Events in Dorset 2016 - Event Timeline by Dream Cottages

Events in Dorset

Browse through the event options below to find out what's on in Dorset throughout 2017.

Dorset Events

Dorset events in 2018

Great Reindeer Hunt at The Teddy Bear Museum

(17th Nov 2016 to 4th Jan 2018)

The Teddy Bear Museum

EastgateDorchester

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 GardensBournemouth

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 CentreFree 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)

Dorchester

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)

Dorchester

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

Swanage

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

Bovington

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

Bestival

 (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

Dorchester

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.

Weymouth Harbour
Hire a boat out of Weymouth Harbour to spot dolphins.

Dorset Events in 2016

Below are a list of events in Dorset throughout 2016.

January 2016

The Lyme Lunge
An invigorating start to the New Year, whether you are watching or joining in! The Lyme Lunge is a fancy dress dip in Lyme Bay
Starts: 1st January 2016 at 1pm

Bournemouth Gardens of Light – Ice Skating

Lower Gardens
(19th Nov 2015 to 3rd Jan 2016)

The Gardens of Light form a twinkling Christmas trail through the Lower Gardens in Bournemouth with pretty hanging lights and projections. If you are spending the New Year in Dorset, what better way to burn off all the Christmas pudding than skating on the real ice rink under the fairy lit trees! Part of the Bournemouth Christmas Festival, the ice skating rink is open until the 3rd January
After skating, you can warm up with a mulled wine or a celebratory glass of fizz. Booking is recommended.

Moose Bar

Town Centre
(12th Nov 2015 to 3rd Jan 2016)

If you are hitting the sales in the New Year, there is a lovely festive bar that is still open until the 3rd January. Enjoy a glass of glühwein before your January fitness regime kicks in!

Christmas Festive Glow at Corfe Castle
(4th Dec 2015 to 3rd Jan 2016)

Corfe Castle is bathed in twinkling light as part of the Festive Glow event. There is an illuminated walkway leading you through the castle ruins. Chocolate treat demonstrations, six Christmas wish trees where you can share your special wish or memory and festive warmers in the tea rooms next to the log fire.

Jack and the Bean Stalk pantomime

(18th Dec 2015 to 3rd Jan 2016)
Tivoli Theatre
Wimborne

The Tivoli Theatre is a pretty theatre, lovingly looked after since 1936. This year’s panto is Jack and the Beanstalk and carries on until the 3rd January.

Victorian Christmas

(19th Dec 2015 to 3rd Jan 2016)
Beaulieu

Step back in time and be immersed in the charm of a Victorian Christmas. Explore the beautiful historic house which will be donned from head to toe in Victorian splendour. Gather around the grand piano and sing carols, play Victorian games, dress up in Victorian attire for a photograph and then sit by the roaring log fire with a hot punch.
With your ticket, you can also enjoy all the other Beaulieu attractions including the The National Motor Museum, World of Top Gear, Palace House and Beaulieu Abbey.

February 2016

Dorchester Beer Festival

(5th to 6th February 2016)

The Corn Exchange

Sample around eighty real ales and a dozen ciders / perries at the 28th Dorchester Beer Festival.

March 2016

Lyme Regis Beer Festival 2016
(26th March 2016)
The Marine Theatre

The Lyme Regis Beer Festival 2016 showcases some fine beers from local breweries. It is worth paying a visit and sampling some of the country’s finest.

April 2016

Powerstock Cider Festival 2016
(23rd April 2016)
6:30pm to 10:30pm
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.
Tickets cost £6 and go on sale at the end of February in the Bridport Tourist Information Centre.

The Lyme Regis Fossil Festival
(30th April & 1st May 2016)
Lyme Regis

The Lyme Regis Fossil Festival is a great event for the whole family. There are fantastic street performances and theatre, music and comedy at the Marine Theatre. Have a look at some rare fossils and learn from some great speakers.

Exeter Festival of South West Food and Drink
(22nd to 24th April 2016)
The courtyard of Exeter Castle and the surrounding Northernhay Gardens

The Exeter Festival of South West Food and Drink is the ultimate foodie event. Sample the best food that the South West has to offer and watch the chefs in action. The festival also includes two evening ‘Festival after dark’ events featuring live music, chef demos and a fantastic atmosphere!

May 2016

The Dorset Knob Throwing and Frome Valley Food Festival
(1st May 2016)
10am-4pm
The centre of Cattistock (between Dorchester and Yeovil)

Join in and have fun throwing a knob and many other knob related attractions. 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. A delightful way to spend the afternoon!

Love your Market in Bridport 2016
(18th, 21st, 25th and 28th May 2016)
Bridport Town Centre

The cool little town of Bridport is once again competing in the ‘Love your Market’ national competition. Come and visit this gem of a market town, loved by all that visit. Market days are Wednesdays and Saturdays between 9am and 3pm.

Lyme Regis Jazz and Blues Weekend
(27th to 30th May 2016)
Around the town and the seafront

For lovers of Jazz and the 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!

Lyme Regis Food Festival
(2nd May – 10am til 4pm)

Head to the Lyme Regis Food Festival to sample the best of local food and drink. All produced with love and expertise, from cider and ales to award winning pies. You will never eat shop bought produce again!

June 2016

Wessex Folk Festival 2016

(4th, 5th and 6th June 2016)
Dream Cottages are proud to sponsor this fantastic, fun and free festival. Wessex Folk Festival showcases a range of musical acts on open air stages and in local pubs, all around Weymouth’s picturesque harbour. A firm favourite with music lovers, the festival is one of the largest free folk music festivals in England.

Bridport Food Festival 2016
(12th June to 18th June 2016)
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 18th June where they join the Bridport Round Table Beer Table, which is enough to get the party really started!

Bournemouth Food and Drink Festival
(17th to 26th June 2016)
In locations and venues throughout Bournemouth

Ten days of a foodie lover’s heaven. From a ‘Ready Steady Cook’ competition amongst the festival revellers to chefs demo kitchens and a top farmers market, the Bournemouth Food and Drink Festival really does have something for everyone.

Sutton Poyntz Street Fayre
(Sunday 26th June)
Don't miss this day of family fun, set in the pretty village of Sutton Poyntz, you'll find plenty of craft stalls, live music, children's entertainment, cream teas, Pimms and strawberries, barbeque, farmers market and a grand charity auction. Villagers and and stall holders will all be dressed in period costume, in-keeping with the Victorian theme of the day. Visit the event's Facebook page for more information.

July 2016

Jurassic Fields Music Festival 2016
(9th July 2016 – 10am til 11pm)
Bridport

A fantastic family day out filled with comedy, music, food and entertainment, The Jurassic Fields Music Festival will show you all the amazing talent that the local area has to offer.

Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival
(9th and 10th July 2016)
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!

August 2016

Candles on the Cobb
(Normally around 20th August)
Cobb Harbour

Candles on the Cobb is a beautiful event whereby the Cobb Harbour is lit up by 5000 tea lights. A spectacle not to be missed!

The Great Dorset Steam Fair 2016
(25th to 29th August 2016)
Tarrant Hinton (Nr 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!

Weymouth Carnival
Traditionally the 3rd Wednesday in August but please click the link closer to the date once the date has been announced!
The Esplanade, Weymouth

Weymouth Carnival is a traditional English seaside carnival replete with the crowning of the Carnival Queen, a super procession, stalls, fairground rides, games, performances, music and much more. A very British day out!

Bridport Carnival
(20th August 2016) (Torchlight parade on Sunday 21st August 2016)
Town Centre, Bridport

Bridport Carnival is a joy to behold. A grand procession of floats with travel up West Street, then down South Street. There is a grand car boot sale, carnival fete and a fun fair at Asker Meadows all topped off with the traditional beautiful torchlight parade from Bridport to West Bay. Imagine 1,500 blazing torches winding their way along the streets. Simply stunning!

September 2016

Swanage Folk Festival 2016
(9th to 11th September 2016)
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.

Dorset County Show 2016
(Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th September 2016)
Dorchester Showground
Dorchester

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!

Guitars on the Beach and Food Rocks Festival 2016
(3rd - 4th September)
Lyme Regis seafront
A delicious selection of local food and drink stands alongside fantastic live music, all set on pretty Lyme Regis seafront - what's not to love?!

Bridport Hat Festival
(3rd September)
Bridport
Don your best headgear for this fun event, taking place in Bucky-Doo Square. Live music from local acts, a bustling market and a competition for the best hat are all on offer - a quirky day out for the whole family!

Lyme Regis Folk Festival
(9th - 11th September)
Folk fans can enjoy music at various venues around the pretty seaside town.

October 2016

The Enchanted Illuminations at Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens
Normally around 15th October 2016
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 2016

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

This year will be Sherborne Castle’s 37th 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!

Dorset has some fabulous fireworks displays. For some inspiration have a look at the top 10 fireworks displays in Dorset in 2015.

December 2016

5k Chase the Pudding Santa Dash
(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.

Dorset Events in 2015

Dorset is well known as a county that offers a strong historical legacy when it comes to culture, the arts and entertainment. The internationally renowned author Thomas Hardy was born and lived in the county, basing the majority of his work on real Dorset towns albeit with fictional names. T.E Lawrence (of Lawrence of Arabia fame) lived in the small village of Moreton near Wareham. After his death a memorial was erected in Moreton church which attracts regular visitors from all over the world.

Dorset has plenty of regular family attractions and entertainment as well. The seaside town of Weymouth is a popular destination due to its expansive sandy beach and traditional Georgian promenade. Combine this with a plethora of traditional food outlets and it is not surprising that it continues to attract a wealth of visitors each year. Dream Cottages HQ is based in Weymouth in the popular Old Harbour area of the town.

If you have booked a self catering dorset cottage with Dream Cottages then you might want to take note of what’s happening in Dorset during the time of your stay. This page will be regularly updated with cultural events, family friendly attractions and promotions as well as any special events that may be taking place in Dorset throughout 2015.

Events 2015

March

7th & 8th March – Meet the lambs at Kingston Maurward Animal park at this special time of year

April

25th April – Powerstock Cider Festival there will be arond 20 cider producers attending the festival as well as local food suppliers.

May

1st – 3rd May – Lyme Regis Fossil Festival

3rd May – Dorset Knob Throwing in Cattistock (yes you read right!)

16th – 17th May Spring Tide Festival on Hive Beach near Burton Bradstock , over 40 stallholders attending with lots of local food, drink and produce with an amazing backdrop

23rd – 7th June Purbeck Art Weeks two weeks of talks, arts and concerts!

25th May – Sherborne Castle Country Fair, Retriever Event & Rare Breeds Show 2015

29th – 31st May - Lyme Regis Jazz and Blues Festival 2015

29th – 31st May Wessex Folk Festival in Weymouth

June

12th & 13th June - Bridport Food & Beer Festival 2015 will be celebrating its 11th anniversary with exciting foodie events for all ages to enjoy

20th & 21st June – Weymouth and Portland Armed Forces & Veterans Celebrations

July

11th & 12th July – Dorset Seafood Festival on Weymouth Harbour

FOOD086I

Dorset Seafood Festival

18th – 25th July – Lyme Regis Lifeboat Week

27th July – 3rd August – Swanage Carnival and Regatta week

August

15th August - Bridport Carnival

19th August – Weymouth Carnival

27th August – Melpash Show near Bridport

30th August – Candles on The Cobb at Lyme Regis

Lyme bay 11

Lyme Regis Cobb

September

2nd – 6th September – The Great Dorset Steam Fair near Blandford

5th & 6th September – Dorset County Show near Dorchester

Dorset County Show

Dorset County Show

5th September – Bridport Hat Festival

October

14th October – 1st November – Enchanted Gardens at Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens

DSC_0361

Enchanted Gardens

November

7th November – Firework Extravaganza at Sherborne Castle

December

20th December – Chase the Santa 5km dash - Weymouth Beach