp autumn evening. Perfection! Look out for all their Halloween features which will be announced closer to the time.


 November 2018

The Sausage and Cider Festival with Fireworks

The Greyhound Inn (Next to Corfe Castle)

Generally falls on the Saturday closest to the 5th November (The Dream Team are writing this early!) Please click the link nearer the time for more details.

The Greyhound Inn is next to Corfe Castle and the absolute perfect setting to enjoy the fireworks display over Corfe Castle. Mixing sausages, cider, fireworks and live music is surely the makings of a perfect family evening out.


Sherborne Castle – Firework Extravaganza 2018

Sherborne Castle – Sherborne

The Saturday close to November 5th! (Please click the link nearer the time!)

This year will be Sherborne Castle’s 39th year of hosting the most spectacular fireworks in Dorset.  Eat, drink and be mesmerised by the stunning display and then enjoy the live music and fairground rides. Sherborne’s display is reputed to be one of the best and biggest shows in the South West, attracting around 8,000 people so the atmosphere is always truly super!


 December 2018

Chase the Pudding Santa Run

 (Normally around the 20th December)

Weymouth beach

Join the Santas, elves and fairies as they all chase a Christmas pudding along Weymouth. All in the name of charity, this fantastic event will really get you into the Christmas spirit! If you are spectating, then enjoy a warm mulled wine and mince pie from one of the many stalls.

If we have inspired you to come to Dorset in 2018, why not browse our range of cottages here. 

Dorset in summer

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Dorset events in 2018
A round up of some of the best events in Dorset in 2018.